The trained instructors at Gourmand Cooking School believe in learning by doing, a principle on which their hands-on cooking classes are based. More than 30 classes cover concepts such as basic knife skills and rolling sushi, as well as specific multicourse meals for two that feature indulgences such as mushroom risotto, seared steak with herb butter, and crème brûlée. Each class size is kept small, with about 8–15 students, so that they can enjoy learning a new skill in an intimate and communal environment.
With hundreds of locations throughout the world, Fitness Together contours the global musclescape one individual at a time with customized workouts. Beginning with a body consultation and assessment, clients are classified into different training zones leading to goal-specific programs that help them reach their true fitness potential. During the 45-minute sweat sessions, a trained muscle tutor supervises squats to ensure muscles are properly stretched and showered in both praise and post-perspiring soap. The one-on-one attention allows the trainer to fine-tune movements, tone trouble zones, and push students to keep going when they'd otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Green Flag Driving Experience deals in adrenaline. At its racetrack, novice drivers and advanced rubber burners alike get to feel the heady rush of epinephrine as they reach speeds in excess of 90 mph while manning the cockpit of a racecar. Drivers choose their rides from a fleet of Winged TQ Midgets or a selection of Legends cars, 5/8-scale replicas of autos from the Golden Age of American engineering when men were men and cars were powered by miniature locomotives. Before sliding behind their chosen wheel, each driver goes through an introduction and orientation that cover safety skills and handling basics. Then the Green Flag Driving Experience instructors keep watch as their pupils don provided helmets and suits, buckle up, and hit the pavement. Afterward, the instructors provide a thorough critique that helps the budding Andrettis maneuver with even more finesse on their next time around the track.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
Hot Sand’s studio buzzes with activity as instructors dip pipes into molten glass and then demonstrate how to blow the globs into recognizable shapes. Nearby, other students work on finishing their pieces, refining contours atop wooden blocks and polishing surfaces on a diamond wheel. Hot Sand's glass-blowing artists impart these techniques through basic walk-in experiences and immersive workshops, showing guests how to craft objects such as candy dishes, pumpkin-shaped ornaments, or one-time-use dodgeballs. Welcoming visitors of all ages, Hot Sand earned the distinction as a top kids' destination in New Jersey Monthly's 2012 Jersey Choice awards. The studio also expands the aesthetic tastes of the community through a gallery that showcases original works for sale.