Inspired by a memorable family activity night with their 7-year-old son, the husband-and-wife team behind Painted Cookies yearns to help kids unleash their creativity on edible cookie palettes. Party planners preroll, cut, and bake 10-inch homemade sugar cookies in shapes that match the theme of the party or home kit. At the party, kids don aprons, sport chef hats, and sprout Salvador Dalí mustaches, then customize their cookies by strewing them with candy toppings and sprinkles and painting them with icing in a variety of colors. Fists shovel smaller cookies into kids' mouths to prevent masterpieces from being consumed before they're finished. At the party's end, each child receives a keepsake photo, and a take-home baggie and bow in which to package his or her treat. Painted Cookies can provide nut-free cookies and toppings by special request. Call ahead to order a take-home kit or begin the party-planning process.
Informed by an ever-growing body of developmental research, classes at The Music Class introduce tots to tunes and concepts that boost creativity and listening skills. In Music Pups (a $72 value) courses, children under 4 years of age gleefully sing, dance, and bang away on rudimentary instruments such as the drums or theremin. Four and 5-year-olds learn concepts of tone and rhythm in the Music Cats course (a $77 value), which lets kids experiment with keyboards before defending their dissertations on the narrative redundancies of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Each 45-minute course meets four times in one month-long segment, and includes CDs for parents to play at home to follow up on in-class tutelage. This Groupon may also be used toward The Music Class' ten-week music courses.
Inside each Sky Zone location, a wall-to-wall half-pipe made entirely of trampolines gives children and adults a venue where they can safely hop, bounce, and somersault to their hearts' content. The vast, taut, springy flooring doesn't end at the walls, but instead the trampolines continue upward to form angles perfect for crawling up, springing off, or sliding down. Visitors can meander along the bounceable terrain in the open trampoline arena, throw themselves into giant foam pits, or sharpen their competitive edges in trampoline-assisted sports such as dodgeball. SkyRobics classes merge gravity-defying fun with fitness during instructor-led workouts that include calisthenics, core exercises, and strength-building aerobics to help guests shed calories without hurting their joints or taking a wrong turn on a treadmill.
Competitive angler Rob Jordan pilots year-round adventures on Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre haven for trophy-winning largemouth and magnum spotted bass. He and groups of passengers embark on guided trips aboard his Triton 21 HP bass boat equipped with Lowrance HDS sonar that spots schools of fish in the depths and shipwrecks' bounties of free plywood. The captain explains the craft's technology and helps his charges reel in squirmy swimmers the old-fashioned way as well. He also provides all rods and gear as well as a digital camera to document catches levitating from the pier.
A motley collection of secure and sanitized play structures dominates each Catch Air location's indoor play arena to sate the lively imaginations of children as well as the safety concerns of their parents. Each of the four locations opens its doors seven days a week to unique lineups of attractions, including three-tiered castles covered in colorful nets and padding, with space shuttles attached to appease every child's love of anachronism. Tykes 12 and younger can wade through ball pits or take to an interactive, light-up dance floor to practice moves before they reach the age when practicing becomes embarrassing. The staff maintain a watchful eye at all times and clean every play structure daily before opening. Staffers also host parties to celebrate birthdays or the end of second-grade finals week.