The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
Inside Different Strokes Art Studio, pristine white ceramic bisques fill the cubbies that line one wall, taking all kinds of shapes—from giant vases to wizard hats. Artists of all ages bend to their work at the studio’s tables, dabbling colored glazes onto the matte clay and picking colors and brushes from the center of the table as they go, creating keepsakes such as personalized dinner platters for holidays or ornaments with their child's hand print painted on. When customers are done bedecking their pieces, the shop’s assistants glaze and fire each one, turning items such as plates, bowls, and dip platters instantly food safe and ready to hang on the wall or hold beautifully presented piles of marshmallow fluff.
During Artful Hours’ painting workshops, students learn not just from a master, but from two: their instructor, and the famed painter whose brushwork their instructor helps them copy. During each session, students recreate a classic painting—such as Edvard Munch's The Scream or Van Gogh's Almond Blossom—on their own canvas, adding personal flourishes such as a new color scheme or a couple of whale sharks in the background. Budding artists can hone their craft in BYOB adult sessions, kid sessions, or private-party lessons.