When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Bright sunshine fills Hampton Hill Stables? outdoor riding area, where the dusty earth quickly transforms into horse-shaped clouds as equestrians ride majestic steeds. Hampton Hill Stables also boasts an indoor arena that ensures that riders can ride rain or shine. Horse-riding lessons set the stage for pint-sized beginners and experienced riders to hone their riding skills and practice neighing each other's names. Athletes lace up boots and don helmets before embarking on these lessons or daytime summer camps that, for older attendees, stretch into sleepovers on Wednesday nights.
Ribbon the carriage horse tows her charges with surprisingly good cheer for somebody wearing metal shoes. Ribbon, along with Otis, a gentle belgian, work for Ladybug Ranch LLC's owner Diana von Loewe whose goal is to share a love of horses with Ohioans young and old. She does this by offering carriage rides that can be used to celebrate a variety of occasions from birthdays and weddings to the anniversary of the first Mister Ed broadcast.
At Summer Wind Stables, instructors lead students through safety-centered lessons and rides in large indoor and outdoor arenas as well as along several wooded acres. During tack lessons, novice equestrians learn to saddle and bridle a horse, building confidence and comfort before they can qualify to tack horses unsupervised. The experienced instructors also host private and group classes, which teach pupils proper riding techniques and help them work toward personal goals such as showing, performing synchronized drills set to music, and competing in Transatlantic races. After lessons, students can unwind in a heated lounge area or peruse the selection at Summer Wind’s gift shop. The shop features whimsical gifts such as mugs and jewelry, along with painted ponies and Breyer horse figurines capable of decorating a kid’s bedroom without leaving hoof prints on the wallpaper.
Fowler's Mill Golf Course pits players against an 18-hole layout that incorporates a winding stream, sandy bunkers, and dogleg turns. The course stretches to over 7,000 yards from the back tees, thanks to par 3s nearly 200 yards in length and par 5s of well over 500 yards, including an eighth hole that weighs in at a mammoth 588 yards. After sinking the final putt on the 18th hole?another long par 5?groups can retire to the Grille Room to grab drinks and snacks.
Each instructor of Nirvana Yoga has had her falling-in-love moment with yoga. Jessica Fill turned to the ancient art after a shoulder injury stopped her swimming career, Melissa Pilat found yoga a useful complement to her 18 years of ballet and modern dance, and Abra Goldman began practicing yoga to augment the fitness cultivated through her lifetime dedication to running. This band of experts leads fluid classes, drawing from the Baron Baptiste style of flowing from pose to pose in a manner that creates a rigorous, strength-building practice linking movement to breath. The team also teaches Power Vinyasa classes in an 88- to 90-degree studio, the warmth coddling muscles and helping to increase flexibility and release toxins. Jessica, Melissa, Abra, and company also impart fundamental postures in a pressure-free atmosphere during Power Yoga Basics held in a cooler studio, where they correct stances with hands-on adjustments, like science teachers who correct physics homework by actually becoming a human cannonball launched at a 45-degree angle.