Howard Pyle's unexpected death in 1912 brought a group of artists, entrepreneurs, and businessmen together to grieve their friend. They couldn't let the artist's passion for teaching and illustration disappear as quickly as he had; so, they decided to form the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts with the sole purpose of preserving his legacy. They gathered funds from locals who felt just as strongly as they did?family members, friends, students, fans?and purchased approximately 100 pieces of his artwork.
Little did they know that, with these 100 pieces, they were starting something greater than a memorial for a good friend. The Wilmington Society of Fine Arts would, over time, add more and more artwork to its collection, growing into an 80,000-square-foot space and out of its original name. The Delaware Art Museum, as its called today, now counts more than 12,000 works of art as part of its collection. Permanent features showcase British pre-Raphaelites, the urban landscapes of John Sloan, modern American art, and, of course, Howard Pyle. The masterpieces don't stop when visitors venture outside?the Copeland Sculpture Garden adorns its lush natural scenery with nine works from the museum's permanent collection, along with a massive outdoor labyrinth.
Since opening in 1975, Candlelight Dance Club has chased a single, unwavering mission: to curate an appreciation for ballroom dance while teaching its many styles. Six instructors stand ready to lead dancers through training to conquer foxtrot, swing, tango, waltz, and rumba steps. By offering both private and group lessons, Candlelight combines one-on-one attention from an instructor with group sessions that provide more camaraderie than a firefighting team moonlighting as a cheerleading squad. A bright, wood-floored studio hosts classes as well as the club’s weekly dance parties, which allow participants to try out learned moves in real time before debuting them in public. Many dance enthusiasts note a handful of dance-inspired benefits as their confidence shines, stress fizzles, and cardio endurance boosts.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Anytime Fitness accommodates night crawlers and day denizens with 24-hour access to endless rows of equipment, group fitness classes, and personalized training. Custom regimens rounded out by nutritional advice from a certified trainer make each client feel special, like a diamond the size—and shape—of a horse. Group boot camps, alternatively, promote camaraderie and help participants stave off boredom by presenting a mixed array of drills. The gym's rows of TV-equipped treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary cycles with stair climbers help prepare legs for marathons and broken escalators. Weight machines, dumbbells, and kettlebells enable gym-goers to crank up muscle mass, and an unwinding experience on a massage chair or high-powered tanning bed sends clients off with a sense of relaxation.
At Women's Fitness, women of all fitness levels work their entire body during 30-minute fitness routines with the help of experienced trainers and motivating music. During the studio?s signature workout, exercisers breeze through a circuit of cardio intervals and strength-training exercises as an instructor doles out personalized tips and words of encouragement. Participants also cultivate fitter physiques using adjustable hydraulic-resistance machines designed to work two muscles groups at once. Eventually, this approach to quick, effective circuit training helps to increase muscle mass in time, which encourages bodies to melt more calories and pop fudge-dipped thought bubbles before they even penetrate cranial barriers.
For nearly 40 years, First State Lanes has kept pastimers and ardent tenpin enthusiasts furnished with waxed lanes, snack-bar provender, and accouterments from a fully stocked pro shop. Amateurs hurl spheroids at lanes alongside semi-pros doing battle in colorful league uniforms or impressive gladiator outfits. During rounds, the full-service snack bar slings pizzas, plates of signature chicken tenders, and a selection of beers. During the evenings, bouts of cosmic red-pin bowling cast pins in crimson and black-light glow, and any bowler who throws a strike that houses le pin rouge wins a dollar. For less alley-based diversions, guests can saunter over to the game room to play pool and arcade games.