Though severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just five months after its debut, Slidell Rocks Climbing Gym rebuilt and reopened just months later and continues to provide the community with opportunities to build up muscular and cardio strength. The climbing center showcases top-rope challenges on walls nearly 40 feet high, as well as lower courses for younger climbers. Two bouldering rooms mimic the lifestyle of ancient arachnid cavemen with rooftop grips and seven hangboards. Between summit attempts, climbers can relax in the concessions area, watching their favorite sports on the televisions and munching on rock candy harvested from an active sugar volcano.
Amid the high-tech environs of a climate-controlled arena with a turf field, Playmakers Indoor Sports facilitates the frolicking needs of recreationalists with a full menu of soccer, lacrosse, flag football, and paintball. Throughout the year, members of various skill levels unite at the enclosed facility for leagues and pickup games, eliminating alfresco annoyances such as bad weather and verbally abusive seagulls. Every Friday night, the Northshore location's field sprouts a series of inflatable bunkers for paintball sessions, during which sharpshooters strap on provided protective gear and the equipment necessary for dappling human canvases with high-speed brushstrokes. Staffers further enlighten budding athletes during sports camps and kids' programs, and the facility can be rented out for private parties.
At Baker Range, Inc. cups of freshly brewed coffee accompany rented firearms and shooting lessons. Former Airborne Infantry Lieutenant of the 82nd Airborne Division and longtime lawman Gordon Hutchinson leads private lessons, where he dispenses tips on technique and safety. Instructor Shael Stringer heads up the range's security-training department. Required by the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners, his training classes have steadied the hands or prehensile feet of thousands of security guards.
When faced with time off after graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University, Maggie DiMaggio took to baking cake after cake in her own kitchen. Seeing the potential in her baked treats, she soon began taking weekly pilgrimages to the Mandeville farmers' market to sell her cupcakes and fine breads. As the popularity of her creations grew, the special orders began pouring in—so many, in fact, that she had to open a storefront just to manage the demand.
That storefront soon evolved from its humble beginnings into The Chocolate Vine, a European-style bakery that also houses an intimate café. To foster a cozy, inviting atmosphere, Maggie furnishes the small eatery with tables and chairs from local antique stores and regularly applies a fresh coat of buttercream icing to the walls. When not crafting almond-, strawberry-, and chocolate-infused cakes , she cooks light lunches with fruits and vegetables from a local produce stand. Maggie also graciously opens up her wine cellar for regular tastings, during which guests sip on eight glasses of her finest reserves.
Dedicated to helping people of all ages achieve their fitness goals, the friendly trainers at Gilboy's Health Club equip their clients with everything they need to succeed. In the cardio room, a fleet of treadmills and stationary bikes facilitates sweat-inducing sessions, and weight machines help build lean muscle mass. Health-club mainstays such as spinning and flow-yoga classes are offered alongside Gilboy’s originals such as the leg- and glute-sculpting Rock Bottoms or Pilates blender, a low-impact class that imbues bodies with the flexibility of a warm piece of chewed bubblegum.
Situated on the lush tree-lined waterfront of City Park Lake, Ocean Water Beach Rentals' fleet of eco-friendly watercrafts carries visitors on casual aquatic voyages. Yellow and blue pedal boats take couples on human-powered trips into the tranquil waters, while single-person vessels such as eight-foot kayaks coast alongside lakefront houses, hovering birds, and extremely lost treasure ships. The aqua aficionados welcome boaters from March through November.