Some people never use their brain to its full potential, whereas others stretch their brain far beyond its potential—and try to take over the world. At Power Brain Training Center, certified brain-education trainers fuse traditional Asian mind-body practices with the principles of neuroscience to create a curriculum that teaches adults and children how to properly manage the power of their brains. The center utilizes its own five steps of brain education to help people reduce stress, improve concentration, lose weight, and have those long-awaited telepathic conversations with their pets. The trainers use a combination of physical exercise to amp up blood circulation and mental-fitness exercises to help the brain become more adaptable. Mindful breathing and confidence-building exercises work to release negative emotions and refresh the brain. Finally, the trainers teach their pupils to implement the principles of their training in daily life to help students master and control their brain's potential for good.
A father's hand shakes as he passes the car keys to his fresh-faced teen; the metaphorical and literal roads ahead are full of potential danger and driving hazards. America’s Driving School understands this fear and assuages it with guidance from a team of certified instructors whose stints at the company range from seven years to three decades. These instructors—who studied under the expert eye of a Master Trainer and underwent a thorough background check before earning their wheels—ensure a hands-on educational experience that helps new drivers reach their destinations safely and may reduce their insurance costs.
America’s Driving School focuses on a number of oft-ignored but important skills, such as planning and mapping out a road trip and pulling off emergency maneuvers—threshold braking, teleportation, and the like. And the school doesn't just train teens. Adults can also stop in for private lessons to develop their driving skills or even prepare for their first license.
Safari Sam's virtual jungle of kid-friendly entertainment is densely packed, thoughtfully designed, and well maintained. The enormous jungle gym is built big and strong so parents can play along with their kids. The Black Diamond Challenge Course challenges older kids with more physically demanding obstacles. The indoor miniature golf course is well designed, with glow-in-the-dark paint on jungle-like details on the kid-friendly obstacles, including palm trees and Aztec-like temples. Gonzo's game room is an old-fashioned redemption arcade with more than 75 games in which kids can win prizes, from key chains and stuffed animals to glow-in-the-dark senses of superiority.
The Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy provides a safe, creative, and positive space for children to challenge themselves, develop physical fitness and self-discipline, and work out more than 90% of their wiggles. A family membership (one time fee of $25) allows you to register any family member for any of the myriad classes and programs offered at Westside. Dance classes are available for toddlers, adults, and all movers and shakers in between (1–2 hours a week; $60–$120 a month). Enroll budding Baryshnikovs in toddler ballet or preteen movebusters in hip-hop, and view the ensuing rhythms at the annual dance recital. Westside offers gymnastics classes tailored to boys and girls of all flexibility and experience levels in a 12,000-square-foot gym filled with USA Gymnastics–certified equipment (1–2 hours a week; $63–$126 a month). See the schedule for full dance and gymnastics class listings.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California 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 and 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 for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year 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.