Saunter up to Kiwanis Park Batting Range and use the 20 tokens toward a variety of machines and cages, designed for baseballers of all skill levels. Ten lighted cages and eight cages that contain dual pitching machines provide multifaceted ball-whacking delight. Many machines can heave stitched spheres at speeds ranging from 30–75 m.p.h from 45 feet. Six slow pitch softball machines check larger targets, while a T-ball area is available for youngsters unable to face the wrath of the regular cages. Bats and helmets are available for use, and the only age requirement is that batters be able to hold and swing a bat without assistance (click here for the full list of rules). In between bat-based bashes, swing by the general concession area to snag some refueling soda, candy, or other energy titillating snack.
The idea for Waterworks on Wheels blossomed in the backyards of the East Valley. Founder Janice Jaicks traveled from home to home, guiding children's swimming strokes inside their own pools. Soon, the demand for her lessons required her to hire more instructors, and in addition to her summer house calls, Janice set up shop at four health clubs for year-round classes.
Today she and her team acquaint children aged 10 months?10 years with the water through a mix of patience, kindness, and know-how. The instructors seamlessly combine safety with fun, and though they specialize in teaching preschoolers and first-time swimmers, they can engage kids of all skill levels with more advanced aquatic exercises and even have a program to boost the competitive skills of adults. By maintaining a small student-to-teacher ratio, they focus on enhancing each person's aptitude regardless of prior years spent land-locked or recent hours spent swallowing helium.
Owned and operated by veteran competitive swimmer David Tait, Evo Swim School leads fun, structured classes that tutor young pupils in the watery arts. The classes start swimmers at a young age, introducing babes as young as 9 months to the water, and range up to lessons in advanced strokes that prep 12-year-olds for competitive swimming. The school sets parents' minds at ease with low student-to-teacher ratios; entry level and intermediate classes have one instructor in the pool for every four students.
During classes, parents are free to relax in the WiFi-enabled waiting room, where pool-overlooking windows provide an easy way to keep an eye on paddling young'uns. A kids' play area is also on hand to keep water-shy siblings and rust-prone sibling bots occupied while their amphibious brethren frolic in the water.
Thirty minutes, once a week. That's all it takes at Hubbard Family Swim School for a young child to master breath control, find their buoyancy, and backstroke straight into the world of swimming. Classes are broken into eight swimming levels, beginning when children are only 2 months old. In Baby Splash, instructors and parents both enter the pool, where they help little ones build a confidence in water. Beginning at age 3, students can dive into more difficult classes such as Jellyfish and Lobster, so named for the ocean species with the most Olympic gold medals. Masterful strokes can take kids into Hubbard Family Swim School's recreational teams, which compete during the summer.
Of course, the aquatic lesson plans are only as good as the instructors themselves, and Hubbard Family Swim School boasts an expert faculty at its locations in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa. Each of these swim instructors gets ample hands-on training and continuing-education courses throughout the year. Floating atop this sea of talent are Bob and Kathy Hubbard, the company's founders. Both grew up as active swimmers, and they made sure that each of their eight kids learned to swim at a young age—something that led to countless hours of boating, swimming, and snorkeling. Hubbard Family Swim School is the manifestation of their two loves: family and swimming.
Aqua-Tots Swim School trains and encourages swimmers in the art of buoyancy through its array of services, specializing in instructing those aged 6 months–12 years in small groups. Instructors boast national certification, completing 32 hours in the company’s Lessons for Life training program and successfully completing the Water Safety Instructor exam.
Children are placed in one of eight class levels, from Tadpoles (6 months–18 months), which acquaints infants with the pool, to Stingrays, which is for children who have more experience and want to refine their strokes and one day sting a jellyfish. Each individual class contains no more than four students training under the watchful eye of the instructor in a climate-controlled indoor pool. In addition to the children’s program, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools also leads adult swim classes and provides training for both swim competition and first aid.
John Flanders and Jeff Varner founded the Academy of Scuba to bring the magic of diving to the arid lands of the Southwest. They employ a team of PADI-certified instructors, who lead courses ranging from beginner and advanced open-water certification to more in-depth programs such as master diver, deep diver, underwater video and photography specialists, and professional shark imitator. Once certified, divers can stretch their new sea legs on diving excursions to exotic locales such as Belize, Mexico, and Bonaire through the academy’s partner and affiliate companies. Both of the Academy's locations rent, repair, and sell high-quality gear from reputable brands such as Sea Dive, Amphibious Outfitters, and H2Odyssey.