The age-appropriate classes at My Gym Children's Fitness Center helps children develop physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially inside air-conditioned, state-of-the-art facilities. With more than 25 years of experience, My Gym offers structured courses designed to please 6-week-olds bored of dominating family ping-pong tournaments and 13-year-olds in need of some lessons in kinetiquette. Instructors individually coach children and parents through classes that incorporate music, dance, relays, sports, games, special rides, and more.
Back in 1950, when it was still known as the Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Frank Sinatra could be seen in the audience acting like average Joes while enjoying song-and-dance shows and boxing bouts. Throughout the following decades, the entertainment mecca has remained a magnet for famous entertainers. In 1964, when the city of Miami asked famed funnyman and honeymooner Jackie Gleason to move his television variety show from New York to Miami Beach, he relocated in a bang-zoom, declaring “Miami Beach audiences are the greatest in the world,” then muttering under his breath, “and New York audiences smell like Art Carney’s hat.” Rechristened as The Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts in 1987, the theater hosted the best in Broadway shows, dance and classical-music performances, and concerts throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. In 2007, the venue underwent a multimillion-dollar face- and body-lift, adding even more glitz to the sleek columned entrance and the spacious multichandeliered auditorium. Now merged with California’s famed Fillmore chain, the theater has inherited a rich rock ‘n’ roll history to add to its already lofty annals.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Offered in monthly sessions, weekly classes are available for every age from the freshly born sapling to the 5-year-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The one-month membership (a $75 value, plus $60 membership fee) allows you to take one class per week, with makeups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open-gym sessions (contact location for schedule). One Groupon must be purchased for each child, and each child must be accompanied by at least one adult (but more than one adult is welcome).
For students as young as 5, Human Horizons Art School and Gallery is a place to let their artistic flags fly. During oil-painting and drawing classes, instructors work with pupils of all ages and experience levels, whether fostering a fledgling painter or helping more focused students develop cohesive portfolios for magnet programs. Setting up at easels or along the community tables, artists choose the subject matter of each composition.
Sock-footed children scamper around 7,000 square feet of indoor space that, like most office buildings, has specified zones for different age groups ranging from infants through preschoolers. In the back area, older kids strengthen eye-hand coordination with video games such as Madden NFL, while bounce houses help youngsters expend their boundless energy. In the playset area, kids can play house in a pretend kitchen, play train engineer on kid-sized railroads, or play Godzilla by sticking their hands in dollhouse windows. Infants and toddlers wander around a simpler play area near the parents' lounge, where guardians can keep one eye on their kids and the other on a TV or computer screen. At the end of the day, all surfaces are purified by a professional cleaning service with hospital-grade disinfectant.