Since 1925, shrieks of delight have sounded from the pinnacle of Belmont Park's Giant Dipper Roller Coaster as it inches toward its 73-foot drop. Closer to the ground, the Vertical Plunge drops riders three stories, the Tilt-A-Whirl spins at a furious clip, and the carousel makes its leisurely rounds. Like the waves breaking on the shores of Mission Beach—located just steps from the park—sheet waves generated by FlowRider and FlowBarrel technology carry boarders across a wave pool's padded surface.
No waves find their way into Belmont Park's indoor swimming pool, the Plunge, where an artificial grass deck surrounding the shallow end hosts a bounce house and Slip ‘N Slide. An adjacent arcade returns players to civilization with new and old classics such as Guitar Hero and skeeball. In between rides and games, guests take breaks to snack at Belmont Park's myriad boardwalk eateries or browse the goods of nearby shops.
From the passenger seats of two 2012 Toyota Corollas, Access2Drive Driving School's English- and Spanish-speaking instructors dispense valuable advice about every aspect of four-wheeled transportation. During hands-on lessons, students of all ages take the wheel to practice parallel parking and find a parking space that's not in the middle of a monster-truck arena. Students satisfy the state's pre-licensing mandate with five-hour courses that span topics such as driving within the transportation system and developing appropriate habits and skills. Those who enroll in the school's defensive-driving course get 10% off on any insurance purchased in New York for a period of three years.
With its bright yellow walls speckled with Disney decals and bright stickers, Fun Time Pottery invites artists of all ages and skill levels to work in a cheery, creative atmosphere. During open paint sessions, participants choose a piece of pottery from the overflowing shelves that line the room, using stencils and paints to add their own personal touches to plates, mugs, and figurines. Pottery classes let students delve into the intricacies of clay shaping, with instructors teaching their charges how to bring forth new objects from shapeless lumps of clay, and how much paprika to add to play-doh before it’s edible. After finishing their sculpting, pupils learn how to paint and glaze their works, creating unique keepsakes from start to finish.
As inviting as they are, the low, blue-tinted glow of the overhead bulbs and the rhythmic tunes emanating from live DJs and drummers probably won’t be the first things you notice when walking into Obsession Hookah Lounge. Your senses will most likely home in on the mingling of premium and exotic smoke wafting through the air, conveying the sweet aromas of Caribbean coconut- or lychee-scented tobacco. Like Carmen Miranda's wardrobe, hookahs can be enhanced with undertones of fresh fruit, including orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. Guests relax at the black-and-white lounge as late as 4 a.m. on Saturdays, playing pool and using complimentary WiFi to work on mobile devices.
At Grace Space - Yoga at RDCC, Grace Hernandez leads students through the ancient postures and breathing exercises of Hatha yoga, a style that developed in India more than 2,000 years ago. Grace’s studio is fully matted, meaning students don’t need to bring a mat to class. Along with exposing people to the benefits of yoga, Grace also wants to help her community. Once a month she leads a free class that focuses on a few postures and delves into the anatomy and benefits behind them—all she asks is that attendees bring clothing, canned goods, or monetary donations that Grace then purposes toward causes and groups.
At Joe’s Music & Dance Academy, students of all ages benefit from expert instruction in a variety of instruments and dance styles. Teachers lead private lessons for instruments that range from piano and violin to guitar, bass, drums, voice, and most orchestral instruments. For aspiring Astaires, dance instructors helm programs for students of all ages in disciplines such as ballet, jazz and hip-hop, tap dance, and musical theater. Joe’s also offers students myriad opportunities to collaborate and perform together in the form of music and dance recitals, jazz ensembles, and workshops.