In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities. Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine .
Ribbons of sunlight stream through the dense jungle canopy as you trudge atop the soggy soil. You brush away beads of sweat and inhale the thick, humid air that seems to radiate from the surrounding foliage. In the distance, a monkey shrieks, but nearby, something else catches your ear?the infectious melody of childish giggles. At Safari Champ, socked explorers bound through similar scenes seven days a week, toeing the line between imagination and reality while crawling through tubes, climbing up ropes, and soaring down slides. Parents are invited to join their cubs during indoor quests or enjoy some hard-earned free time by taking advantage of the facility's daycare options. Snacks, including pizza, ice cream, and lattes, are also available inside Safari Champ, which also swings open its bamboo doors to birthday parties throughout the year.
A local beacon of all-ages athletics, Austin Sports Arena provides the headquarters for adult and youth roller hockey leagues and offers sports and roller skating parties for kids of all ages. Between games, athletes can hit up the concession stand or gobble pixelated power pellets at a mini arcade. Those soaring beneath the skating rink's rotating gobos can bring their own skates or rent a high-end pair as onlookers skate across the Internet by taking advantage of the center’s free WiFi.
A Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, the Round Rock Express's players bat, slide, steal, and knock spherical things out of Dell Diamond. Managed by former pitcher and major league first base coach Marc Bombard, the team receives its silent hand signals and coaching from former major league pitcher Burt Hooton, minor league veteran Keith Bodie, and star of Major League: Back to the Minors Scott Bakula. The Pacific Coast League power beat the Nashville Sounds to clinch the American Conference finals in 2006. Win or lose, the fun of just watching the game will be celebrated with a round of fireworks.
Led by veteran United States Marine Eric Hulin, Texas Self Defense's team of instructors draws upon firsthand firearm knowledge to ensure students understand the responsibility of gun ownership. Divided into 50-minute segments and 10-minute breaks, Eric's one-day, 10-hour concealed handgun course entertainingly covers Texas's gun laws and gun safety. He also imbues first-time shooters with the basics of safely loading, aiming, and discharging a firearm. After the instructional classroom portion and a written test, the course breaks for lunch and then resumes at a local gun range, where students complete the shooting portion of the class.
Along with his main course, Eric teaches a four- and 10-hour renewal class and on-location sessions for groups of three or more. Once they complete Eric's course, eligible students can follow the remaining steps for obtaining their concealed handgun license.
In a 2,400 square foot, bare-bones gym affectionately known as The Box, CrossFit coaches inspire fitness enthusiasts and beginners alike, helping to shed weight and tone muscles. They use a daily workout that focuses on constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements, designed to get even the laziest muscle group working while changing the routine each session to avoid the boredom of repetition. One session could feature air squats and sprints, while the next could be filled with tossing medicine balls, swinging from gymnastics rings, jumping on an off plyometric boxes, and exhaling forcefully enough to levitate off the ground.