Steve and Lisa Cooper haven't just vowed to stick together through sickness and health. The recipients of 2010's Ontario Outstanding Young Farmers award have made that pledge to their land, practicing sustainable, eco-friendly farming that yields Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze's wealth of produce. Through their community-supported agriculture program, the Coopers' pair members with weekly baskets of veggies, fruits, and meats such as free-range chicken, hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus-grade beef, and pasture-fed goat and Berkshire pork. Their farm store stocks the same locally produced goods alongside preserves, local honeys, dressings, and cured meats.
Tours of the family-owned farm give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the Coopers’ methods, along with wagon rides that wend through the property and goat and chicken walks that introduce visitors to the livestock. Elsewhere on their grounds, a 10-acre corn maze stymies attempts to navigate its labyrinthine twists, a pumpkin patch overflows with gourds ripe for picking, and horse swings let youngsters mimic galloping on small steeds without having to shrink a real horse in the dryer.
At Airborne Trampoline KW, leapers of all ages defy gravity on the centre's six Olympic-style trampolines. Custom mats and padding surround each trampoline to ensure safe landings. Trampoline coaches certified by Gymnastics Ontario and the NCCP watch over visiting jumpers and recreational classes of students aged 6 through adult as they leap, flip, and twirl through basic moves and advanced tricks. When not leading classes, coaches also host tryouts for an in-house competition team. The centre also provides decorated private rooms and basic catering services for birthday parties, during which children combine the joy of birthdays with the thrill of hugging clouds they've herded indoors.
Katerina Atapina sees no conflict between fun and professionalism. Armed with degrees in both art and education, she designs classes that underpin the exuberant artwork of kids and adults with a firm grasp of colour theory, design principles, and technique. Even high-school students often turn to the school to develop the skills they’ll need to pursue careers in comic-book illustration, animation, and fashion design. Weekly workshops and art classes for adults and children focus on painting, ceramics, watercolours, and sculpture, and summer camps help students beat the heat by painting ice-cold pictures of lemonade or crocheting a ceiling fan.
Whether painted like the red sandstone of natural formations or covered in swirling, abstract colors, Of Rock and Chalk's climbing walls tower up to 37 feet. Classes help newbies learn the basics behind safety ropes, climbing lingo, and what to do if you slip and realize you can fly. Advanced lessons help climbers work out specific difficulties with their form while well-padded bouldering courses help acclimate students to climbing without a harness. Patrons wending their way through every one of the facility's 46 routes can experience a range of challenging climbs.
Zen Bones Yoga's talented instructors school yogis in both heated and unheated introductory, hot flow, and classical Hatha yoga on a weekly Sunday–Thursday schedule. The 60-minute beginners' class introduces students to foundational yoga poses in a welcoming, question-friendly atmosphere. Salute sweat glands during the 75-minute Hot Hatha class, which harnesses the power of out-of-work sunbeams to heat the studio to 35–40 degrees and plies bodies with more challenging asanas. Class structures differ each session and are intimate, candlelit affairs limited to 10 practitioners to reduce the risk of tangled chakras.
In business for 25 years on the same 20-acre property, the experienced trainer at Deerfield Farm teaches individualized introductory riding lessons on a variety of steeds, from schoolmasters to former show horses. Before mounting one of Deerfield Farms' school horses for a half-hour canter, apprentice equestrians spend 30 minutes at the stable-and-horse orientation, familiarizing themselves with their steed's build, temperament, and favourite Jonas brother. Lessons ingrain strong basic riding skills in pupils, emphasizing safe horsemanship and smooth, rhythmic gaits while increasing rider confidence and control. A trainer of introductory-level through Grand Prix riders, Deerfield Farm owner and coach Grant Field customizes each session around particular horses and riders, ensuring successful pairings of hand and hoof. The farm's facility also boasts an 18-stall bank barn, two tack rooms, two outdoor grass rings, and a bouncy castle for pony birthday parties.