With locales dappled throughout the Southeast and Midwest, the brains behind Workout Anytime funnel more than three decades of fitness-industry expertise into filling their gyms with positive vibes and state-of-the-art equipment. The fitness gurus spread Magnum-brand strength-training machines and cutting-edge treadmills—whose frames can support up to 500 pounds—throughout their hygienic antimicrobial floors. They also provide certified personal trainers, nutritional guidance, and weight-loss plans.
Workout Anytime's doors are open to members 24 hours a day every day of the year, permitting access to public exercise zones and areas that offer tanning and massage sessions. Each gym also strives to cultivate a familial atmosphere with staffers who memorize each guest's name and carve each one's Thanksgiving turkey.
Since 2000, Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp owner David Nash has been fine-tuning his fitness-coaching expertise along with a trained staff. In addition to picking up certifications in health and physical education, nutrition, first aid, and other areas, the certified personal trainer has also honed specialties in athletic performance and the biomechanics of human movement. Rae Stampley, head trainer at the Smyrna location, draws from a background of playing competitive sports and teaching health and physical education and is currently an A.C.E. certified personal trainer.
At Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp, the staff shares its fitness training and nutritional-guidance expertise with students during indoor boot-camp sessions. During classes, students go through a variety of workouts from walking lunges to relay races and partner team pushups.
Roller skating often evokes images of ‘50s-era teens clad in poodle skirts and the black-and-white makeup that was customary at the time. But at both freshly renovated Sparkles Family Fun Centers, roller-skating proves itself as a 21st-century pastime by incorporating contemporary technology. From a DJ who spins family-friendly beats at both locations to the laser-tag zone and black lights that set the Gwinnett rink aglow, modern-day touches pervade each space. The arcades are stuffed with extra helpings of bells and whistles; skee-ball and electronically scored basketball compete for attention with racing video games that re-create famous auto duels or the 1954 Drake Relays. At nearby multistory indoor playgrounds, kids get back to physical recreation, scurrying across bridges and whipping down slick slides.
Rich purple walls and a bar outfitted with a zebra-print façade sounds more like club decor than the decor of a school. For the past 20 years, however, the National Bartending School of Atlanta has put on mixology clinics in just this kind of lounge-style setting. At its six learning stations, teachers train professional bartenders during hands-on certification courses that cover more than 100 drink recipes, as well as eclectic topics such as free pouring or the art of making a cocktail from whatever falls down a waterfall. Alternatively, students can dabble in the art of cocktail creation during two-hour, noncertification courses, which focus on classic drinks such as the cosmo and the margarita.
From the brick-paneled walls and booths lined with dark wooden accents to the seasonal selection of gourmet American cuisine, Blackstone embodies every aspect of the classic steak house. A selection of hearty cuts anchors the menu, whether as solitary 8-ounce cuts of filet mignon, or massive 22-ounce cowboy rib eyes adorned with béarnaise sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster-shaped earrings, and other edible accessories. Guests can also savor a taste of the seas with plates of Atlantic salmon or pan-fried trout. Blackstone's wine list collects more than 35 pours, including 19 by the glass.
Informed by an ever-growing body of developmental research, classes at The Music Class introduce tots to tunes and concepts that boost creativity and listening skills. In Music Pups (a $72 value) courses, children under 4 years of age gleefully sing, dance, and bang away on rudimentary instruments such as the drums or theremin. Four and 5-year-olds learn concepts of tone and rhythm in the Music Cats course (a $77 value), which lets kids experiment with keyboards before defending their dissertations on the narrative redundancies of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Each 45-minute course meets four times in one month-long segment, and includes CDs for parents to play at home to follow up on in-class tutelage. This Groupon may also be used toward The Music Class' ten-week music courses.