Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
The philosophy at Blank Canvas is that anyone can be an artist with the right materials and a little encouragement. To prove this philosophy, the studio hosts weekly sessions where artists of all experience levels come together to create their own works of art based on an existing painting. Likewise, Blank Canvas encourages kids as young as pre-kindergarten and up to high-school age to follow their artistic impulses by attending classes and camps instead of drawing on the walls or painting the kitchen the wrong shade of mauve.
A guitarist for more than 20 years, instructor Ralph D'Ignazio imparts his knowledge of music theory and plucking techniques to aspirant fret-tappers with one-on-one lessons custom-tailored to each student's tastes and interests. Budding virtuosos of all ages can shred on acoustic, electric, classical, and bass guitars in styles from folk to metal. Atlantis’s warm and inviting environs provide a comfortable and fun atmosphere for fresh fish to dive into the six-string waters.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones can exercise their brains and bodies. Maturing moppets aged 4 months to 3 years glean social and cognitive skills from a parent-child program that helps developing minds learn colors and numbers and helps parents learn to take turns and share. Gymnastics allows energized preschoolers to tumble at their own pace and caters to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Grade-school gymnasts tackle the mat, bar, vault, and beam in classes set to their ability, not age. Dance and cheerleading classes allow the rhythmically inclined to shake and sway and the vocally enthused to yell things other than other people's Social Security numbers.
The Valley Beer Festival titillates taste buds with fermented libations from more than 15 local and international breweries. Guests can tickle their tummies with sips of yanjing beer from China, Holy Grail ale from Britain, and xingu black beer from Brazil. The sweet, full-bodied tastes of a hefeweizen and the light flavoring of a pilsner tiptoe across the tongue like a teenager sneaking in after curfew tiptoes across the bouncy castle in the living room. Guests can enjoy their free tastings as live music swirls through the open air. The 2011 Valley Beer Festival benefits both the Harold Robinson Foundation, an organization that organizes a free summer camp for underprivileged youths, and the Alliance for the Arts, which transports disadvantaged students to local art performances and cultural events.
Apex Fitness shapes the health of partakers through safe and effective supplements and high-quality nutrition products, all manufactured in an FDA-registered facility and delivered to customers' doors. The Apex superfoods fat burn ($26.99 for a 60-capsule bottle) blends acai berry and green tea to help boost weight loss and the Apex Fit performance multivitamin ($15.99 for a 60-capsule bottle) packs a compendium of nutrients for active individuals hoping to bolster a range of athletic abilities, such as pole vaulting while playing the flute. Encourage muscular and immune-system strength with Apex Max L-glutamine ($21.99 for a 10.6 oz. jar) or down the Apex Fit Lite meal-replacement drink in chocolate ($34.99 for a 2 lb. jug) to revel in saved calories and a dinner of chocolate. The shop also stocks ready-made snacks, such as the body-balancing Apex Fit fiber bar in peanut butter ($19.99 for a 12-bar box), and the S'Mores cookie ($18.99 for a 12-bar carton), which supplies both energy and a safer way to sate hiking food cravings than setting up a campfire in the middle of the gym.