Within a vibrant, yellow-and-blue-walled workout space, a fleet of free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers populate the floor. Group workouts take solo regimes a step further, cultivating a sense of community as students perform step aerobics, kickboxing moves, or deeply held yoga poses in a heated studio. Additionally, personal-training sessions allow clients to work with a fitness guru who will custom build a workout that incorporates functional-training tools such as jump ropes, medicine balls, and dip bars, as well as motivating tools such as encouraging words of wisdom and large gentlemen with chainsaws standing behind the treadmills. Guests can drop tots off at the childcare center, which welcomes kids with games, toys, and a television. After workouts, grownups can replenish energy reserves with fresh-fruit smoothies at the adjacent café, where they can also play chess or surf the Internet between weight-lifting sessions. To promote wellness inside and out, they can visit an onsite spa or stop and see the resident chiropractor, who can treat their sports injuries and chronic pain with a range of holistic therapies.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, all three of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,500 square feet of climbable terrain. Walls tower past 40 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that?unlike most of life's?can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
Dance directors Christina Penatello and Ken Hansen have trained underneath champions such as Dancing With the Stars contestant Louis Van Amstel, whose new dance fitness classes, LaBlast, has become a staple of the studio’s schedule. LaBlast classes share schedule space with instruction in cha cha, tango, swing, and other social dances. To sample the studio’s wares, budding dancers can follow in instructors’ rhythmic footsteps during 30-minute introductory sessions, which traverse various modalities with a speed-teaching method. As part of the renowned Fred Astaire franchise, instructors also host social dance parties and choreograph wedding dances for couples who want their first dance to look as effortless as tossing a flaming bouquet.
The indoor-cycling haven boasts a team of motivating trainers dedicated to sculpting participants with challenging, full-body workout classes on the multifitness level RealRyder bikes. Built to imitate bona fide outdoor-cycling apparatuses and effectively easy on your joints, RealRyder bikes steer, turn, and lean with your movements, unlike stationary bikes, which stand around and jealously scoff at sweaty attempts toward betterment.
As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garb race through the GlowBash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow 10 clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.