The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium entreats attendees of all ages to sit back, look up, and gaze upon constellations and other light-based spectacles. Astronomy shows entertain younger audiences during afternoon showings, with summer gems such as Attack of the Space Pirates or Solar System Odyssey. On weekends, the staff caters to older crowds with laser concerts with music from bands such as Coldplay, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd. After the show, guests can stop into a gift shop filled to the brim with science, astronomy, and star charts, along with freeze-dried astronaut foods such as ice cream or apple wedges. With an eye toward community outreach, the Planetarium also hosts group shows and field-trip programs. The crew also regularly tricks stars into attending the third grade by dragging them to schools via the Starlab Portable Planetarium’s inflatable dome.
Starfish Aquatic Club doesn't exist within a single building; rather, it connects a network of pools and veteran instructors with students aged 6 months and older for lessons that develop and hone vital swimming skills. Instruction primarily occurs in private lessons for kids or adults, which feature one-on-one in-water instruction doled out in 20- to 30-minute chunks. Instructors also schedule small-group lessons for kids, focusing on general technique progression with no more than four students at once. Their parent-child class gives caregivers the opportunity to splash around with kids, though all other lessons prohibit moms and dads from being in the pool at the same time to avoid distracting the youths with retro swimwear. Typically, full sessions take place once a week for four weeks. Instructors also hold pay-as-you-go lessons for those who only want a couple of days of instruction.
Following the lead of professional dancer, choreographer, and studio owner Michael Cuomo, the instructors at Premiere Dance Studios teach young dancers ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and a host of other styles while instilling an enduring love of dance. At both the Bridgewater and Flemington locations, parents can watch their kids cut a rug on monitors in the lobby, and their tykes can keep tabs on their own form with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, perfecting ballet leaps or trying to stop their reflections from dancing the "Macarena." As their dance skills improve, students can audition for the Legacy and Dynasty competitive dance troupes, depending on their studio.
At Eldridge Overton Educational Programs, instructors believe it's never too early to prepare kids for college or being taller than you. During educational programs, they target their lessons to each student, concocting individual plans to fill common skill gaps. Every program includes regular assessments and tutoring sessions with a low student-to-teacher ratio to help kids achieve their goals. The programs aim to improve knowledge in reading, math, writing, and test-taking skills while improving concentration and confidence. Summer courses also help students refine skills in a variety of subjects during one week of instruction.
At Tee-riffic Golf Center, things come in twos: there's a two-tiered driving range, a pair of 18-hole miniature golf courses, and ample opportunity to practice toward scribbling more "twos" on the scorecard. A new managerial team recently assumed control of the center, swapping out the old range balls, mats, and dividers for new equipment and upgrading the mini course with new stone and mulch. After clocking out of one of the 80 driving-range stalls or signing mini-golf scorecards with a big red kiss, visitors can amble into the pro shop, where they'll find gear by major golf brands such as Cleveland, Callaway, and Adams.
The founders of Wee Play believe that cognitive development and social interaction are closely intertwined. That?s why they invite parents and children up to 48 months old to engage in constructive play with others at their colorful, kid-oriented studio. Parent-child classes kick off with free recreation, after which groups converge to play on an obstacle course, experiment with musical instruments, and have circle time with studio mascot Mugsy the Dog. In addition to having fun, children learn important concepts such as following directions and taking turns.