The clattering symphony of fallen pins plays on Sylvan Lanes Bowling Center’s 12 gleaming lanes, where competitors hurl resin-based orbs. Here, strike forces assemble for 10-frame mayhem, one-upping one another with stunning spare pickups and graceful pirouettes enabled by their supple-soled rental shoes. On their quest to roll the elusive 300, bowlers can sustain themselves with selections from the menu, such as burgers topped with blue cheese or pizzas adorned with barbecue sauce and chicken. Throughout the alley, plush leather sofas beckon bowlers, and a full-service bar lined with flat-screen TVs keeps guests abreast of contemporaneous sporting events.
Sylvan Lanes also has a private event room that holds over 100 people and can be used for just about any event including birthday parties, family reunions, and showers.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Dance icon Gene Kelly once said, “The history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Since its founding in 1947, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio has continued to turn out dancers with the aid of a pragmatic curriculum that imparts Hollywood–quality footwork. Now taught at more than 140 studios, the curriculum teaches students diverse styles ranging from ballroom to latin to swing and salsa. Stratified by skill level, classes can take students on a journey from rudimentary basics through the foundations of social dance, and then on to more advanced moves, with a trophy system delineating each student’s progress. Dancers of all skill levels and ages can expand their repertoires with group classes, personalized one-on-one instruction, or special wedding dance programs that fortify couples for their first dance as newlyweds.
Zap Zone's eight locations in Michigan and two locations in Canada each feature a unique combination of attractions—anything from bumper cars to the Jump Zone's cushioned obstacle course. In the laser-tag arena, both kids and adults demonstrate their teamwork skills by outscoring opponents in fast-paced games that take place inside black-lit mazes of neon-tinged hallways. Arcades also round out every location's attractions, tempting passersby to drop a few tokens on racing games and skee-ball, or a lot of tokens on the claw game filled with Fabergé eggs.
To the trained staff at Wakeboard Clinic, every watery medium is worth a ride. These acrobatic instructors wakeboard, wakesurf, wakeskate, and waterski across the warm, shallow waters of Silver Lake in summer, and they skim the snow once the temperature drops. With an indefatigable passion for riding, the expert crew imparts their athletic know-how to pupils during clinics at the private Silver Spray Sports Marina on Silver Lake and at Boyne Mountain Resort during overnight camp stints. At these scenic locales, students young and old master wakesurfing basics before graduating to more advanced maneuvers such as jumps, grabs, and spins.
The talented dancers of the Michigan Classic Ballet Company bring The Nutcracker to life for the 22nd year with their elegant, well-trained limbs and precise artistry. Leaping through expressive choreography, the company transforms Tchaikovsky’s famous score into an enchanting escape into the Land of Snow, the Kingdom of Sweets, and the Municipality of Dentistry. The performers’ finesse and grace captivate eyes, while the sugar-powdered plotline piques imaginations young and old. Four special guest artists from the Grand Rapids Ballet lend their acumen to the classic Christmas tale. Quartets can seek refreshments, exchanging their tickets for coffee, pretzels, cookies, and other snacks that don't require the assistance of the ballet's titular appliance.