At the Martier Music Academy, kids can nurture discipline, commitment, and confidence while benefiting from the expert instruction of a professional staff of deft-fingered musicians, such as Joe Grushecky, Pete Hewlett, and the Grammy-nominated percussionist Ron Beitle. Private lessons allow kids between seven and 14 years old to attend weekly half-hour ($100 per month) or one-hour ($180 per month) instructional sessions, and are available for piano, guitar, drums, voice, and performance. Kindermusik classes help boost the development of children ages seven or younger while offering several different programs, including Young Child, designed for kids between five and seven years old ($90 per month for four months).
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
It can be hard to find room for exercise in the busy modern lifestyle, especially when group fitness classes don’t match with one’s schedule. Club One Pittsburgh aims to correct that problem by hosting more than 300 classes a month, or roughly 10.1 classes a day. At their two main locations, they teach 11 varieties of Pilates, nine styles of yoga, and six different spin classes, the latter of which earned a CBS accolade as being the city’s best.
Both of Club One Pittsburgh’s locations are packed with state-of-the-art workout equipment, and the East End location also boasts indoor and outdoor pools and a full spa. Guests also receive complimentary towel service and free parking, a result of the now-canceled Hitting Parking Meters with Baseball Bats exercise course.
Structured workouts are hard to come by at 2 a.m.—except at VYGOR Fitness. The 24-hour gym’s automated Fitness on Request consoles store up to 45 unique workout videos, which can lead athletes through guided workouts to help them meet their fitness goals into the wee hours of the morning. During the day, patrons can work with human fitness experts during group classes in Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and cardio pump, which fuses jogging with pumping well water. More intimate I Inspire sessions, led by certified personal trainers, follow a more flexible curriculum and stay capped at 10 participants to ensure individualized attention.
For solo workouts, gym-goers can use cardio equipment such as Star Trac treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, or StairMaster steppers—ideal for training for on-foot trips to the moon. Alternatively, patrons can build muscle on a comprehensive array of weightlifting machinery. To complement workouts, the studio’s workshops—on topics ranging from nutrition and weight loss to specialty training areas—bolster fitness IQs.
The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts acts as both the patron and the glittering stage for the local arts community, raising awareness of Pittsburgh's visionaries-in-residence with a host of educational programs and exhibitions. Its members scamper freely through galleries stuffed with canvases and sculptures by local artists such as Brian Dean Richmond and Gregory Witt. Prospective Picassos and vicarious Velazquezes, meanwhile, can pour their inner outsider artist into bright and bold Plexiglass prints, hand-hammered metal jewelry, and subtle Chinese brush paintings during a day of three hour-long studio sessions at an Arts Crash Course. If you're still suffering from excess inspiration afterward, burn off the rest before it curdles into images of poker-playing dogs with a $25 member discount to sign up for ongoing classes in watercolor painting, ceramics, and other crafts. Admission to the galleries at local cinema and media center Pittsburgh Filmmakers is also included with your membership benefits, as well as a 10% discount on colorful blown glass vases and funky jewelry in the gift shop and assorted discounts on art supplies at three area stores.