The professional handlers at Reptilepartywny know no birthday is complete without a bite of cake, a round of games, and a quick hug from a boa constrictor. Packing exotic creatures such as snakes, tortoises, and chinchillas, they arrive at celebrations ready to let kids discover the wonders of the animal kingdom. Add-ons such as safari hats, bubble machines, and cotton candy enhance events, helping kids pretend that they’re jungle explorers or attendees at the first rave held along the Amazon. In addition to their signature menagerie, the party planners also maximize fun with attractions such as stuffed-animal creation, balloon animals, bounce houses, and costumed characters.
Joe Pinnavaia's students refer to him as a Rosetta stone, encapsulating a wealth of musical knowledge that he translates into easy-to-follow instructions. Joe opts for personal, one-on-one sessions that break down the bad habits and barriers that can keep fledgling axe-wielders from meeting their goals. Classes emphasize speed, coordination, and confidence as students learn to play complicated licks or chord structures with less effort. Once a frustrated student himself, Joe knows that the only way to learn is from a real person and not online videos or the ghost of Muddy Waters that keeps whispering encouragements when you're in the shower.
For almost 40 years, the instructors and staff of Dip 'N Dive have demystified the magic of breathing underwater. They instruct and outfit both scuba divers and snorkelers at their Buffalo location, and the facility's curriculum of PADI and NAUI courses help budding divers stay safe, maintain control of their equipment, and walk like Naomi Campbell while wearing fins. From beginning diving lessons to advanced instructor training, courses include classroom work, pool exercises, and real open-water-diving trips.
Darren Ko took his first crack at the SAT in 7th grade as part of a youth talent search program. He qualified for the program by scoring in the top 30 percent of testers—which included high school seniors. Years later, on the actual SAT, Darren achieved a 1590 before moving on to teach SAT classes in college.
Having mastered the test, Darren opened Infiniva Tutoring in 2001 in order to reach more students. The operation has flourished over the years and has branched out past the SAT to prep students for other major tests including the ACT, GMAT, and MCAT. Darren has recruited an all-star team of tutors, most of who have scored in the top one percent on the SAT. They strive to help bridge the gap between students and their individual goals, whether it be getting into a renowned college or beating a wax statue of Einstein in Scrabble.
Based inside a private studio, Consistent Personal Training eschews the intimidation of gigantic gyms for an intimate environment. Its experts draft customized programs for clients, targeting specific goals with a 30- to 45-minute mix of strength and cardio exercises. Sessions geared toward weight loss, competition prep, and outpacing thrown spears during Warrior Dash races emphasize judgment-free teachings that correspond to each patron's experience. Having made the transition from customer to trainer, fitness buff Ron Griffin can testify to the empathy and efficacy of the studio's workouts, which encompass boot-camps as well as one-on-one and group lessons.
In the Orchard encourages children and young adults to explore their creative talents in a range of mediums. During the eight weeks of design camp, artisans 4 to 13 years old can spend a day flourishing their crafts in a safe and social atmosphere or can discover new artistic passions, such as whittling abstract toothpicks out of tree stumps. The nonprofit art community engenders an aesthetic spirit and a sense of accomplishment with weekly themes that inspire a potpourri of creative projects and illuminate a variety of artistic methods. In an effort to promote organic workmanship, summer instructors enlighten students on how to sculpt 3-D compositions from recycled materials in the Peace on Art program (July 18–July 22), and aspiring Pollocks enlist acrylic, tempera, colour paint, and ink-filled lawn sprinklers to fashion large-scale masterpieces in the Paint Big session.