At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.
With a long-standing commitment to women, children, minorities, and social-justice issues and a presence in New Britain for more than a century, the YWCA is more than just a workout facility. Its history is peppered with groundbreaking programs to bolster race relations, achieve women's empowerment through business ventures, and promote children's health by providing access to physical activity. Staff members further the organization's vision with dedication to initiatives to help unemployed community members locate jobs in the area, literacy programs for kids and adults learning English, and an afterschool girls' development program for middle schoolers.
• One month of gym membership with unlimited fitness classes (up to a $34.95 value) • A 30-minute massage from a licensed massage therapist (a $40 value) • A personal training session (a $60 value) • Access to the Champion Skating Rink during all public skate times (approximately 30 held each month; free with membership)
Body Temple Fitness treats the body as something worthy of worship. The studio's team of certified trainers works one-on-one with clients—or leads groups during classes that range from upbeat Zumba to restorative yoga and toning kettlebells. Integrating these fitness approaches with nutritional counseling, the staff helps guests shed pounds, gain muscle, or tone their physiques.
The instructors at H2Owls orchestrate their fun and safe swim lessons in accordance with SwimAmerica, a 10-step curriculum that helps youngsters refine their swimming skills. After beginning with basic swimming fundamentals including leg kicks and arm strokes, instructors move on to more advanced techniques based on each student’s progress. To ensure that students receives their due attention and aren’t just tunas dressed to look like children, the swimming school keeps its class sizes small, with a max of five students per teacher in standard group lessons and a max of three students per teacher in the preschool program.