Fitness Cell Collective's disciples don't work out in a gym. Dubbed "The Compound," the Collective's roomy studio encompasses familiar fitness devices, such as kettlebells, as well as some unconventional equipment. Olympic-style rings dangle from the ceiling alongside suspension systems and ski machines, and a 40-foot-long set of monkey bars facilitates intense workouts and high-speed banana relays. With these tools, the certified trainers—who range from martial artists and professional weightlifters to dancers and triathletes—lead classes for all fitness levels. The classes—featured in New York magazine—range in scope to include kettlebell fitness, mixed martial arts, yoga, Pilates, and boot-camp training. The Compound houses more than just modern fitness equipment; postworkout, exercisers can purchase and refuel with fresh, locally made, organic snacks and signature protein drinks.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
Swimsuit-clad revelers sip drinks as they bob down the river in a flotilla of colorful tubes. Smoke rises from barbecue pits and campfires as the sun's light dims, and laughter and cheers ring out from grass volleyball games as an electronic mix of music echoes off of tree trunks. Over the course of Boobs & Tubes' outdoor party weekends, campers party and occasionally apologize for waking grizzly-bear neighbors in and around Croton Dam in Michigan or Skinners Falls in New York. Campers who come for a full weekend take shelter in tents to immerse themselves in the freedom of the wilderness. Boobs & Tubes' main goal is to bring together groups of people for outdoor enjoyment while also proving modern amenities such as showers, breakfast buffets, and live DJ sets with colorful light shows, much in the fashion of Davey Crockett's most fancy dinner parties
Leading more than 30 bike tours across the nation, the cycling enthusiasts at Bike and Roll fuel a passion for healthy, eco-friendly transportation via guided tours and self-guided rides atop rental bikes. Their fleet of two-wheelers stakes a claim to Trek bicycles—the same brand that propelled Lance Armstrong to victory—and other recreation, transportation, road, and children's bikes. Riders can pedal behind a guide during the Ride 'Round Manhattan tour, which circles the Statue of Liberty and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial before cruising along the Harlem River bike path. More adventurous cyclists can board rental cycles on their own and confer with free maps to conduct a jaunt across the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges while drinking in the skyline and making Waldo spottings along the river. Bike and Roll also outfits patrons with other specialty transportation, such as in-line skates, segways, and magic carpets programmed to swing past the tops of only historic buildings.:m]]
PacPlex dedicates its sprawling 200,000-square-foot facilities to sports, recreation, health, and education. At PacPlex, patrons can whip into shape in a TV-studded cardio-equipment area, on myriad weight machines, and throughout a schedule of fitness classes. The instructors lead kettlebell courses, Pilates core-strengthening workouts, and pool-aquatics classes, which help guests perfect their sea otter mating calls. Visitors flock to the vast grounds to work their bodies on racquetball courts, basketball courts, and an 18,000-square-foot indoor soccer field. At the two indoor and four outdoor swimming pools, guests can take a leisurely swim, play with water toys, and shoot down waterslides, or work on sculpting a chiseled bod by swimming laps.
Kids can take swimming lessons, and, for those who discover a hidden set of gills behind their ears, the staff also runs a junior swim league. When they're not splashing in the pool, kids can make new imaginary friends in preschool and daycare programs.
Currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, the New York Institute of Photography is one of the world's largest and oldest photography schools, offering comprehensive courses to students of all levels. With today’s Groupon, students will receive the 16-lesson Fundamentals of Digital Photography course, which includes beautifully printed packets, seven audio CDs, two DVDs, and a certificate of completion. During this 4-to-12-month course, lens-wielders will learn key concepts, such as different lens types, camera exposure modes, digital darkroom techniques, how to snap exceptionally blurry pictures of supernatural creatures, and landscape photography. The institute’s interactive training style keeps flashes charged, with two exploratory photo projects and a personally assigned photography expert who'll critique the student’s work, answer any questions, and never, ever, ever blink.