The two founders of Aquachild Swim School—Scott Launer and Brian Lilburn—came to embrace aquatic education through disparate means. When Scott took his then 2-year-old daughter, Jaya, to swim lessons, he was amazed to see 10-month-old babies floating on their own and began his journey to becoming a youth swim instructor. Brian, who nearly drowned in a backyard pool as a toddler, learned to love the water rather than fear it after his mom enrolled him in swim lessons. Scotty and Brian now share their life-saving knowledge alongside a staff of instructors that are all certified in water safety, first aid, and CPR.
Through Aquachild Swim School’s specially designed lessons, infants as young as 10 months learn to roll from facedown positions to back floats where they can breathe easily, and 1-year-old students begin to swim with their heads down, then twist onto their backs for air. As kids progress, they learn the four major strokes (front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), brush up on the basics to keep them confident, or start snorkeling. The instructors lead adult lessons to help older students learn how to paddle at pool parties or triumphantly retrieve their boss’s golf ball from a green’s lagoon during corporate outings.
The intricately designed, European-style buildings that populate the Buenos Aires cityscape enchanted the eyes of Argentina native Cari Cohen at an early age, inspiring her to earn a degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires. Driven to push the boundaries of architectural innovation, Cari began delving into other creative media to expand her horizons, sparking a newfound fascination with abstract art and jewelry crafting. She has since moved to Miami, where her original paintings have been showcased at events such as Art Basel and Art Miami.
Cari founded The Fun Palette as a way to share her passion for the visual arts with kids and adults, hosting a variety of imagination-spurring classes for students of all skill and experience levels. During the studio's painting sessions, students can closely follow their instructor's step-by-step instructions to create flowing landscapes or abstract pieces or go off the beaten path to compose self-portraits that reimagine the painter as a bowl of fruit.
Miami Exotic Workouts Pole Fitness believes getting fit doesn't require spending hours in a gym and performing monotonous exercises. Through their pole-fitness classes, which range from beginner's to advanced sessions, and their alternative-fitness classes, such as Booty Aerobics and Sexi Flexi, they help ladies burn calories and strengthen muscles without lifting a single weight. That's not to say the studio's workouts aren't challenging. Classes such as Pole Kitten require students to suspend themselves in the air simply with their thigh muscles, and Sexy Chair Fitness & Pole combine a variety of exercises that test students' leg and ab muscles for a full 60 minutes. If the studio and a traditional gym do share one quality, it's the confidence that they instill in their clients. Miami Exotic members come away with a boost in their self-esteem, making it easier for them to confront the banana spider that's taken over their living room.
Squalo Divers, a PADI Five Star Dive Center, works in tandem with top industry brands such as Aqualung, Mares, and GoPro to outfit divers so they can explore underwater ecosystems. Equipment such as tanks, depth gauges and buoyancy-control devices prepares landlubbers for underwater travel without tricking a whale into swallowing them. Alternatively, the shop’s maintenance services can whip older gear into working order before each aqueous adventure.
Taught by certified instructors, Squalo Divers' courses run the gamut of scuba instruction, ranging from basic open-water certification to emergency-responder techniques. Courses incorporate cutting-edge training materials—including dependable gear and online study aids—and are taught in English or Spanish. The scuba center also offers trips to explore local waterways renowned for their extensive array of marine life.
At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.