Founded in 1973 as a Girl Scout project, the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge first opened inside Jefferson Junior High School with little more than 2,000 square feet of rented space to its name. After a meteoric rise in popularity, the museum moved to its current 54,000-square-foot facility, which brims with more than 20 educational and interactive exhibits designed to help children learn and grow.
Kids and parents can explore a simulated Amazonian rainforest, which reverberates with jungle sounds in air thick and heavy with moisture from the running waterfall. Little tykes become little tycoons in the World of Trains, which features a full-size Norfolk Southern caboose and a hands-on playroom where kids adopt the role of conductor, steering tiny locomotives and apologizing to their peers when their toy train doesn’t arrive on schedule. Otherwise, they can educate themselves on the history of playthings with some of the most impressive and entertaining gizmos from the museum's collection in the Century of Toys exhibit. Static exhibits aren't all the venue has to offer; the staff often organizes events such as performances by storytellers and controlled playtime with live monkeys.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Mobile Tactics Laser Tag transforms its customers' yards into competitive fields. Their staff travels onsite and sets up outdoor bunkers and inflatable cover. Then, they hand out laser-tag equipment to birthday-party guests. Competition starts, and lasers soar invisibly through the air during games such as capture the flag and team elimination.
Bailey Links Golf Course at Cedar Hills' recently redesigned nine-hole course provides a grassy haunt for golfers of all stripes and an emerald training ground for pupils learning at the spike-soled feet of the club's PGA-certified golf guru, Keith McElroy. With a nine-hole round, players can hunt birdies across a player-friendly layout in expedited fashion, freeing up time to read their nine-irons bedtime stories later that night. Duffers can continue their path to on-course mastery at the complex's driving range, where practice balls help players commit new techniques to memory while whispering sage advice such as how to differentiate between expansive sand traps and makeshift nude beaches. Players can loop the links in a peppy golf cart or traverse the fairway chain aboard their trusty footmobile.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones and maturing moppets can exercise their brains and bodies. Visiting youngsters glean social, intellectual, and emotional skills from the facility's professionally developed parent/child program at both facilities. The program features diverse activities in gymnastics, dance, sports, and parent-child yodeling for mountain-echoing communication more effective than a squeal. Kids can enjoy programs in gymnastics that cater to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Each session's hands-on activities keep the indefatigable energy motors of little tikes revving, facilitate bonding, and boost listening skills, attention spans, and confidence. Check the complete class schedule for Knoxville and Farragut to confirm times.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.