Barbie Piccinni—owner, trainer, and head instructor at White Fences Equestrian Center—has been riding since she was 5 years old. Her daughters, Angel and Gina, have been riding since before they were born. Backed by dozens of medals in different riding disciplines, this trio of Piccinni women heads the staff at White Fences, helping riders to steer their mounts during private, semi-private, and group lessons every day of the week. Their sessions aren't limited to the arena—guests can also trot around the center's 54 acres of serene Texas Hill country on trail rides, which are completely free of pedestrians, bikes, and sports cars revving their engines as a challenge to race.
During the day or night, on a holiday or a plain old Tuesday, Anytime Fitness is always open. Once they register, members get a key to the gym’s secured entryway, which means they have 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year access to any of the club’s nearly 1,800 locations all over the globe. Personal trainers staff each location, where they lead customized one-on-one training sessions or provide quick and simple tips for using the gym’s high-quality cardio and strength-training equipment. The roster of group classes includes kickboxing and boot camp to whip bodies into shape in a fun and supportive environment. After a sweat session, members can head to the locker room for a shower or catch up on their stories on one of the treadmills equipped with a personal TV. Exercisers can also accentuate their hard-earned musculature with a tanning session or two, since access to beds is either added onto their membership for an additional fee or billed on a pay-per-use basis.
The instructors at Lonestar Dance Center for Performing Arts imbue kids, teens, and adults with the physical skills and grace necessary to dance competitively. By staying in constant competitive training themselves, the instructors are able to keep students up-to-date on modern techniques through classes such as Pom Dance, Ballroom Dance, and Choreography and Technique. Through adult dance and fitness programs, such as Zumba, they keep everyone in shape and encourage all dancers to participate in strength training to improve technique and performance. To take full advantage of the stage, the center also offers acting and music lessons.
Though big cities tend to offer a lot of activities for residents, the sheer volume of options can sometimes make it overwhelming to find something fitting. For residents of Austin, the Austin Clan of Everything Social (ACES) makes it easy to find a good time no matter your speed, with social leagues at watering holes and bowling alleys throughout town. On any given night, participants might gather to blow away their highest ping-pong score or grab a mic during a karaoke battle to show off their high note that only dogs can hear. Over the course of a season, members make new friends, bolstering the ACES community while battling for glory with their teammates.
White rice and bright slices of vegetables add a colorful counterpoint to the traditional dishes served at Yazmyne'z Restaurant and Mediterranean Cuisine. Delicately spiced pieces of kofta get wrapped in pita sandwiches and savory slices of gyros meat get scattered alongside pepperoni and vegetables atop crispy pizzas. Patrons can inhale sweet puffs of smoke from hookahs packed with specialty flavor combinations, such as peach and mint, melon and kiwi, or Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Each year, Mud Factor plows into towns across the country towing along a fun, yet challenging 5K course full of obstacles and mud to trudge through. But it's not just the adults who get covered in the dirty stuff. Mud Factor Kidz offers all the steep hills, muddy pits, and dark moments of introspection as the grownup course. Athletes between 4 and 13 years old run between 1.5 and 2 miles. Costumes are encouraged for runners who like to rock their own style.