The indoor pool at Five Star Aquatics serves as a classroom for swimming lessons. In its 90-degree waters, certified instructors teach students to float, breathe rhythmically, and ultimately grow gills. Besides minting new swimmers, instructors lead classes for competitive and casual athletes, as well as individuals with limited mobility.
Other instructors at Five Star Aquatics teach dry-land classes such as yoga and Zumba. To further enhance vitality, massage therapists welcome clients into a private room for bodywork sessions that relieve aches and restore peace of mind.
In the summer, Captain Don Cartwright migrates from Florida to New Jersey to captain fishing trips off Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays aboard his 35-foot boat, the Bill Chaser. Cartwright, who has a US Coast Guard master's license and more than 20 years of fishing experience, helps groups hook everything from striped bass and bluefish to larger catches such as bluefin tuna and shark.
On June 19, 1946, a veritable herd of racing fans—18,724 of them, in fact—galloped through the turnstiles at Monmouth Park Race Track. It was a gathering fit for a historic return, and indeed it was: 53 years separated that moment from the last time the track had hosted a race. Originally opened in 1870 in an effort to increase summer trade and give horses something to do while not in school, Monmouth Park was immediately popular, earning the moniker “Newmarket of America," a reference to the famed course in England. Yet in 1894, the state of New Jersey banned wagering on horses, effectively ending the facility's operations. In the 1940s, though, a man named Amory M. Haskell lobbied to have that law reversed. Today, the track honors its legislative savior by hosting the annual Haskell Invitational, a 1 1/8-mile race limited to three-year-old horses who’ve just learned to race without their training hooves.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
A team of certified trainers led by former tennis pro Kevin Hawke help exercisers whip their bodies into shape or simply improve conditioning in personal or group sessions. Workouts take place within an 8,600-square-foot training facility with a 2,000-square-foot gym and a full tennis court.
Each year, MudManX issues runners the world’s dirtiest challenge: a race across mud-slathered obstacles that test both agility and laundry skills. Designed with the assistance of US Special Forces and Mother Nature's cool sister who lets you play in puddles, the course features obstacles inspired the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. While exploring the course, runners travel through mud pits, past fiery trails, and over icy water before securing the boon of beer and live music. The post-race after party welcomes a steady lineup of bands and DJs and includes a MiniX obstacle course so children can finally discover the joys of getting dirty.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Red Cross, whose volunteers often rush through harsh and dirty conditions to deliver food, clothing, shelter, and comfort to those in need.