Instead of playing lifeguards at the edge of one gigantic ball pit, the founders of HappyNest Play Centers decided to specialize, planning the space to accommodate a range of ages. Recently awarded two Golden Teddies from ParentMap for best indoor play space and birthday party venue, the founders installed a large pit for toddlers and kids up to age 6 in one area and a baby-appropriate pit in another, allowing for safe plunges through the cascading spheres. Separated ball pools are just one example of how the center caters to the development and whimsy of different age groups. Its indoor playground is divided into two separate spaces, one of which elicits giggles from newborns to 18-month-olds with fun foam objects and an activity table. The second is meant for toddlers and kids up to age 6 and features a slide, toy cars, bouncy balls, and other tools for honing basic motor skills. HappyNest Play Centers also has theatrical costumes, crafts, and model trains to engage children's imaginations. Parents have cause to smile, too, while enjoying coffee and nibbles from the snack bar and surfing free WiFi.
Creators Sharon and Edith oversee the duo of recreational zones as part of an effort to encourage community and personal growth in their young visitors. They welcome kids to frolic during open-play sessions and scheduled activities, including story time and art, music, and dance classes. For each private birthday gathering, they decorate a party room in the guest of honor's chosen theme. Past designs have ranged from Dora the Explorer and Super Mario to more general motifs, such as butterflies, trains, and caterpillars that metamorphose into trains with wings. As custom party extras, face painters can color cheeks with glittery pictures, and clowns can make balloon animals for the attendees.
With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 20+ locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
At the Gold's Gym Northwest locations, instructors lead water-aerobics classes within 25-yard salt-purified pools before cooling off in spacious hot tubs. The gyms also boast innovative cardio cinema theaters, where popular films and concession-stand advertisements flicker across massive flat screens as guests peddle away on treadmills and elliptical machines. After lively rounds of racquetball, members can unwind in steam rooms and saunas or sip on replenishing smoothies at the juice bar. During the week, the gyms keep round-the-clock hours.
Coveted by the money-hungry eyes of famous explorers since the seas first bred ships, the mythologized Zen Rock emanates physical empowerment. Today’s Groupon pays homage to the rock’s discovery with five yoga classes at ZenRock Fitness for $30. Feel the inner peace of stoic tranquility given off by the rock’s mystical sedimentary powers as you take yoga classes taught by a rock dressed like a yoga instructor.
On Tashunka Farms’ nine acres, the farm border collie often greets visitors at the gate. This fuzzy welcome is par for the course at the farm and animal refuge, where two spacious arenas hold stables and horsemanship camps. Equestrian training and horse care are the facility’s bread and butter—the dedicated staff recently took in a malnourished mustang named Chance and worked to bring him back to health with food, exercise, baths, and attention. This care also extends to the motley crew of the petting farm, whether it’s to one of the fuzzy lionhead rabbits, soft chinchillas, fire-breathing chickens, or peculiar fainting goats that stiffen and fall over when they’re alarmed or excited.
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