Atop the blue padded floors of Master Hwang's Martial Arts, adults and kids as young as four years old learn to focus their energies to execute challenging maneuvers. Leading the pack, expert instructors impart the secrets of judo, Hapkido, and tae kwon do disciplines to boost focus and tone fly-swatting muscles. The karate haven also hosts summer camps and birthday parties that strengthen juvenile bonds.
A diverse collection of mature trees populates Oronoque Country Club's 18-hole course, their sturdy trunks imbuing the 6,575-yard layout with the venerable feel that only comes with age. However, the trees are far from just a cosmetic asset. Whether casting their shadows over straight fairways or using their knotty arms to block corner-cutting drives on the course's five dog-leg holes, the trees play a major role in making the mid-length course both challenging to golfers and attractive to retirement-age squirrels. The course also features two ponds that come into play, including one that creates a forced-carry tee shot on the par 3 third hole. Elsewhere, the club boasts a driving range, a practice green, and a trio of golf instructors that help correct swings and teach visitors to ride bareback on golf carts.
Course at a Glance:
Trek Bicycle Store of Fairfield and Trek Women beam with a brand-new glass and brick visage, behind which bike-handlers preside over an expansive stable of Trek-brand two-wheeled steeds as well as the tools necessary to keep bikes running at full bore. The staff help customers navigate through a maze of hybrids, road-touring, triathlon, and mountain bikes saddled to the specifications of a range of age levels. Shelves buckle under the weight of bicycle pats, accessories, and apparel for male and female cyclists. Headlights dissuade foreign objects from collision, accessory bags keep electronics secure, Bontrager and Pearl Izumi’s leather and gel gloves protect hands, and Capo’s breathable fabric tops keep skin cool during pulse-pounding rides and volcano-jumping stunts. To keep older bikes riding like their newer cousins, the store’s technicians pamper rides with a comprehensive regimen of equipment checks, adjustments, and cleaning in a range of bike tune-ups, ensuring sailing as smooth as a freshly buttered pair of roller skates.
Since 1991, more than 140 students have walked out of American Institute of Tae Kwon Do with a black belt. This signifies mastery of traditional tae kwon do, the martial art on which owners Neale and Erika White focus their classes. Through tae kwon do, they aim to instill humility, self-discipline, and confidence in their students as they strengthen their bodies.
Alisa Bowens can teach the newest of newbies how to salsa—just watch her episode of MTV’s Made for proof. On it, she taught teenage sisters with no dance experience how to salsa, and she does the same for students at her studio, Alisa’s House of Salsa. She teaches the spicy Latin dance to groups, as well as in private lessons, during which she is able to provide even more technique notes and feedback. She also hosts salsa nights at local restaurants and lounges so that her students can practice in a real-life environment.
While sunlight pours through Smart Cycles's window-lined walls, metal spokes gleam and fan out toward multi-textured tires hitched to a coterie of bicycles. For 20 years, the shop has stocked bikes by brands such as Bianchi, Torelli, and Giant. Frames roll across the floor with help from the store's knowledgeable staff members, each of whom calls on their own cycling experience to acquaint customers with their hybrid, mountain, road, BMX and other flavors of two-wheeled transport. Smart Cycles also styles human saddles in handmade Italian bicycles, such as il Massimo, imported from overseas.Racks of accessories such as jerseys, helmets, and locks ensure on- and off-road safety with reflective and knock-resistant materials. Smart Cycles also repairs and tunes up bikes, from simple derailleur adjustments to complete overhauls, and proffers complimentary safety checks to pinpoint any impending problems or motorcycle identity crises.
The expert climbing instructors at CT Rock Gym guide cliff-scalers through the ins and outs of rock climbing and belaying during a 90-minute On Belay! class. Teachers introduce students to climbing equipment, movements and techniques, and the basics of belaying, which involves clambering up overhangs while tethered via rope to a partner. Two automatic belay machines help solo climbers achieve the heights of dynamic duos, and the staff ensures safety by checking each person prior to their belaying foray and leading everyone through typhoon disaster drills. A two-week membership allows patrons to develop their climbing prowess by exploring a bouldering area, which includes a cave, and shimmying up artfully designed rope paths that rotate every 2.5 months—the time it takes to hatch a rhinoceros.