H.Y.P.E.D. stands for Healthier You Persisting Every Day, a nod to the founder's own struggles with her weight before she earned her personal-training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Driven by her battles with maintaining a healthful diet and exercise regimen, she strives to help others achieve their fitness goals, from building muscle tone and lowering cholesterol levels to fitting into their high-school fedora. In her boot-camp classes, she inspires patrons of all fitness levels to get whipped into shape in a positive, supportive atmosphere, free of drill-sergeant-like shouting. She offers further motivation with nutrition counseling and personal-training sessions and urges clients to call her for additional support outside of class.
Playtime Apollo Beach provides a safe environment for children ages 5 and under to work on two vital skills of childhood—socializing with peers and running around. During open-play sessions, toddlers hold free reign over a colorful playroom filled with padded floors and toddler-friendly toys, which let them do everything from jump into a pool of foam noodles to drive a plastic car without worrying about whether a cop will put them to bed. Kids can also join summer-camp sessions in which they play games and participate in art projects with themes such as space, the USA, and the zoo.
At HorseFleet Academy, experienced equestrian Kat Wiggins hones the horseback acumen of riders both new and seasoned during focused, private lessons. Specializing in English–style riding, Wiggins helps beginners of all ages learn the basics of balance and control before they attempt to jump gorges, ford rivers, or lasso another rider’s lasso. More advanced students can display the fruits of their training at local horse shows or attend clinics to learn among expert riders and show judges.
Away from the amusement parks and tourist hotspots Florida is known for, its rivers wind along sandy beaches, wildlife habitats, and lush marshlands. Canoe Outpost's cabin rentals and fleet of kayaks and canoes allow access to these natural attractions, thanks to their steadfast crew which helps paddlers launch into the Little Manatee River. Opportunities to paddle, hike, and arm-wrestle fish pepper the rivers, whose calmer areas allow for cool, refreshing swims.
Far from being an artist possessed, Patty Sisco derives the same benefit from painting as she does from a long bubble bath. "All you are thinking about is your brushstrokes, not your bills," she told the Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch, speaking to the therapeutic value of her classes at Sketch and Sip. These sessions supply students of all backgrounds—including those who have never before lifted a brush—with canvas, tools, and a step-by-step demonstration on how to create their own vibrant masterpieces. As they work, Patty encourages her guests to imbibe drinks they've brought from home and plays serene music to prompt creative flow. She moves throughout the room to offer tips on technique and helps with corrections in case students’ hands slip or they change their minds about adding a goatee to their horse portrait.
Though the classes, which have been featured on NBC's Daytime, are responsible for much of the studio's reputation, Patty also plans other community craft events. Each week on Wacky Wine Glass Wednesday, visitors embellish cups with fetching colors and patterns, and a full-time potter teaches specialty ceramics lessons that result in handmade tableware. Artists can even customize an image for their friends or family to paint during private parties, teaching children to color in SpongeBob SquarePants and encouraging coworkers to bond by sketching each other's staplers.
A round of miniature golf on Ace’s tropical-themed course, complete with waterfalls, streams, ponds, and lush Floridian vegetation, fills afternoons with fairway fun for friends and family (children ages four to 10 are admitted for $4.99, and kids under four get free admission). PGA pros and sand-trap stragglers will enjoy the upscale practice range, with covered swinging areas to protect golfers from weather, as well as stadium lighting for nighttime play and elaborate Field of Dreams fantasies. For harder hitting, baseball batters and softball sluggers step into batting cages, where professional pitching machines can vary speeds from lightning-bolt throws to lackadaisical lobs.