With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones can exercise their brains and bodies. Maturing moppets aged 4 months to 3 years glean social and cognitive skills from a parent-child program that helps developing minds learn colors and numbers and helps parents learn to take turns and share. Gymnastics allows energized preschoolers and kindergarteners to tumble at their own pace and caters to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Grade-school gymnasts tackle the mat, bar, vault, and beam in classes divided by ability, not age, and dance classes allow the rhythmically inclined to shake and sway.
Founded in 1884, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach has been around longer than there's been a city of Long Beach. The community center—one of the oldest and largest of its kind—is equipped to handle more than 30,000 people or 18,000 gorillas annually. Besides its six community branches, 25 after-school sites, and five early childcare programs, the YMCA maintains a 230-acre camp area in the Big Bear area. In town, toddlers can attend childcare programs; kids can take martial arts and basketball lessons; teens can develop their leadership skills; adults can sign up for sports classes of their own; and the whole family can enjoy the pool.
Schulein Fit Enterprises' boutique fitness centers keep bodies toned through innovative classes taught by savvy, experienced instructors. Shimmy through women-only Zumba classes at the Athletic Club for Women, which fuse fitness with Latin-inspired dances such as salsa, tango, flamenco, and the Cicero. Rippling abdominals and self-aware biceps begin with BodyRoXX classes at Back Bay Fitness, blending the core methods of spinning, cross training, Pilates, and treadmill trekking to render bodies as chiseled as an ice sculpture of Mount Rushmore. Laguna Health Club offers classes such as beach boot camp, which guides participants through rigorous military-style fitness routines in an environment that promotes both communal support and sandcastle construction.
It used to be that in order to perform acrobatic feats high in the air, you had to run off and join the circus. Now you simply have to run off to Aerial Fitness Orange County, where the circus exists in the form of aerial fitness classes. Here, students learn basic skills on the silks and the trapeze, building strength and flexibility for everyday fitness or in hopes of making it into the studio's performance-level classes. Once they arrive at the top level, they could audition for the performance troupe or test out their new techniques on nearby construction scaffolding.
In a 45,000-square-foot facility, Team OC introduces students to the fundamentals of gymnastics, cheer, dance, and trampoline. They arm them with age-appropriate abilities, ranging from trying out their first somersault to mastering more advanced skills, as well as values such as self-discipline, confidence, and a love of fitness. While these sessions unfold, parents are welcome to watch from an observation area equipped with theater seating, free Wifi, and large plasma-screen monitors.
Equipment: Rogue, Again Faster, Windy, Boon, Twins, Fairtex
Students should bring: Towel and appropriate workout attire
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Pro Tip: Work hard