With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Ever since the first bowling alley opened, players have paid for their chance to roll. But every Friday night from 9?11 p.m., Villa Lanes LLC flips the script. During the alley's "orange pin night," staff hides prize-winning pins throughout its 20 lanes, and any bowler who rolls a strike on sets with the colored pins wins themselves a handful of cash.
Of course, winning some extra dough isn't the only thing that's kept players swarming to Villa Lanes. Neon hues cast their luminescence over the alley during weekend cosmic bowls, while frequent league and tournament games up the competitive ante. In addition to a 105-seat banquet hall, the center cordons off four lanes in a private suite for events such as birthday parties and gatherings of pirates relearning the game with their hook hands. After the final frame, guests can play rounds of skeeball and air hockey in the arcade or nab a table at Molly's Place, which specializes in American and Mexican classics.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Artist Mike Buszuwski wanted to create “an inspirational place for kids to come and explore art.” Thus, Painting Fun Spot was born. He and his artistic staff equip artists of all ages with all the necessary supplies—nontoxic, USA-made plaster pieces, paints, sealants, and paintball guns—to create colorful sculptures in a relaxed, kid-friendly studio complete with booster seats and pint-sized aprons. Vibrant walls and an undersea mural inspire creativity during studio time, summer camps, and parties and help budding artists bestow blank plaster canvases with hand-painted masterpieces.
Painting Fun Spot also hosts painting fun art classes, during which instructor Tonya Warnke Buszuwski, a professional artist with works in collections throughout the U.S., instructs adults in the finer points of pigment placement. She leads students step by step through a selected canvas work, capturing the tranquility of an impressionistic Tuscan countryside, the bold hues of a cross, or a trio of tulips playing poker with a basset hound.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Stepping into the Roller Dome Skate Center is like traveling back in time to the 1950s. The two retro rinks on the north and south side of town are still run by original owner Marg Wall—now in her 90s—who is proud to say that the centers' gleaming floors and '50s decor still draw skaters of all ages. But some things have changed. Amid modern amenities including with air conditioning, advanced sound systems, and lighting, skaters can enjoy turns round the rinks during open-skating sessions and special events, such as birthday parties and family nights. The seasoned instructors teach newbies how to skate during group lessons, and in speed-skating sessions, skaters learn how to quickly race around the track, practicing avoiding banana peels left by gorillas in go-karts. Both centers also offer on-site pro shops, where guests can outfit their skates with colorful wheels and skate bags.