Kids scale rock-climbing walls, fly on ziplines, get messy with arts and crafts, and dive into ball pits at Kids Blvd, where colorful facilities and skilled instructors inspire young brains, hands, and hearts. Summer camps and birthday parties bundle activities into day-long, educational episodes. Enrichment programs, meanwhile, concentrate on special topics including yoga and Zumba sessions designed for little ones. Krafty Korner fosters a love of the arts?and serves as the site of parents' Paint & Wine Nights?and the Tech Lounge features interactive floor projections that kids can dance and play on. For many children and caregivers, though, the favorite Kids Blvd offering is open-gym time, when kids roam free and enjoy as many slides and monkey bars as they want.
The Hybrid Academy of Mixed Martial Arts curriculum caters not just to young and adult martial-arts students, but also to those simply looking for a new approach to get in shape. Instructors teach discipline and self-confidence to kids through martial arts; the same goes for teens, who set goals and learn to be leaders in upper-level classes. There are martial-arts sessions for adults, too, as well as calorie-torching kickboxing classes and boot camp, which combines cardio with strength training, interval training, and cross-training for a full-body workout.
Aspiring zombies and princesses of all ages can drop into Halloween Express for costumes, masks, and accessories. After they have picked out their spooky gear, visitors can comb the aisles for lawn and home decor pieces such as skeletons and tombstones, as well as whimsical dog costumes with themes such as I Dream of Jeannie. Unlike other Halloween stores that are picked up and smashed in the street after the holiday passes, Halloween Express is open all year.
At Shogun Wok, chefs whip up delectable treats from a menu of more than 200 different Chinese dishes, from spicy sichuan chicken to savory scallion pancakes. Diners chow down on plates of tofu and black-bean sauce, savory beef and mushrooms, zesty lemon chicken, and rich morsels of war shu and almond duck. Japanese dishes also abound, including a wide selection of sushi, sashimi, and bento boxes.
While the wait staff totes platefuls of burgers, wings, and pizzas to tables, bands with styles ranging from blues to ska entertain diners on the red-curtained stage at Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse. To keep things spicy, the staff also packs the event calendar with theatrical performances such as circus sideshows, comedic acts, and burlesque dances.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates-inspired workouts, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial-arts sessions, and amp up heart rates to the pulsating soundtracks of Zumba routines. The gyms stockpile futuristic amenities such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated. In addition to spacious cardio and strength-training areas, the Green Brook branch of Gold's Gym boasts an innovative cardio cinema room, where ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary cycles line up before a widescreen playing an ever-changing schedule of popular flicks. The gym's advanced facilities and comprehensive fitness services have been lauded in local publications such as Inside Jersey and Courier News.