Grandmaster Y.K. Kim’s whirlwind life has taken him from Korea to the United States while wearing many hats including author, public speaker, philosopher, entrepreneur, and founder of Martial Arts World. The latter has grown into a family tree of locations spanning four states. At each location, dedicated instructors guide kids and adults through martial-arts classes that aim to instill a sense of confidence, self-discipline, and respect in each and every student. Classes serve as sweat-inducing workouts and an outlet to learn self-defense techniques, which come in handy when you dream your blanket has attacked.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was founded to give those who share the Jewish tradition a communal setting in which to exercise, play, and learn with one another. Between them, the two locations boast full fitness facilities, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. Group exercise classes and a gymnasium aid adults in acquiring fitter bodies, and sports leagues provide a venue for grownups to compete and ceremoniously dump sports drinks on each other. The center also puts on its own full-blown theatrical productions.
The center’s staff tailors certain events to the needs of senior citizens, helping them with exercise regimes such as yoga. Staff members also assist the Senior Nite club in organizing trips to new restaurants or the theater and help pintsize guests by helming a preschool, kids' camps, and extracurricular programs. Staffers can even pick up youngsters from school and ferry them to one of the facilities for afterschool development programs, which, like backyard mazes, are designed by the child’s parents to challenge young ones.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
A one-stop schooling emporium, Spark! fosters left- and right-side brainpower with a sundry slate of award-winning art classes. Under the benevolent guidance of certified and Montessori-trained class masters, kids cultivate fallow imaginations with elementary art classes in drawing, crafting, and cartooning, unearthing their innate artistic prowess and penchant for sketching sharks wearing sunglasses. Beginning and intermediate lessons in drawing edify teens and grownups alongside tutorials in abstract painting, chromatics, and the curative powers of color. Relaxing 90-minute Sip and Sketch classes allow adults, couples, and Renaissance-themed motorcycle gangs to sip on the libation of their choice while leisurely sketching still-life objects and figures. Students hone their sketching skills in a sun-soaked classroom swathed in vibrant shades and sensibly furnished with art-making implements and modular tables.
At CreativiTown Daycare Center, a dedicated teaching staff organizes programs for children as young as 12 months old while working to instill a love for learning and creativity. Educational toys and books fill rows of pintsize shelves, which help to section the open area into themed stations suitable for building with blocks, acting out scenarios with dolls, or discussing the social commentary embedded in cartoons. In addition to exercising mind muscles with reading, math, science, art, and social-studies activities, the teachers supervise active play in a sunny, fenced-in outdoor play area.