Champion over the intimidating attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf, which contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your dimpled, glowing orb past gobbling goblins, disgruntled dark trees, impolite specters, sleeping ogres, and frightened businessmen. While playing or standing in awe of the 3-D course, guests can listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ doles out prizes to minigolfers based on random criteria such as having multiple noses or the best high five.
The martial-arts instructors at Maryland Mixed Martial Arts are dedicated solely to improving fighting skills—but don't tell your waistline that. As students pick up potentially life-saving techniques designed to deter and defeat aggressors, their metabolism is vanquishing scores of calories, and their muscles are developing into angular lines of meat and sinew.
Although the instructors take martial arts seriously, they temper their approach to accommodate any level of skill and fitness. In fact, they encourage first-timers to try out a class, extolling the mental and physical gains that occur in their classes almost immediately.
Led by certified instructor Elaine Seidman, Turning Pointe Dance Academy aims to not only imbue exercises on students, but also to help them tone muscles and improve coordination and general fitness. Classes are designed to be accessible to guests of all fitness levels, and include Vinyasa-style yoga classes that focus on alignment, strength, and flexibility as well as dance fusion classes that get hearts racing while combining ballet, jazz, and modern dance.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Dr. Gwendolyn Yates and Christopher Yates co-founded A Change of Art to focus on a single area of expertise: laser tattoo removal. Dr. Yates, who has practiced for more than 15 years, serves as medical director, while Christopher draws upon 20 years of medical sales experience in his role as clinic manager and lead laser technician. There's a third member of their team, too: a Quanta Q-Plus C laser, whose three beams can target tattoos of any color, not just the ones done in invisible ink.
Focusing on such a specific service means that the team also devotes a lot of time to client education. Their web site, for example, has resources such as easy-to-read FAQs and primers that tell guests what to expect.
In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.