Aspiring bar- and beam-dwellers find supportive instruction at Team Central Gymnastic Academy and Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers, which mold everyday children into lithe lads and lasses. A wide selection of classes are available for sprouts of all ages. The Tumble Bee program allows wee ones from 18 months to 3 years old to bounce into fitness, and older flip fanatics may start in a beginning boys or girls class, or catapult straight into age-appropriate trampoline and tumbling.
Chris and Pam Schmick had spent six months cleaning out the scrap metal from their abandoned silos and just finished drilling thousands of holes in its walls. With little time to spare, they prepared for their climbing gym's grand opening on September 2, 1995—a date on which they had already agreed to hold a regional JCCA competition. The effort they've expended in the nearly 20 intervening years shows: today, climbers scramble on top ropes, lead ropes, and more than 20,000 square feet of lava-free climbing surface.
Instructors prepare visitors to surmount the gym's features in a range of classes, such as Rock Gym 101, which is an introduction to top-rope climbing that covers climbing safety, basic technique, and equipment. Once climbers are equipped with gear from the pro-shop, staff shows them around a multi-level bouldering cave, a main climbing area with 30-foot walls shaped by arêtes, cracks, and waves, and the building's five original silos. Elsewhere inside the gym, six auto-belays safely cradle visitors who wish to climb without taking a class.
Balls-n-Strikes has helped hone the baseball and softball skills of more than 100,000 young sluggers over the course of two decades. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday (with Friday reserved as an alternate day in case of rain) throughout June, July, and the first week of August. Unlike summer etiquette lessons or math camp, four days of baseball camp keeps kids active and healthy while teaching them social skills and confidence. Whether or not kids go on to become players, they’ll learn the importance of sportsmanship as the friendly instructors make each day fun. Balls-n-Strikes pairs one certified instructor to every six kids. This ensures that the game will not have to go into the 16th inning before your child gets a chance to bat, and also removes the need to make up additional outfield positions such as "assistant to the regional shortstop" and "human foul pole." Boys and girls must provide their own gloves, bats, and sack lunches before hitting the diamond.
The Fencers Academy's head coach Hossam Hassan boasts an impressive résumé. The expert has trained fencers for more than three decades, and he holds nine certifications from the French fencing federation and the International Olympic Committee. Of course, the biggest testament to Hassan's expertise is his students’ success. Seventy-five percent of his current fencers are nationally ranked, and he has trained top finishers in international youth tournaments and world-cup events.
The experienced and energetic instructors at I.A.M. Dance and Fitness are passionate about making fitness routines enjoyable, and they believe that anyone who’s having fun working out will be motivated to keep it up. At this intimate studio, instructors lead participants through the calorie-burning moves of Zumba, ZumbAtomic, and Hot Hula, teaching simple dance steps that everyone can follow.
Forest Lake Tennis Club's experienced tennis pros refine serves and strokes on their eight indoor, air-conditioned courts. A tennis pro diagnoses your stroke for the first hour of the clinic, tinkering with your form and process. For the last half hour, racket raisers can test their newfound ability to defeat challengers with topspins, slices, and smashes that provide a more definitive ending to a match than the time Duke Evers knocked out Rocky Balboa with his autobiography. The clinic is geared toward advanced-beginner adult players, and classes hold a maximum of 32 adults, with a student-to-pro ratio of six to one. Throttle pea-green projectiles Tuesdays–Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm.
Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 18 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.