At the Aqua-Tots in Richmond, experienced and encouraging instructors unlock aquatic territory for youth and adults while following a national curriculum recognized by the United States Swim School Association. They maintain a teacher to student ratio of 1:4 in their small group lessons, which last 30 minutes and sort pupils into eight swim levels, letting wee ones get used to splashing at their own pace and more experienced swimmers work on remembering which of an octopus’s tentacles to shake upon acquaintance. They also welcome special needs children into their Adaptive Aquatics Program and invite grown-ups in for adult lessons.
Aqua-Tots facilitates comfortable, safe learning with a modern facility whose pool contains 90-degree water even when the snow is falling. The center’s parent lounge lets progenitors watch lessons from behind a glass wall and browse the internet with free WiFi, and a play area entertains whippersnappers while their siblings are paddling.
Most homes have kitchens, but few have one that stretches to 1,500 square feet. Kitchen Thyme does, however, and rents the facility out by the hour, furnishing chefs or novices wanting to learn how to cook with the space and high-quality equipment to wine and dine parties of up to 75. Chefs can cook, roast, broil and boil with an array of different heat sources: an indoor charbroiler and griddle, a range with six burners, and four ovens. They can also chill cold dishes in a Sub-Zero refrigerator with a bottom freezer, outfitted with a glass front door that lets you make prolonged eye contact with the snowman who lives inside. Use of the kitchen is also available to non-cooking professionals and can also act as host to meetings, parties, or home-cooks wishing for a bigger kitchen.
At ComedySportz Improv Theatre, audience suggestions keep a family-friendly and fast-paced vortex of scenes, games, and songs spinning in competitive shows that pit two improv teams against each other. Inside the intimate, 100-seat theater, spontaneity rules as a referee moderates the all-ages-appropriate hilarity pitched between the Richmond Legends and Virginia Hams. At the end of each comedic duel, the audience votes for the winning team, sentencing the losers to feed the doves that live inside the winners' top hats. ComedySportz's laugh-masters also host regular workshops to teach aspiring yuksters the art of improvised hilarity and the essential virtues of spontaneity, risk taking, and engagement with the moment. Through scene work, ComedySportz games, and short- and long-form improv, students learn to keep audiences roaring in order to jump-start a career or become a more affable bank robber.