The indoor pool at Five Star Aquatics serves as a classroom for swimming lessons. In its 90-degree waters, certified instructors teach students to float, breathe rhythmically, and ultimately grow gills. Besides minting new swimmers, instructors lead classes for competitive and casual athletes, as well as individuals with limited mobility.
Other instructors at Five Star Aquatics teach dry-land classes such as yoga and Zumba. To further enhance vitality, massage therapists welcome clients into a private room for bodywork sessions that relieve aches and restore peace of mind.
In the summer, Captain Don Cartwright migrates from Florida to New Jersey to captain fishing trips off Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays aboard his 35-foot boat, the Bill Chaser. Cartwright, who has a US Coast Guard master's license and more than 20 years of fishing experience, helps groups hook everything from striped bass and bluefish to larger catches such as bluefin tuna and shark.
When you set foot inside Centercourt Athletic Club of Marlboro's players lounge and see its mahogany leather chairs set around flat-screen televisions showing major international tournaments, it's clear the club takes tennis seriously. Here, there are six indoor climate-controlled Rebound Ace courts—easily spotted thanks to indirect halogen lighting—where you can take lessons from USPTA pro and founder Clay Bibbee and his fellow expert instructors.
When tennis players aren't engaged in leagues, private instruction, or casual play, they can use the fitness center's Life Fitness machines, adding the strength to put extra zip on a serve or incite intimidation during pregame flexing. Thanks to each of these amenities, the club boasts certification as a Regional USTA Training Center.
As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garbs 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 ten 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.
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.
Run by an experienced duo of dedicated yogaphiles who have trained under instructors around the globe, Soul Power Yoga leads students of all levels through yoga's vivifying poses and breathing. Eight different class types allow students to choose from a compendium of yogic options suited to different experience levels and fitness goals, from simply building poise and stamina to achieving the bendiness required to fit into the smaller, faster go-karts of the future. Students melt stress in the Relax & Renew classes, focusing on tranquil breathing, and the Power Yoga classes offer three levels of core-building intensity and mind-balancing breathing. The weekly schedule offers classes seven days a week, with classes offered throughout the day to accommodate hectic work schedules and social calendars clogged with semiformal barn dances.