At White Horse Equestrian, riders earn their spurs during lessons, classes, and outings run by the ranch’s corral of coaches. Students learn horsemanship and riding techniques according to their existing skillset, whether acquiring advanced communication skills or fundamentals, such as where in the saddle to store a pony's sunglasses on cloudy days. Casual visitors can board rented steeds for trail rides, attend themed summer camps, or use the idyllic grounds to host a birthday party featuring games, crafts, and instructional trots.
Many of Marlynna Waller’s young riders begin lessons soft-voiced and shy. But those traits quickly dissipate in the arena. “There has to be constant communication between horse, rider, and instructor,” says Waller of her lessons. The award-winning rider has trained students for a decade and has seen many of them bloom into skilled riders whose confidence extends beyond the arena.
Waller recognizes that every rider comes to her stable with different goals, so she tailors her lessons to the rider’s aspirations: training without stirrups, for instance, helps students strengthen their legs. Gentle trots offer slow-paced relaxation, while jumping offers an unparalleled adrenaline rush. Regardless of the itinerary, Waller strives to foster a safe learning environment where students can decide which area of equestrianism they wish to pursue, be it dressage or carousel operations.
With its hardwood floors and brick walls, Title Boxing Club could be a cozy living room—it weren't for the rows upon rows of punching bags. The fitness center's group workouts focus on boxing and kickboxing; boxing sessions hinge on a series of three-minute bag rounds, and kickboxing sessions cover classic maneuvers, including roundhouses and back kicks. Personal-training sessions offer more one-on-one attention, with workouts tailored to the client's individual needs.
The 6,490-yard course at Wicked Woods Golf Club challenges golfers of all types with rolling tree-lined fairways and ball-gobbling sand traps. Each elevated tee box proffers whimsical views of undulating greens and serene water hazards, and provides peace of mind to sensitive club heads that favor precise placement over crushing drives or explosive putts. A complimentary cart transports twosomes and their clubs to pins or shanked shots more easily than a piggyback ride from a caddy, and keeps muscles well rested for canoodling with the gallery after sinking holes-in-one. Resulting in the utmost of relaxation, weekend rounds cap off long workweeks, and weekday matches utilize fast-rolling greens to get golf balls home before curfew.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
A towering dome dedicated to golf practice looms over The Golf Dome’s multifaceted grounds, serving as the gravitational center of a facility dedicated to recreational golf and baseball practice. Inside the vaulted white roof, golfers stroke drives from one of 34 hitting bays at the indoor, two-tiered driving range, where distance-reading software flashes instant readouts of shot trajectory and the pain inflicted on each practice ball. The dome further facilitates climate-controlled clubbing with a putting and chipping area and Full Swing golf simulators, which allow golfers to play digital recreations of more than 30 of the world’s top courses.
Outside, a scenic, 20-foot waterfall draws players to the 18-hole miniature golf course, where contoured greens run between rocky outcrops, interrupted by water that comes into play on 14 holes. The din of sharply struck line drives echoes throughout the grounds, sonic evidence of the six adjacent batting cages, where players swing at high-arching softballs, baseballs hurled at up to 75 miles per hour, and tiny meteors raining from the sky.