For Amber Gilbert, dancing isn't just an alternative to walking. She sees dance as a chance to explore one's personality and express it through movement. As owner and director of The Dance Academy, she presides over staff members as they help students of all skill levels to unlock artistic potential through dance classes. The team of seasoned instructors teaches styles including hip-hop, Hawaiian, and classical ballet amid the studio's barres and mirrors. During classes for youngsters, pint-size students hone motor skills through activities that pair music with moves culled from the worlds of ballet, tap, and jazz.
In addition to torching calories during salsa and swing classes, adults can sculpt svelte physiques through relaxing yoga and Pilates sessions and Zumba workouts packed with Latin-inspired aerobics. The studio's competitive training program prepares dancers for national contests and helps them to look natural when they get a single red rose stuck in their teeth.
Revelers of all ages visit Gamerz USA for battlefield laser tag, an arcade room with a Dance Dance Revolution machine, and kids zone. In battlefield laser tag games, pretend soldiers fire infrared bullets under the guidance of a commanding officer. Players don heavy-duty vests that emit 100% eye-safe light and none of the foul odors that accompany ordinary flashlights. The lazer maze challenge has players navigating a web of green lasers in a bank vault-like enviroment, and the the Kids Zone offers a play area with slides and a ball pit for younger guests. After a few rounds of arcade games, guests can choose a prize or reward themselves with burgers, pizza, soda, or fresh-squeezed juice or Bears2Go.
A lap around Skateland West’s sea-foam-green floor transports inline skaters back in time with psychedelic rainbow lights, arcade games, and music. Despite the retro-chic atmosphere, Skateland West keeps things modern with activities such as freestyle-skating sessions and inline-skating lessons. The center also has a staff of fitness instructors who run patrons through fun and challenging Zumba, kickboxing, kids’ dance classes, and yoga workouts to help patrons stay in better shape than a buff geometry teacher. The skating rink also hosts kids’ birthday parties and has a snack bar where skaters can refuel with sodas and pizza.
What began in 1975 as one inner-city gym in Highland Park, Michigan, has since evolved into a global health-club organization with locations in 17 different countries. Powerhouse Gym equips weightlifters and cardio bunnies alike with all they’ll ever need to keep—or create—a tight and toned physique. The gym offers equipment outfitted with personal TVs as well as a cast of certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. Depending on location, members will also have access to group fitness classes, such as yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills BodyPump, as well as 24-7 turnkey access to the facility.
The fun, friendly, family-owned Oak Lanes extends a clean environment for pin punishers of all ages and abilities. Bring a friend, significant other, or an out-of-work pitching machine to get in some ball-tossing practice on one of the alley's lanes, on which league-level pros and idle hobbyists trade tips on follow-throughs and limericks about Walter Ray Williams Jr. An expansive lounge and two service bars allow for detailed strategy meetings before and after play, with six TVs to keep eyes entertained while tootsies unwind and bowling balls resume their day jobs fashioning serving wear for soup. Open bowling is available every day. Call ahead for lane schedules.
The gastro alchemists running Bumpers Bar and Grill cleverly mix their massive menu and full bar with live music and a nightclub atmosphere to create unforgettable evenings, even if the specifics are a bit fuzzy. The kitchen turns out a slew of pub-fare staples with Bumpers flair, such as burgers layered alternately with mushrooms and melted swiss ($6.75) or Five Alarm patties topped with pepper jack, jalapeños, hot sauce, and two heat-activated motion detectors ($6.50). Twelve-inch pizzas and calzones ($5.50 each) make an idea meal for sharing or smuggling pepperoni across state lines, respectively, and snackers looking for a light but filling bite can daintily devour mini tacos ($4.25), breaded mushrooms ($4.75), and loaded potato skins ($5.50) with a choice of dressing.