Throughout the 11 courts lined up inside and outside of Court Yard Sportsplex, tennis balls thwack against rackets swung by players in private lessons, instructional clinics, and competitive interclub matches. Elsewhere, cardio and weightlifting machines whir with the effort of exercisers, and the squeak of tennis shoes echoes upon basketball and racquetball courts. In the heated outdoor pool—open Memorial Day through Labor Day—younger kids splash in the 3- to 5-foot waters during beginners' swim lessons, while older kids sluice through the water with instruction on a variety of strokes. Music emanates from classrooms, where a Joffrey Ballet–trained instructor orchestrates youth ballet classes and adults embrace personalized instruction with ballroom-dancing lessons. After any activity, members can soothe exerted muscles with the onsite massage therapist, who calms muscles with one of nine modalities and essential oils infused with lullabies.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country. Enter Kevin and Page Helmick. Kevin and Page's passion for working with children stirred the duo to open their own Little Gym locations in Liberty Township and Mason. Parents of two young boys, Kevin and Page captain a talented staff of childcare professionals and instructors that is as passionate about childhood development as they are. The programs and classes they teach aim to help kids develop skills such as rhythm and coordination, and kids camps during winter, spring, and summer breaks prevent children from creating finger paintings that express the existential ennui they feel when school is out of session. The gym's classes, camps, and childcare programs have earned this location the Best Children's Play award from Cincinnati Family Magazine.
Powered by a custom-built, no-emission technology, single and double go-karts race down straightaways and hug the turns of The Web Extreme Entertainment’s more than 500-foot electric track. Heart rates race in the indoor laser-tag arena, where games unfold on eight upper-level platforms, each with their own open-grid floor. Meanwhile, guests can conquer the pins and pretend to be giants at a Hawaiian-themed miniature-bowling alley replete with six wood-grain synthetic lanes, score monitors, and optional bumpers. More miniaturized fun kicks off at Jurassic Par, a black-lit nine-hole course where guests putt past such prehistoric creatures as a 17-foot-tall apatasaurus and 6-foot-7 disco enthusiast.
At the Winners Café, chefs reenergize visitors with oven-baked dishes such as 100% ground-chuck burgers and cincinnati chili. The Web accommodates groups of up to 600 guests in its spacious party rooms and keeps the fun going until midnight every Friday and Saturday.
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For many years, the scariest thing about golf has been the Sansabelt pants. With today's Groupon, trade gentle golf claps for screams of putting panic: for $15, you get four rounds at Monster Mini Golf in Marietta, a $30 value. Come once by yourself and save the other three passes for when you have the hiccups, or bring three friends and see who has the strongest stomach for fun monster statues.
If you’re like most people, seeing another windmill boringly swooping its blades on a standard miniature golf course makes you secretly long for glow-in-the-dark zombies. Monster Mini Golf has heard those silent screams and created a fright-filled attraction perfect for couples, kids, adults with kids, and adults unafraid of sharing a fun evening with Dracula. Monster Mini Golf’s owners created most of the oversized monsters that stalk their greens and constitute the course’s obstacles. The creatures glow under ample black lights, and range in monstrosity from animated cuddliness to Bella-Lugosity. Kids of all ages are able to appreciate Monster Mini Golf's kitschy post-structuralist take on the play of difference between signifier and signified.
The links consist of 18 holes spread over 12,600 square feet, and the focus of the course is on challenging angles. Monster Mini golf offers just the right level of challenge to entertain both kids and adults. The Marietta branch opens its creaky doors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check Monster Mini Golf's website for upcoming holiday hours.
Monster Mini Golf also offers themed party rooms, such as the Haunted Mansion; a quarter arcade; and traditional arcade challenges, including skee ball and glowing air hockey. Success at these monster-supervised games offers not only personal fulfilment, but also the thrill of having conquered death incarnate. Plus you win prizes. While playing, be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, “W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio),” whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for goofy reasons on the links.
CityVoters name Monster Mini Golf as the best mini golf site in the Atlanta area, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- It’s fun! It’s indoors, so can be played year round! The price is right and staff is very accommodating. – prs0, Cityvoter
- Monster Golf totally rules…The kids had a blast! Good times all around. I’d highly recommend this as an alternate for kiddie birthday parties or a cute, fun date spot. – lee y., Yelp
- The 18 spooky holes surprise golfers with challenges and tricks…They play GREAT music…Hopefully this one lasts! – Amy S., Yelp
Pump It Up's Inflatable Party Zone balloons kids’ excitement with an enormous playspace that welcomes open-play sessions and private parties. Tots 34" and taller run and leap in huge bounce houses, soar down an inflatable slide, and practice for future zero-gravity triathlon events in a bouncy jousting arena and basketball court. Various open-play sessions give kids of all ages free rein to the fun zone while accompanying parents stand by to officiate bounce-house property-line disputes. Pump It Up also boasts myriad celebratory and special-event shindigs, with friendly staffers supervising jumpers, and serving pizza and favors in a vibrant party room.
The instructors at Pendleton Pilates’ four locations teach 125 classes each week, showing students how to elongate and strengthen their muscles on mats, inflatable exercise balls, and the studio’s reformer machines. During each group or private session, instructors customize workouts that use a rotating selection of 500 core-focused movements developed by Joseph Pilates in 1945. Additional classes include sessions in which students use parallel ballet barres while performing Pilates exercises, as well as spinning classes at the Westchester location.
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