Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.
She might be a tutor, but Heather Quadir is rarely overheard telling a student that they need to study more. To Heather, it's not how much time you spend studying, but simply how you study. She works with each student to figure out their best methods for retaining material, helping them improve in subjects as varied as physics, calculus, and Spanish. She can work with students from kindergarten through college, and not just on course material—she's also a whiz at supplementary skills such as researching, test taking, and time management.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
Kidsports provides children with nearly anything they need, whether it's recreation, after-school education, or childcare. The colorful indoor playground is equipped with bright slides and inflatable bounce-houses, and a separate section welcomes toddlers or older children looking to relive the days of their youth. Painting areas let kids exercise their minds as well as their muscles, while a miniature bowling alley and a pirate-themed laser tag arena host friendly competitions. The center is equally adept at mixing fun with learning, hosting preschool and educational programs for children ages 3 to 14.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Choose from any of Learning Connection's one- to three-hour classes to break into culinarians’ lockbox full of ways to turn simple ingredients into visually appealing, mouth-watering fare. Learn bread-making basics and experiment with take-home recipes for loaves, pizzas, and pretzels to master the art of artisan bread ($55). Vegetarian cooking for everyone ($60) shatters misconceived misconceptions that vegetarian dishes are made mainly from plants and recycled cardboard; budding chefs discover new sources of protein such as tempeh and soy. The wines of Italy course ($57) transports palates to a balmy Italian sunset with five wine tastings from regions such as Tuscany, Umbria, and Piedmont. In this class, novice and experienced tasters will pick up tips on what to look for when purchasing wine, how to serve wine, how to taste wine, and what type of nose is best for sniffing wine.