Kinder-care expert Jeanne Lippincott leads lads and lasses toward futures filled with improved coordination, balance, and creative-thinking skills to the tune of multicultural music. Each 45-minute play date hosts up to 12 children—ages 5 and younger—and their caregivers. As future adults bond and parents comingle, the sessions explore music, movement, and dance through interactive topics ranging from silly songs to bath-time fun to heating-duct installation. Research indicates that exposure to music- and movement-related activities increases IQ, self-discipline, and self-esteem, and classes are continually updated based on observations and results. Packs leave sessions with a CD of music and an age-appropriate instrument—a child's first step toward a lucrative career as a kazoo artist.
Named to the 2010 PGA President's Council on Growing the Game, The Country Club of Oxford's head pro Ricky Hamilton hones the swings of seasoned and nascent golfers alike. Over the course of two private 45-minute lessons (a $65 value each), students learn proper stance and gripping techniques, as well as the precise angle at which to sport a jaunty pom-pommed cap. Using high-tech video equipment, Hamilton helps clients achieve optimal ball-walloping form, fine-tuning misaligned swings, adjusting out-of-whack slices, and redirecting sputtering putts with the patience of a seasoned lemming wrangler. Though private lessons are generally offered Tuesday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., patrons may schedule later appointments if necessary, as well as team up with a buddy for shared sessions. Players should bring their own clubs.
Bead Towne's classes range in price from $10 to $30 and possibly more, depending on supplies; a variety of options are offered for fledgling-finding fumblers and bead-wielding artisans alike. Classes are often created with customer suggestions in mind; request a specific type of class, and Bead Towne will do its best to accommodate you. Past offerings have included earring workshops ($15), pearl rope bracelets ($38), and making swirl beads with polymer clay ($20). Learn the basic skills of jewelry construction from seasoned instructors. Then you can go to town customizing bracelets and rings into towering, hubris-laden stacks of glittering crystals that threaten to buckle the knees of their wearers. The store stocks everything from Czech glass and fire-polished crystals to semi-precious gems and Swarovski crystals, as well as the tools needed to construct accessories for your bridesmaids or your bejeweled boatswain. Classes usually take place on Thursday and Saturday, but if you have a group of three or more who want to take a class together, you can arrange a girl's night out for a Friday night.
Experienced gymnasts twirl and flip at one end of Gymcats Gymnastics’ floor as they train for advanced events. At the other end, toddlers learn introductory rolls and coordination. That’s the studio’s philosophy at a glance: real gymnastics taught in classes designed to suit all students. Kids aged 3–4 learn the basics of tumbling while increasing attention spans, learning social skills, and practicing human pyramids to reach cookie jars. More-seasoned athletes can receive instruction on the vault, bars, balance beam, and floor. After they graduate, students can apply their skills toward other sports or practice to become a part of Gymcats’ competitive teams. The gym also caters to grownups by hosting parents’ nights out on select Fridays and overseeing birthday parties.
Opening doors for 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an exhausting proposition for any doorman, unless he's a robot. That's why Anytime Fitness—having redirected its robot budget into tanning beds, cardio equipment with built-in TVs, and Precor weight machines—installed a keycard-activated security system instead. The electronic guardian keeps gym members secure while admitting them at any time of day or night for their workouts.
During daylight hours, certified instructors incinerate calories with Les Mills–designed group fitness classes or Latin-inspired Zumba dancercise. Personal trainers coach clients in one-on-one sessions, tailoring regimens to each individual's level of fitness, past injuries, or number of tentacles. To relax after workouts, staffed tanning beds stand by to bronze bodies, while water-jet-powered HydroMassage beds blast away tension.
Offering an around-the-clock workout venue for casual calisthenics crackerjacks and veteran muscle architects alike, Fitness Premier provides gymgoers with a vast array of up-to-date equipment. A 2,000-square-foot free-weight area offers plenty of space to perfect squats or run a solo barbell relay, and more than 50 cardio machines cut down on treadmill lines and elliptical queues. Fledgling fitness-seekers are also privy to four sessions of small-group training, which put its students through the bodily wringer in an encouraging communal workout environment that’s infinitely preferable to working out in a colony of hive-minded, man-sized ants.