Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors?formerly known as Outdoor Bound?turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts?each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT?temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.
Spotlighted in Time magazine and the New York Times, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a nationally renowned program offering a unique take on musical education for children 3 months to 4 years old. Classes consist of 45 minutes of singing, dancing, musical storytelling, and jamming. Children's songsmith David Weinstone designed a curriculum celebrating the urban environment as well as universal concerns of youth via his classes, which have exploded into the national spotlight since their humble beginnings in 1997. Rather than being strict and results-driven, the teaching style at Music for Aardvarks is based on adult modeling and exposing children to ideas and sounds without dumbing them down. Parent participation is strongly encouraged for atonal squealers and former Yes drummers alike. Check the Music for Aardvarks website for the drop-in sessions and 10-class series schedules.
"This is a candy shop for creativity," Make Meaning's CEO, Dan Nissanoff, told New York Family. The crafting hotspot, named the Best Crafting Hub by New York Magazine, boasts a dizzying range of activities. Inside the brightly lit confines, youngsters and adults can make candles, jewelry, and soap. They can also paint ceramic pieces, create paintings on canvas, and decorate cakes.
The inspiration behind the business? The connections that Nissanoff made with his family when they worked on craft projects together. In order to offer that up to other families, he created Make Meaning, where he and his staff lead guests through craft projects, organize special events from corporate gatherings to birthday parties, and encourage inventiveness and fun.
Even though it?s been lauded by CBS New York, Time Out New York Kids, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect, ABC Do-Re-Me! most values praise from its students. At each energetic studio, newborns to 6-year-olds ecstatically bounce along to children?s songs from a live guitarist or to tunes by pop artists such as the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, and Madonna, as they build cognitive skills, develop socially, and create dance routines that will wow at baby prom.
Light streams into the second-story windows of NYC Fitness, illuminating hardworking exercisers as they pound away on cardio machines or lift weights in the sprawling gym. Meanwhile, expert instructors lead clients of all fitness levels through a slate of classes, including spinning, Pilates, and Zumba.
Having survived two kidney transplants, Denise Perry is no stranger to poor health—or to promoting good health. In 1994 in the basement of a local church, she and her first three dance pupils planted the seeds for Millennium Dance Company, a business that embodies wellness. Today, Denise and her staff of international instructors spur more than 200 students—from 3-year-olds to adults—toward a lifetime of agility, fitness, and creativity in adult and youth dance classes. The classes cater to pupils seeking active fun or professional careers, as Millennium's three dance companies have dominated stages at the Apollo Theater, the Bronx Museum, and the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Adult classes range from the sensual swivels of pole dancing to the flowing poses of yoga. For kids, African dance fosters a sense of community as students move as one to the beat of a live drummer. Modern dance presents the opportunity for pupils to choreograph their own routines based on their innermost emotions or the emotions their mood rings recommend. At year's end, all dancers unite for a community recital that showcases each athlete's talent.