Just north of downtown New Orleans, the family-owned-and-operated Northshore Riding Club encompasses seven picturesque acres of land fully equipped for horse riding, boarding, and grazing. Pony parties turn high birthday hopes into rambunctious reality with interactive equine celebrations. A trained horse whisperer in no way resembling Robert Redford will accompany the pony (or ponies) as the birthday kid and pals groom, pet, and take hand-led rides. Cowhands-in-training can also poke through the stables while learning the ancient secrets of equestrianism. The party concludes with a present gifted to the guest of honor by Northshore's benevolent ponies. Call to reserve a date and time.
Though severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just five months after its debut, Slidell Rocks Climbing Gym rebuilt and reopened just months later and continues to provide the community with opportunities to build up muscular and cardio strength. The climbing center showcases top-rope challenges on walls nearly 40 feet high, as well as lower courses for younger climbers. Two bouldering rooms mimic the lifestyle of ancient arachnid cavemen with rooftop grips and seven hangboards. Between summit attempts, climbers can relax in the concessions area, watching their favorite sports on the televisions and munching on rock candy harvested from an active sugar volcano.
Playmakers Indoor Sports facilitates the frolicking needs of recreationalists with a full menu of soccer, lacrosse, flag football, and paintball in a climate-controlled arena with a turf field. Every weekend, the field sprouts a series of inflatable bunkers for Friday-evening paintball sessions. Intermediate-leveled sharpshooters strap on provided protective gear and the equipment necessary for dappling human canvases with high-speed brushstrokes.
Dedicated to helping people of all ages achieve their fitness goals, the friendly trainers at Gilboy's Health Club equip their clients with everything they need to succeed. In the cardio room, a fleet of treadmills and stationary bikes facilitates sweat-inducing sessions, and weight machines help build lean muscle mass. Health-club mainstays such as spinning and flow-yoga classes are offered alongside Gilboy’s originals such as the leg- and glute-sculpting Rock Bottoms or Pilates blender, a low-impact class that imbues bodies with the flexibility of a warm piece of chewed bubblegum.
Snap Fitness brings its global workout focus to the Crescent City region, motivating fledgling flexers and advanced athletes alike with a personable approach and a plethora of high quality equipment within its facility, which is available to members 24 hours a day. Train for upcoming marathons, 5Ks, or underwater relay races on treadmills or ellipticals. Free weights are ideal for customizing a muscle-building workout, and the cardio TV theater keeps heart-pumpers up-to-date on the latest news or hard-hitting yogurt commercials. Tone limbs and torsos, then work on a beach-ready tan in the center’s tanning beds, imparting luscious glows and accenting pigments with virtual rays and actual shimmer.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.