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The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
15 Cross St.
Bayville Adventure Park stretches across land rumored to have been passed down by the pirate patriarch of the Bay family. Here, visitors can capture the Bays’ adventurous spirit by immersing themselves in adrenaline-pumping explorations. Attractions include the Mystery Funhouse, the Bungee Bounce Dome, and the Lost Temple of the Forgotten Maze, which showcases ancient artifacts such as ceremonial daggers, painted skulls, and the widely unpopular square wheel. Visitors also can attempt to scale an indoor rock wall and earn redemption prizes at the arcade, whose $500,000 worth of games include skee-ball and air hockey. To reenergize between activities, guests can stop by one of three onsite restaurants for hot dogs, pasta, or, if they’re old enough, a glass of beer or wine.
8 Bayville Ave.
Jenks Productions has been handling the nuts and bolts of consumer trade shows for 33 years. Partnering with local and national businesses, Jenks specializes in home, bridal, and pet shows, which fill sprawling spaces with vendors eager to share their wares and visitors looking for inspiration. The services that Jenks Productions provides are extensive, as the team can do everything from onsite event management and budget planning to marketing efforts such as developing newsletters, logos, and jingles that rhyme the words “impending nuptials.”
198 Central Ave.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
510 Larkfield Rd.
Helmed by United States Coast Guard captains, Western Sound Charter’s premium boats can just as easily jaunt through Long Island Sound to the Statue of Liberty as they can wend their way along fishing routes replete with striped bass. The fleet encompasses six boat styles, which range from a 25-foot hardtop to a child-safe sightseeing and fishing vessel, whose floodlights can illuminate night expeditions and easily stand up to the bullying of pompous lighthouses. The company can accommodate parties of up to 100, and an advanced pairing service matches each client to an activity-appropriate boat.
75 Hudson Park Rd.
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