Gusts of steam blasting out of vents, the eerie black eyes of neon-green aliens, and fiery-mouthed craters set the stage at Outer Zone Laser Tag’s 5,000-square-foot arena. Within this extraterrestrial combat zone, players scurry up a 175-foot ramp system and duck behind columns to avoid enemy fire or any existential crises that crop up when aiming the phaser at a best friend. Flickering of strobe lights and swirls of fog hamper vision as players crawl through tunnels and aim their lasers at opponents’ LED-lit vests, hoping for direct hits and big points. Before each session, groups learn the game rules in a briefing room and gear up with the help of a zone commander in the vesting room. Outer Zone Laser Tag also welcomes birthday parties, inviting celebrants to shimmy on a dance floor after taking down enemies in the arena.
Since its establishment in 1986, The National Museum of Dance has been charming guests through live performance, video installations, and archival displays. Aside from receiving free admission for the entire year, all card-carrying members get access to reduced admission to the museum's special events, 10% off all purchases in the gift shop, two guest passes, and issues of Foot Notes — the museum's semi-annual newsletter. Current exhibits include a tribute to Michael Jackson, a gallery of costumes from television's Dancing with the Stars, and a curiously creative display of postal stamps highlighting dance styles from around the world.
At The Lazy Horse Equine Center & Hannanna Stables, steeds trot around the sandy footing of an indoor arena, two 60-foot round pens, and a sprawling outdoor space. During private and group lessons, instructors tailor the curriculum to individuals' experience levels, zeroing in on the basics of Western or English riding styles or expounding on advanced skills such as barrel racing or jumping. The center's staff also pioneers expeditions on nearby trails and boards horses in stalls spacious enough to accommodate their antique armoires filled with oats.:m]]
At grassy ranches and farms throughout eastern New York, Jennifer Breslin leads lessons and training programs in several riding disciplines. Breslin began riding as a young girl, competing in hunter and equitation rings while also working for a local trainer. While working with the horses there, she helped them to grow comfortable with the demands of cattle ranchers. She showed them the sharp turns required to chase down individual cows, how to fetch the newspaper each morning, and even drove herds of 30 or more into their proper pens. In her college years, Breslin competed in eventing and dressage while also galloping racehorses. Her students regularly compete in A-Circuit shows, and her horses enjoy the variety of the lessons, which provide them with plenty of exercise and a reason to go shopping for new horse outfits.
Schauber Stables, LLC is more than just a riding facility—it's the home to a cadre of rescue animals. Throughout the verdant, sprawling grounds, horses, ponies, and goats that have been given a second chance caper and gallop to the delight of onlookers. Visitors to the family-friendly establishment can learn how to ride atop a seasoned horse during lessons taught by veteran trainers or tour the farm during a field trip, where they'll learn about the animals' backgrounds from the staff and the horses' journal entries.
For more than 70 years, the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium has showcased innovations from the frontiers of science, technology, engineering, and math for curious minds of all ages. A full calendar of exhibits and live demonstrations facilitates understanding of science fundamentals, introduces visitors to new gadgets, and unearths complex equations mapping Einstein's hairdo from the vast archive of documents and photos. Enacting the museum's mission to provide experiential learning, the interactive exhibit Power Hour engages hands to reveal the earth's invisible forces and drops jaws with inventions such as the bridge of fire, and investigators of all ages conduct lively experiments in the Fetch! Lab, where the scientific method––much like Bob Barker––is kept alive by a vibrant game-show setting. The planetarium pinpoints 8,500 stars and 24 constellations with one of only 12 GOTO Star Machines in the nation, augmenting mechanical illumination with human insight during seasonal sky tours and humorous stories from the Cowboy Astronomer.
Music industry veterans Stan Denis and Paul Benedetti, both fathers of ambitious child musicians, spent years commiserating about the dismal, calcified state of music education. Deciding to do something about it, the two founded Rock School Music, determined to mix the principles of classical pedagogy with a heavy dose of kid-directed originality. Rather than focusing on scales and hoary old etudes, their instructors encourage students to bring in music they actually enjoy listening to, helping aspiring rockers play their favorite songs and recommending technical drills that directly improve their ability to play the studied piece.
In addition to private lessons, the studio's Rock School program arranges young jammers into bands based on their skill levels, before giving them a weekend practice space and sponsoring regular rock concerts for friends and family. Rock School Music’s studio, furnished with plush leather chairs and a wood-paneled front desk, inspires visitors to pursue their musical dreams with its framed band posters and fern plants that resemble Slash.