Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
Clad in fatigues and soaking in sweat, the denizens of Pure Power Boot Camp lift logs, climb walls, and navigate obstacle courses. If it sounds like military boot camp, that's no accident; each of the drill instructors are current or former military members. Presided over by Lauren Brenner?who became a personal trainer at 16 before playing Division I tennis and working as a trainer for the Syracuse men's basketball team?each instructor leads a platoon that trains together multiple times per week. Pure Power Boot Camp's boot-camp training is ideal for adventure races like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or Warrior Dash as it incorporates real obstacles and situations. After their initial training, members can enroll in maintenance courses that help them keep their new bodies in shape and offer an excuse to see the climbing wall with which they fell in love.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build the tot's creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for young ones ranging from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, mobility-enhancing sports classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn, plus all family classes. The month membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule), and you will receive a $25 discount on Gymboree clothing with a $50 purchase.
Oren Lippmann has made a career out of training NBA players such as Kris Humphries and Metta World Peace, both of whom needed his demanding regimen to stay strong in the post. You might not have to bang with the likes of a 7-foot center, but Lippmann's classes at CrossFit Glendale aren't just designed for professional athletes.
Along with fellow coach Al Pena, Lippmann oversees hour-long workouts that touch on all the major aspects of fitness at the 4,000 square foot Queens location, including endurance, flexibility, and strength. With equipment such as kettlebells and climbing ropes at their disposal, the coaches can devise functional, full-body workouts for all skill levels, focusing on form, technique, and fun.
No matter the class, Twisters Gymnastics Center's instructors always make sure to pack their lessons with a hearty dose of encouragement. They inspire students of all ages and skill levels in a 6,200-square-foot gymnasium outfitted with an array of tumbling and gymnastics equipment, from balance beams and pommel horses to colorful tumbling obstacles and a foam pit. Their introductory Mommy & Me and Mini-Gym classes help kiddies build strength and develop muscle control, and their more advanced sessions, including competitive gymnastics, nurture students' desires to test their skills against others. Each child's safety is equally important as their physical development; every instructor is certified in basic first aid and CPR, is USGF-safety certified, and is proficient in scaring away grizzly bears with nothing but a glare.