As the top affiliate of the New York Islanders, the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers continue their tear through the 2010-2011 season and their quest for the Atlantic Division crown with a pair of upcoming home game. With the first game, ice enthusiasts can cool their heels with kith and kin and watch team points leader Rhett Rakhshani go toe-to-toe with Springfield’s top-scoring Matt Calvert in the battle for center ice. In the second game, catch goalie Kevin Poulin and his ability to send pucks into the 8th dimension as he tries to stop sneaky Portland winger Mark Mancari. Aside from the hard-hitting ice action, Sound Tiger fanatic families can catch the zany antics of Storm, Bridgeport Sound’s lovable blue tiger mascot.
"That camp changed how I felt about basketball and my future. It was the turning point in my life." That's how Michael Jordan summed up his experience at Five-Star Basketball, the premier hoops camp founded by Howard Garfinkel and Will Klein in 1966. In addition to Jordan, the alumni list is studded with stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and coaches such as Chuck Daly. In total, more than 500 NBA players have come to Five-Star to refine their basketball talent.
Today, Five-Star continues its tradition of elite basketball training for future college and professional basketball players. Open to boys and girls aged 10–18, the camp's coaches teach young players the importance of possessing basketball fundamentals, being in shape, and having a strong head on their shoulders. Players have many opportunities to show off their skills, such as demonstrating a finely tuned crossover dribble during Five-Star's highly competitive pickup games or eating the most orange slices at lunchtime.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.
Since its founding nearly a century ago, the Stamford Jewish Community Center (JCC) has served as a focal point for the local Jewish community and a welcoming educational and fitness center for visitors of all faiths and backgrounds. Here, kids can play in early childhood classes, or learn to swim with youth aquatics lessons in the indoor pool. Forge new friendships with teammates in the JCC's adults softball and basketball leagues, or fill your brain with new knowledge during the center's frequent film festivals and cultural events.
The Rocky Ledge Swimming Association provides a tranquil place to swim, play outdoors, and bond with friends for member families. Set in an 8-acre wooded site, the 343,000-gallon pool ranges from 3 to 12 feet with open space, laps, and two slides. Children and teens ages 5?17 can aquatically spar by joining the association's swim team. After a frolicking in the water, families can play basketball, volleyball, or horseshoes at outdoor courts or set up lunch at the picnic tables. The club also sponsors crafts and Bingo along with parties for kids and adults with live music and swimming under the stars. On weekends, the association offers ping pong tournaments, water balloon toss, and t-shirt tie-dying, and for an additional fee pre-teen parties, scavenger hunts, lobster bake, and an adult splash party with live music.
Any day of the week, hop over to The Sports Place for rollicking barrels of unrefined fun in batting cages, game rooms, full basketball courts, laser-tag zones, and more. The inflatable playground provides kids of any age with space to jump, roll, climb, and dive on anything from an oversized dragon to an appropriately sized mega-slide ($9 all-day admission per person). For additional all-ages fun, swing through The Sports Place's signature GloPutt mini-golf course, a Neotastic, glow-in-the-dark wonderland packed with motorized obstacles that, if dodged correctly, light up the faces and giggleplexes of any child ($7 per round per person). If you're feeling weak-kneed from physical exertion, refuel at The Sports Place's snack bar.