Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much saltwater.
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.
After buying their first canoe in 1942, Chester and Stella Heavner were hooked. So were their friends. After constantly loaning out their red-canvas Old Town canoe, the pair invested in two more and started charging a nominal rental fee. In 1953, they made it official with a patch of riverfront property, eight canoes, and a trailer.
Today, Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental is run by Chester and Stella’s eldest son, Alan. He and his staff manage an inventory of more than 200 canoes and kayaks, which they rent at three locations along the Huron River.
Before founding World Sports Fitness, Pierre F. Mouele routinely went toe-to-head in the ring, earning a kickboxing championship title. Finally, he hung up his gloves and retired his cactus-covered shoes so that he could use his boxing training to whip people into shape. Today, he puts his clients and classes through the same demanding conditioning regimen that prepared him to lay out his opponents.
His students cut swathes of muscle pummeling red, black, and blue punching bags in Shotokan karate and self-defense classes. Alternatively, clients heft weights and toss heavy balls during strength-conditioning courses, which help them sculpt a fighter's body without any of the impact exercises associated with traditional boxing training, such as getting constantly punched.
Blue and red padded squares glow underfoot in the vast gym, unused punching bags standing in neat ranks to the side of the space. Above them hang tidied rows of flags, representing the many nations and organizations from which World Sports Fitness draws its curriculum.
On August 17, Kensington Metropark will play host to a horde of salty dogs competing in The Pirate Run. A nautically-themed obstacle course, the event invites competitors to don kerchiefs, corsets, and eye patches and compete under the banner of the Jolly Roger. The race features five kilometers of pirate-worthy challenges such as the Abandon Ship wall-climb, the frisbee-focused Gold Doubloon Toss, and the Defeat Jack Sparrow pirate shooting gallery, where they can take down buccaneers and ne'er-do-wells with tennis balls and Victorian insults. And the obligatory plank-walking obstacle adds a few twists to the classic scenario by requiring the cooperation of teammates, or at least a recently conscripted crew, to overcome it.
At the finish line, organizers hand out best-dressed prizes to pirates and wenches, as well as an award for most creative team name. Awards are doled out at the after party, which features live music, a Talk Like a Pirate Contest, and beverages over which runners can recount the harrowing tales of their race.
Sculpted through the rolling hills of Oakland County in 1995, Brentwood Golf Club's 18-hole course tells its story in two acts. The action begins on the front nine, where fairways chart a course through thick woods and wetlands, challenging accuracy as soon as players slip their tee into the first tee box. The back nine shifts gears dramatically, as the landscape opens up into a more links-style layout, permitting more aggressive play. To make the most of the distinct topography on both sides of the course, the back nine is nearly 400 yards longer than the front.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,424 yards from the tips * Course rating of 69.4 from the tips * Slope rating of 120 from the tips * Four tee options