At Kids Party Central, gaggles of children bounce upon inflatable fortresses, glide down air-filled slides, and splash around colorful ball pits in a nearly 6,000-square-foot recreation center. Throughout the week, open-play sessions reserve for public use the facility's many attractions, including floatable forts embellished with soccer balls, pirates, and animated pals from movies such as Cars. Like particularly classy kennels, KPC requires all guests to wear socks. The center also suggests that kids don nylon pants for maximum speed on the slides and that they abstain from duds featuring zippers or hooks that may scratch play surfaces. Adults are welcome to play as well, although those found not keeping an eye on their miniature companions will be put in time out.
Aloha Mind Math's certified teachers strive for one goal: to free students from the tyranny of calculators. They’re aided in their fight by the center's Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic (ALOHA) curriculum, a program designed by a panel of mathematics experts to mitigate students’ mind-melting reliance on machine-based calculation. Teachers lead students through weekly after-school classes that increase mental processing abilities through fun, interactive lessons, keeping classes small to ensure all students receive ample attention. Though primarily focused on math, teachers also host reading and writing classes that increase literacy, reducing the chance students will accidentally sign contracts to forever trade their chocolate milk for pieces of chalk.
Horses graze on the hillsides of the 200-acre valley at Shamrock Ranch, and tail-wagging guests enjoy the coastal breeze during long leash walks. Led by trainer Lisa Nava Rhodes, the Shamrock Ranch team cares for pets while practicing training methods that encourage healthy relationships with owners. The team also hosts overnight stays in their climate-controlled kennels or kitty condos, feeding pets with owner-provided food or Shamrock Ranch's own hypoallergenic treats. Top Performance oatmeal shampoo revives coats during grooming services, and dogs can enjoy brush outs and nail trimmings after getting bathed and listening to gossip about neighborhood squirrels.
Today they’re playfully dubbed “The Boot Camp Guys,” but Jaron Eliopoulos and Jeffrey Sears were merely students of kinesiology when they met in 2005. After bonding over a shared passion for fitness, the two began to move toward their current nickname by leading boot camp on the side of personal-training jobs. But when their camp spread to two cities and more than 100 patrons, the amount it takes to overthrow a tyrannical couch potato, Jaron and Jeff could ignore their calling no more and LiveFit Boot Camp was born.
Accountability is the glue that holds campers together at the sessions, which are held at parks all over the region. Jeff and Jaron dream up a new workout each day and turn it over to trainers who not only encourage the clients that attend, but also check in with no-shows to make sure they’re staying on track. Through combinations of sprinting, suspension training, kettlebell moves, and other exercises, the routines keep muscles guessing and attendees engaged.
The Little Gym of Belmont ensconces children in a nurturing, noncompetitive environment conducive to building kid confidence with fitness-focused activities. Youngsters can participate in a jellybean jar of professionally developed classes (a $19.75 value per class) such as gymnastics, dance, karate, and sports skills. Each session is geared toward improving the attention spans, mind and body balance, and motor skills of babbling tots ranging from 10-month-olds to middle-school sages of 12 years. Classes last 45–60 minutes, lavishing small fries in movement, music, learning, and laughter, leaving little darlings with no time to bite the instructor's ankles or write a scathing opinion letter to the New York Times about child ennui. Check out the schedule for a full listing of class times.