If a subject is art-related, chances are you can learn about it at Around the Corner Art Center. With a slate of teachers who specialize in working with specific age groups and art mediums, students can learn how to sketch or sew, hone their brush strokes, and construct mixed-media pieces. With all these disciplines under one roof, there is a class for everyone from children to college art students to adults. The staff's love of art even extends to the birthday parties they host, with artistic themes that may include recreating a famous painting or learning how to draw cartoons, anime, and manga.
The shelves at Color Me Mine’s studio teem with whimsical bisque-ceramic pieces—pony and princess figurines, piggy banks, and kitty-cat mugs—each stark white and waiting for the brush strokes of a budding artist. That artist might be a birthday boy at a party with up to 25 of his friends, or a grown-up unwinding at a girls' night out. No previous experience is required, as the studio staff dispenses plenty of painting tips, stencils, and artistic inspiration. Afterwards, the staff will fire the resulting pieces, which can then be used as décor or dinnerware thanks to Color Me Mine's lead-free, food-safe, paints. In addition to open painting and private parties, the studio hosts after-school enrichment programs, field trips, camps, or scout-troop events.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
While some husbands gift their wives with flowers or candlelit dinners, Bob Lang knew this wasn't enough for his wife Patty. Her stroke in 2008 led to an unexpected flurry of artistic activity that inspired Bob to found A Stroke of Creativity, which won the Home News Tribune's Readers Choice Award for Best of 2011 in Central Jersey, as both a place where Patty could create her opuses and where participants of all levels and abilities could find their inner artists. Classes divulge the secrets of creating jewelry, ceramics, and paintings to help students hone their personal style and express their angst at the cancelation of Golden Girls. Patty's extensive background in special education, coupled with Bob and Patty's experience of raising children with special needs infuses the studio, which is accessible to people with disabilities, with a fully inclusive vibe, allowing all who enter a chance to create without fear of judgment or ridicule.
Surrounded by the hiking trails, woodlands, and glistening lakes of Millstone Township, Cornerstone Music Studios provides private lessons in more than a dozen instruments, including piano, guitar, saxophone, and voice. Its faculty of like-minded and talented instructors helps create a community-oriented environment, giving students limitless support as they explore new artistic avenues. Monthly and annual recitals also boost students’ confidence, and prepare them to play live in front of a crowd of stuffed animals with sewn-on frowns.
Run by an experienced duo of dedicated yogaphiles who have trained under instructors around the globe, Soul Power Yoga leads students of all levels through yoga's vivifying poses and breathing. Eight different class types allow students to choose from a compendium of yogic options suited to different experience levels and fitness goals, from simply building poise and stamina to achieving the bendiness required to fit into the smaller, faster go-karts of the future. Students melt stress in the Relax & Renew classes, focusing on tranquil breathing, and the Power Yoga classes offer three levels of core-building intensity and mind-balancing breathing. The weekly schedule offers classes seven days a week, with classes offered throughout the day to accommodate hectic work schedules and social calendars clogged with semiformal barn dances.
GT Dream Cars unleashes its elite fleet of exotic, automatic sports cars on a temporary basis to help add a touch of luxury, beauty, and raw power to an afternoon. The lineup of swanky steeds includes the powerfully sleek Aston Martin Vantage, the luxurious Bentley Continental GT, the Ferrari F430 Scuderia, the Maserati GranTurismo, or the Lamborghini Gallardo, with the power of 550 horses or 78 furious mastodons. Inside car cockpits, conquer the 2.7-mile road course, blasting down the straightaway and deftly maneuvering the mini corkscrew with the ease of a bobsled team weaving down a water slide.