Rising fog, flashing lights, and thumping techno beats set the scene for the laser-tag battles that unfold between stealthy bands of warriors beneath Laser Kingdom’s black lights. Players suit up in specialized vests, clutching light-emitting weaponry as they enter the field where an overhead scoreboard tracks team scores and the game’s best squeals of surprise when taken out by a well-hidden opponent. Afterward, patrons receive handouts that break down their individual performance that they can pore over to strategize for the next round or ditch in favor of playing one of the onsite arcade games.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build the tot's creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal is valid for rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, mobility-enhancing sports classes, Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn, plus all family classes. The month membership (usually $112, plus a $35 enrollment fee) allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule), and you will receive a $25 discount on Gymboree clothing with a $50 purchase.
A member of a previously undiscovered species known as skateasaurus stakes its territory, tracing figure eights along the rink's hardwood floor. Dressed in blue-and-white shorts and a red trucker hat, the plush, green-and-yellow dinosaur—otherwise known as Skato—eschews eating children, and instead prompts them to shake it all about in rounds of Hokey Pokey. This fun ambiance extends to the rest of United Skates of America's roller rink, surrounded by lime-green walls and manned by a smiling staff.
Pump It Up is a blissfully big space designed to help kids meet their needs for friendship, midair dance moves, and gravity defiance. Parents can watch as their bounce-prone descendants slide, scale, and moonwalk around Pump It Up’s inflatable arena. The party zone draws kids with its promise of afternoon hang time and offers a brief history lesson in its resemblance to King Louis XVI’s famous “jumpy castle.” Kids can bond with one another through the subtle physical fitness that comes with recreational jumping, and they’ll be glad to have a spot to discuss pressing kid-only issues, such as the superiority of the color blue to the color green.
The ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, the Elmira Jackals skated onto the scene in 2000 as a member of the United Hockey League. After a successful seven-year run in the UHL—including a playoff appearance in their very first season—the Jackals moved to the ECHL in 2007–2008, where they've remained since. Although the Jackals are still in hot pursuit of their first Kelly Cup, the team has earned a playoff berth in every season, highlighted by an Eastern Conference regular-season title in 2011–12. Off the ice, the Jackals remain active in the community with efforts led by mascot Blade, who's often spotted mingling with fans at parties, retail stores, and while getting his eyebrows waxed at local spas.
At Clubhouse Fun Center, everything seems to be in motion. Go-karts zip and roar around an outdoor speedway, arcade games spit out streams of tickets, and dimpled balls roll over the greens of two 18-hole mini-golf courses. Visitors join in the commotion by hopping into single, double, or rookie go-karts to race each other or attempt to catch up with their own shadows on a track featuring a double-fly-over bridge. Nearby, the mini-golf courses lure putters with a sparkling cerulean waterfall, a giraffe stretching its neck high into the air, and the pink and purple towers of a lilliputian castle. Before hitting the arcade, guests can refuel with snacks or lunch at the Treehouse Cafe or the Sugar Shack, where they can plan out future birthday parties to take place in treasure-cove- or treehouse-themed rooms.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
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