During her childhood, Cheryl Brown learned everything she could about horses. She joined the Hacienda Hi-Riders horse drill team and participated in 4-H club meetings before majoring in animal science for her first year at Cal Poly, Pomona and writing Mr. Ed's memoirs. Eventually, Brown's love of animals took a back seat to her love for the arts as she switched gears and graduated with a master's degree in art education, which blossomed into a 15-year career as an art teacher as well as a YMCA instructor and a Girl Scout leader.
At Art and More Day Camp, she aims to excite and enlighten youngsters with an endless array of art classes, outdoor activities, and horseback-riding lessons. The spacious facility, which brims with cats and other four-legged friends, comes outfitted with a fenced-in pool, a bounce house, and foosball tables and welcomes kids as young as 3 for one-hour sessions or half- or full-day camps.
Brown's favorite class, Parent with Young Child Art Time, has adults and their preschoolers joining creative forces as parents learn the stages of development and little ones create and play. More than 17 art classes provide an outlet for mini adults to learn a range of art skills that include the basics of drawing, how to create collages, and the art of papier-mâché-ing a younger sibling's mouth shut. Brown also teaches youngins how to properly ride a horse during private and group lessons, during which she bestows her many years of riding experience.
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Wear something loose and comfortable.
Robert Taylor, owner and head instructor at Robert Taylor's Shudo-Kan Karate, has a simple philosophy on teaching martial arts and fitness: "We make it fun," he says. "We understand each person has a different pace, so we push them at their pace, not the pace of the other person." He carries that style of teaching over into all of his classes, from training kids in the earliest steps of karate to helping adults get fighting-fit with muay thai or Zumba classes. He rounds out the schedule with judo, grappling, and weapons form classes, giving students a complete spectrum of training in martial arts both ancient and modern.
The experienced staff at POWER trains athletes of all ages at three Central Valley locations. Boot camp classes get grown-ups fit with thrice-weekly workouts designed to help them reach fitness goals. Participants bring hand weights to each session, and leave with instructions for at-home workouts for days off. Meanwhile, across padded floors and rows of trampolines, kids and teenagers in cheerleading classes tumble and spring their way to pep-rally mastery. Lead by USASF-certified instructors, each class focuses on team-energizing spirit and nurtures the dedication, commitment, and level of fitness that cheerleading requires. Whether practicing cheers or building human pyramids to astonish archeologists, students learn gymnastics skills that boost both strength and flexibility, readying them for school functions and competitions.
Unlike mud runs before it, the 5K course of the Recon Run is adorned with boot-camp-style obstacles such as piles of tires, muddy trenches, and walls that runners must jump, scramble, and pull themselves over. The military theme comes as no surprise; after all, proceeds from this charity race support the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to injured and ill members of the US Armed Forces and their families. Upon completing the course, successful recruits earn T-shirts, dog tags, and beer that they can enjoy with fellow racers at the finish line.
Brimming behind a curved glass exterior, painstakingly crafted bisque pieces perch on sleek black squares while original drawings and paintings cascade across the light-strewn walls of The Chartreuse Muse. Inside, local artists showcase their pièces de résistance and helm classes in the dynamic space's art school. Sessions for all ages and levels tackle a bevy of media, such as clay, charcoal, and acrylic paints, and inspire students to draw, paint, or create mixed-media collages of their tax-return documents.
Melinda Stevens founded Van Gogh and Vino in order to combine her two passions: painting and teaching. She leads upbeat painting sessions at some of the area's best restaurants to create a relaxing, yet upscale atmosphere for participants to unwind and explore their creative sides. Whether attending as a group or making new friends, students can enjoy the laidback lessons as well as food and drink from that night's host restaurant.