Having blossomed into a professional theater company, Theatre Horizon provides opportunities to aspiring directors, actors, producers, and designers during a schedule of year-round productions, including seasonal shows that celebrate the spirit of the holidays. This December, the company provides an escape from blustery winds and pickpocketing snowmen with Voices of Christmas, which spotlights the works of song-crafting legends such as John Lennon, Patty Griffin, Ingrid Michaelson, and others. During each performance, some of Philadelphia's top talents assemble inside the intimate theater to tickle ears with musical nostalgia more comforting than a hug from a giant squid. As an added bonus, the December 11 show includes a post-performance Q & A session, affording guests the chance to stay and chat with the cast and creative team.
At Adventure Aquarium, patrons can not only look at sharks in a tank, but be surrounded by them. The Shark Realm exhibit allows visitors access to a 40-foot shark tunnel that houses over 25 sharks, including nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, and sandbar sharks all within a 550,000-gallon tank. Guests can also visit the Ocean Realm exhibit to watch as the featured 7-foot great hammerhead shark swims through a 760,000-gallon tank.
Of course, Adventure Aquarium also houses a wide variety of marine animals. Their two Nile hippos each weigh in at approximately 3,000 pounds, and their mouths can open up to four feet?enough to swallow most wedding cakes in a single bite. At the aquarium's Hippo Haven, visitors marvel at these hippos as they plunge into the water and swim right up to the glass. The Jules Verne Gallery, meanwhile, houses a Giant Pacific octopus. This cephalopod stretches out eight tentacles, each covered in some 280 suction cups.
Certified boxing coach Alden Washington was born into a family of boxers. His father, in between teaching boxing classes in the US Army and Navy, began coaching him in the pugilistic arts at the age of 10. Alden took to the sport, winning boxing titles in Silver and Golden Gloves competitions, all while earning his black belt in bando, Chinese kenpo, and tae kwon do. In 1980, the consummate athlete began coaching students, conducting classes in kickboxing as well as sprinting and sports conditioning.
At Washington Boxing Academy, Alden combines his extensive title-taking and teaching experience to conduct kickboxing classes for all ages. Amid the professional heavy bags and cushioned floors of his studio, the certified coach infuses kickboxing routines with rounds of creative exercises, including jumping rope, shadowboxing while holding weights, and slamming massive tires with hammers. In personal sessions, he spurs on advanced boxers as they spar in the studio's full-size boxing ring. He also provides students with fundamental self-defense tips, such as how to a catch an oncoming fist mid-punch or halt a flung pie midair.
"Summer experiences for children should be fun, enriching and affordable." That's the overarching philosophy that Greenhill Day Camp runs by, and it's no surprise that it puts children's needs at the top. Connected to the exploration-centric Plymouth Meeting Friends School, the camp builds those experiences for kids each day with educational summertime activities. Camp sessions are grouped both by age and by theme, giving children the chance to choose a preferred camp week?perhaps one based on learning culinary skills or the wonders of science. In between the daily morning assembly and the campers' sleepy evening commutes home, they spend time splashing at the indoor pool, crafting sculptures from recycled finds, and figuring out which counselor might be the one who's cool with a surprise puppy visitor.
The mission to motivate others doesn't stop at Aim High Studio's name. Whether leading sweaty cyclists through a virtual Grand Canyon, stretching limbs in a heated yoga studio, or strengthening hugs with TRX bands, the instructors always strive to help each student meet his or her individual goals. To accomplish this, they maintain small class sizes and offer one-on-one and small-group personal-training sessions. They encourage students to modify their workouts and blend their methods??some classes even combine spinning and yoga. The staff also encourages its guests to meet their fitness goals by assuming a holistic approach via bodywork. Deep-tissue and trigger-point massage therapy joins Thai-yoga bodywork and nutrition counseling on the docket of comprehensive mind and body care.
One gym can hardly contain Master Solomon Brenner's martial-arts expertise, which is why his school—Action Karate—has expanded to 13 different locations. Brenner believes that the martial arts are a lifelong pursuit, so he takes on students aged 3–93.
His classes for kids blend fitness with self-discipline, whereas his classes for adults focus on toning exercises and self-defense. Not all of his classes involve combat; some dedicate entire hours to pure strength training or cool-pose striking. He and his staff also host birthday parties for kids, which include fun martial-arts instruction, games, and a ceremonial slicing of birthday cake with a samurai sword.