The 88’x184’ Mateflex court inside Benfield Sportscenter is a shape-shifter. One day, it might be a full-size soccer field ready for child or adult leagues. The next, it could be a baseball, field hockey, or lacrosse field. Or maybe it'll be split into several different volleyball and basketball courts, with one corner cordoned off for competitive I-spy tournaments. Whatever the sport, Benfield's staff can set up the indoor arena to meet the athletes' needs. Away from the arena, Benfield Sportscenter encompasses a 1,400-square-foot training area with exercise equipment, as well as a lobby with WiFi and a snack bar.
In addition to open sessions and leagues, the staff teaches a carefully designed child-development program for ages 3 to 5. The curriculum starts with a multi-sport class, then moves on to a tri-sport class, before finally placing kids in single-sport sessions. This encourages children to find their ideal sport, whether it's basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, or lacrosse.
With 24-hour access, aerobic and mixed-martial-arts group classes, and well-appointed facilities, Club One Fitness aims to be the ideal backdrop for any workout routine. The schedule of group exercise classes includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Boxers spar with other members or against the gym's stash of weighted bags during boxing classes for adults and tykes, who learn the pugilistic art in an Olympic-sized ring that, according to the Washington Post, "bears no resemblance to the worn, dingy boxing gyms of Hollywood movies, even though some Gold and Silver Gloves fighters, and a few pros, have trained there."
The staff of personal trainers and athletes show new members the ropes with three complimentary orientation sessions sessions; during the first, staffers talk to new members about their workout history and goals, and show them how to use Life Fitness treadmills, LifeCycle exercise bikes, elliptical cross-trainers, and stair climbers. On the second visit, they explain how to use Hammer Strength and Life Fitness strength-training and toning equipment. On the third and final visit, staffers give members their own personalized workout program, calibrated to help them reach their goals. From there, members can forge their own fitness paths or buddy up with a personal trainer.
Staffed by trained personnel, the bright and roomy childcare center keeps young ones engaged with toys, a big-screen TV, and a PlayStation. After adults catch their own entertainment in the cardio theater, which projects movies as guests decimate calories, they can relax in the sauna, hop into the tanning beds, or shower off sweat and punching-bag tears.
Ballyhooed by both Baltimore magazine and City Paper, Stoneleigh Lanes sets the scene for friendly bowling battles in a retro 16-lane alley. Strikers lace up rented kicks and hurl three-hole balls at 10 ivory duckpins. Sixteen-inch cheesy pizzas hush fifth-frame tummy grumbles, and sudsy pitchers of soda quench postpizza thirsts. The alley's BYOB policy lets bowlers imbibe brews brought from home, clearing out refrigerator space to be used for snowball storage. Handwritten scoring and gravity-feed ball returns enhance the spot’s retro charm.
It's not enough for the inflatable jungle gyms at Marley Bounce Party to cushion kids' bouncing feet; they also have to tickle their imaginations. In one circular bounce house, cushy palm trees and dinosaurs whisk kiddos to the prehistoric tropics. Four turrets surround a castle-style house, where tykes can careen down one of two slides while pretending to flee from a Medieval dragon or a somewhat more intelligent Enlightenment-era dragon, all while three new bouncers keep everyone safe. In addition to its plush playgrounds, Marley Bounce Party offers two party rooms that can host up to 25 kids and their parents, as well as a baby-changing station and cold drinks and juices available for purchase.
Things are a little smaller at Glen Burnie Bowling Center, though the facility itself encompasses 30 lanes and a full-service snack bar, named GB Ducks Cafe. The petite objects in question are the pins and balls themselves. Glen Burnie celebrates the tradition of duckpin bowling, which incorporates lighter pins and smaller, easy-to-throw balls that almost never hatch into dragons. The objects collide during league games and open play. The smaller equipment also accommodates kids, and young bowlers can start playing in leagues as early as four years old. The coaches and instructors who oversee these programs hold certifications from the National Duckpin Youth Association.