Even the most optimistic of optimists knows that natural disasters happen. Whether it's due to extreme weather or fire-breathing lizards, all the amenities of modern civilization could quickly crumble, leaving humans to rely on their wit, grit, and determination to survive. Like a grown-up version of the boys and girls scouts, Mountain Scout Survival School instills students with the skills to endure and prepare for the worst of scenarios without succumbing to disaster-movie panic.
The school is led by founder Shane "White Feather" Hobel, who has nature in his nature. Connected to the earth though his Native American heritage, Hobel's outdoor expertise has earned raves from the New York Times and has been chronicled on the National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers. During his courses—held in Central Park—Shane teaches his students outdoor practicality, including building ropes, hunting and foraging, and surviving the predators of the wild, such as traveling salesmen. For more personalized preparation, Shane journeys to his clients' homes and offices to devise evacuation plans, which may include forging an escape rope out of the pages of a Dilbert desk calendar.
New Windsor Music Academy shakes, rattles, and rolls with lessons for aspiring musicians as young as 3 years old, depending on the instrument of choice. Backed by a master's degree in music performance from Yale, owner Mike Benninger has built a team of equally polished instructors. The canopy of their collective knowledge stretches over several instruments, including guitar, drums and voice, and genres that include rock, blues, and classical. With all that education and experience, Mike and his staff recognize that not every method of teaching works for every student, so they bend and mold every session according to each student's goals.
At the seven Motorcycle Safety School locations throughout the state, founder Diane Howells leads DMV-certified instructors to teach motorcyclists how to become safe, defensive sharers of the road. Since its establishment in 1999, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has offered programs suited to every level of rider, from complete beginners, who might start out in an Intro to Motorcycle class, to seasoned road warriors, who might take a refresher course on Defensive Driving. The school's commitment to safety has earned it coverage from such media outlets as the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
Bailiwick Ranch & Discovery Zoo introduces visitors to exotic animals from around the world including camels, alligators, and Titan, a bengal tiger. Those who want to learn more can pair their trip with one of the educational shows offered daily at the zoo, or even have the animals come to them?certain zoo residents are available to travel for special events.
Over on the ranch side, kids can get up close and personal with a more domestic animal during horseback-riding lessons at the onsite equestrian center. After a few basic horsemanship lessons, students aged 7 and older can take part in trail rides around the ranch. The rides last anywhere from 30 minutes to a full day and traverse the nearby woods, mountains, and waterfalls of the Hudson Valley.
The Rostran Art School helps children and post-adolescents enrich their lives through the creative outlets of painting and drawing, with after-school classes that fit into the busy lives of proto-adults. The littlest color-slingers can experience art for the first time with the supervision of an accompanying parent in one-hour toddler class. Kid-safe mixed media and kid-centric instruction encourage children to explore the world of visual self-expression through clay, paint, and markers. Along with the supervision and support of a loving disciplinarian, each instructor nurtures the child’s natural drive for making things and aims to stoke their embers of creativity into a lifelong inferno of creation.
National Golfworx's driving range spills out across a rolling verdant horizon, a picturesque scene punctuated by golfers whacking their way through practice rounds. Two buckets, each containing 90 balls, arm golfers with ample ammunition for sending dimple-faced orbs on long flights or attempting to hit tin ducks at the course's shooting gallery. Select from 45 hitting spots and a wide range of yardages to perfect techniques with multiple clubs and angles. Lighted tee boxes accommodate nighttime drivers, removing the need for cumbersome headlamps or glow-in-the-dark putters.