You'll see a lot of gleeful, childlike expressions on the attractions at Amaze'n Steamboat Family Fun Park, and not just on the faces of children—guests of all ages take delight in the center's family-friendly attractions. Putt under logs, around rocks, and through an old-fashioned mine over 18 holes of miniature golf, or rocket up to 20 feet in the air on the bungee trampoline. Younger kids shake down pans just like in the Wild West at the gemstone panning station, searching for hidden treasures among the ruddy rocks. After getting dirty, visitors can load up massive squirt guns in the giant maze for a super-soaker battle, or take a turn at the basketball station, where the loser gets showered with icy water. For watery fun that seems to defy the laws of physics, climb inside a water walker—the transparent, human-sized orbs let visitors glide across the water without paying steep tuition fees to a local dolphin.
The pool at Ocean First Divers is warmed to 88 degrees to wrap students in a watery safety blanket as they venture out of their element. As a classroom for swimming and scuba-diving lessons, the pool boasts a gradient bottom that deepens in slow increments from 4 to 12 feet. Though Ocean First Divers now trains scores of students in swimming and scuba each year, the dive center was originally founded to advocate for the ocean’s unique ecosystems. The organization was so successful in its mission that it has claimed PADI’s Environmental Achievement Award every year since the prize’s inception. Now, the dive center's creative conservation efforts include group trips to Key Largo, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Galápagos Islands, where students get a firsthand look at why these one-of-a-kind ecosystems are worth protecting, and, alternatively, the detrimental environmental effects of litter left by Charles Darwin.
The Fort Collins Club helps members feel comfortable in their own bodies by turning flabby flesh turtlenecks into slim, tailored skin suits. During the Club's daily group fitness, spinning, and yoga and Pilates mat classes, instructors guide guests on en masse exercise expeditions ranging from heart-pumping stepping exercises to muscle-toning asana sequences. Independent body-tenders can blaze their own calorie-strewn trails on the hardwood floors of hand, racquet, and basketball courts or the 35 feet of wall-crawling terrain on the indoor climbing wall. Family membership holders can also drop their tender progeny off in the Kids' Club so that they don’t gum up the finely tuned machinery with their oversized lollipops and welding torches.
PlanetSwim founder and owner Stephan's life is a timeline of aquatic achievements, containing awards that he won as a competitive swimmer as well as several teaching titles—lifeguard trainer and Red Cross–certified swim instructor among them. At PlanetSwim, Stephan holds his staff to similar standards. Each teacher has a minimum of five years of swim-instruction experience and has also been Red Cross–certified. Together, the team channels its knack for tutelage into swim lessons for children and adults of all ages in indoor, heated pools, including the one in Louisville, which is filled with warm water to encourage students to get in.
PlanetSwim's philosophy centers around personal attention, an element that demands small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere. Whether they are leading a 10-minute lesson for a water-shy toddler or an intermediate course on different strokes, the instructors monitor their pupils closely to ensure both comfort and development of technique.