At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Sisters Jan Nasiadka and Joanne Ferreira have committed their lives to helping dogs in need. For more than 12 years, Jan has rescued, rehabilitated, and trained both mixed and purebred dogs. Joanne has a special knack for connecting with canines, and she is always prepared to help an injured pet with her certification in pet first aid. The pair offers sitting, training, and walking services that keep dogs entertained and teach them habits that will make pets and their owners happier.
All programs include free in-home consultations, where Joanne or Jan can get to know the dog’s history and special needs. When owners are at work or on vacation, dogs can stretch their legs on simple walks or special adventures where the Happy Dogs @ Home walker will take them to a local park or a castle made of Milk Bones. Training plans range from one-off lessons to concentrated rehabilitation focusing on aggression or fear and backyard agility programs that keep muscles fit.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The Play Escape entertains kids with three stories of ball pits, oversize slides, climbing areas, and other attractions. With all-access admission (up to a $15.90 value), two sprinting younglings can spend the day racing over colorful obstacles and tossing their 20 tokens (a $5 value) into Dance Dance Revolution machines or the 100-point skee-ball holes, which are rumored to grant wishes and federal funding.
For 18 years, foodies at For the Kitchen have stocked their shelves with premium pots, pans, cutlery, and kitchen accessories. Striving to stock items "customers will only have to buy once," shopkeepers source brands known for durability and high performance. All-Clad, Berndes, and Scanpan pots and pans quickly heat up meats, veggies, and frozen archeological artifacts atop the stove, and French-made Staub dutch ovens equipped with self-basting lids leave slow-cooked items tender and brimming with flavor. In addition to the big-ticket items, smaller kitchen accessories such as Microplane graters, cookie cutters, and vegetable peelers ease everyday cooking. Regardless of the size of the item they grab, shoppers can count on free gift-wrapping to make a present extra special or a utensil holder extra colorful.