Twenty-one-thousand square feet of field turf covers Sports Zone. That gives the indoor facility's experienced team of instructors plenty of space to teach soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and other popular field sports. In addition to instructional clinics and camps, the sports complex hosts youth and adult recreational leagues as well as specialty events such as World Cup viewing parties. And for big days, Sports Zone offers birthday-party packages that include a choice of sports to play and add-ons such as human-sized hamster balls.
At Action Gymnastics Academy, the entertainment potential of an obstacle course becomes a tool for fitness development. Inside the kid-focused facility, more than 15 classes incorporating gym equipment challenge kids ranging from 18 months to 13 years and older. Coaches guide their young students through instruction in beginner to high-school-level gymnastics, various levels of tumbling, and trampoline technique. At the Millstone location, a kid-sized zipline is used for adrenaline-pumping rides at birthday parties and ceremonies for crowning the next Indiana Jones.
At Rising Stars Gymnastics Academy, the range of available equipment is vast. Young gymnasts can practice their moves on vaults, trampolines, balance beams, pommel horses, and uneven bars while their imaginary friends lounge in a foam pit. Alternatively, they can jump, flip, and twist across a wide open floor space. The gym hosts open time throughout the week for kids to practice on their own, and private lessons for those who want help perfecting their routines. A 25-foot inflatable slide takes center stage during birthday parties packed with obstacle courses and parachute games.
Rather than simply showing their students how to punch and kick, the dedicated instructors at Sovereign Martial Arts teach them why they’re punching and kicking. They gear each of their MMA and krav maga classes—available for both kids and adults—to building confidence and character while emphasizing self-defense rather than aggression. All the while, students strengthen their bodies, burn fat, and hone their coordination as they soak up strikes and throwing techniques.
Beer and bowling make for a good evening out, as the staff at Knob Hill Country Lanes knows well. To that end, they stock their bar with over 20 domestic, imported, and seasonal craft beers for customers to choose from or play Eenie Meenie Miney Mo with. The snack bar fuels bowling games with pizzas, burgers, and other snacks, and guests can further develop eye-hand coordination in the video-game arcade.
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.