Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The theater at The Screening Room Cinema Cafe bears more of a resemblance to an intimate club than a multiplex, seating its guests at small tables so they can sip on beer and wine during films. The floor-level screen flashes with arthouse cinema, including new indie flicks and cult favorites, as well as classics from cinematic giants such as Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg. In addition to its usual screenings, the café also hosts poetry nights, film festivals, and high-definition broadcasts of sports games recorded by a mascot with a giant camera for a head.
The 12-foot-wide vertical wind tunnel at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving & Interactive Center stretches 20 feet to the ceiling. Inside, it churns with currents of recirculating air—a system that allows its operators to control the wind conditions and temperature regardless of outside weather. Padded walls and floors, as well as trained instructors, keep those inside safe as they're borne aloft by currents of up to 120 miles per hour. Instructors prepare adventurers—who may be as young as 7 years old—for these turbulent conditions during preflight training sessions, during which they divulge flight physics, safety, and communication hand signals. They also encase their visitors in all necessary safety gear, such as helmets, pads, flight suits, and invisible force fields.
A trio of 18-hole miniature-golf courses, more than 60 interactive arcade and ticket-rewarding games, and a teddy-bear factory beckon kids to all of the varied activities at Adventure Landing. Siblings can wager their Monopoly winnings on hitting below par at their choice of lushly landscaped mini-golf greens studded with tunnels and waterfalls, or challenge parents in the arcade. Before fielding slow, medium, and fast baseballs or softballs at Adventure Landing’s seven batting cages, guests can fuel their bat-swinging biceps at the themed snack bar. Creativity also comes into play at the teddy-bear factory, where visitors can make plush friends according to their personal specifications.