At New City Yoga, programs for adults and children alike focus on challenging the mind and body with a mix of modalities including yoga, tai chi, ki gong, and energy healing. Yoga classes focus on physical well-being with strengthening and toning work, and they also benefit students emotionally by introducing techniques that can improve emotional health by breaking unhealthy habits, including how to get the Cookie Monster off your speed dial once and for all. Along with meditation classes and private healing-massage sessions, the center also hosts energy principle and other meditation-based workshops.
Donna Shari started out as an early childhood teacher whose hobby was painting pottery. At first, she was a familiar face at a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Then she started attending seminars on pouring molds and glazing bisque, until she’d been to more than 250. After an injury cut her teaching career short and the owner of the pottery studio announced his plans to close the place, Donna jumped at the chance to “make my hobby, my passion, into my business,” and took over the studio.
Donna’s new career taps into her talents as both a teacher and an artist as she helps painters of all ages choose plates, figurines, and mugs to personalize with paint, glaze, and territorial tongue licks. After artists perfect their creations, they leave the masterpieces for Donna to fire in a kiln and pick them about up a week later. Donna also teaches students to manipulate clay as it whirls atop a potter’s wheel or a pirouetting ballerina’s head.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
At Premier Athletic Club, a large team of instructors lead classes ranging from intense barbell-focused BodyPump to soothing restorative yoga. Barre workouts use easy-to-learn ballet techniques to help tone bodies, and boxing boot camps teach striking fundamentals while building strength and agility. Club members get access to indoor and outdoor pools as well as class discounts.
New York Mountain Tours guides the wild at heart and spleens through natural landscapes and local alpine skylines. Aspiring mountaineers will meet at one of two pick-up locations—the Cross Roads Shopping Plaza in White Plains at 6:20 a.m. or the I-87 exit 14 park and ride on Rt. 59 at 6:50 a.m.—leaving the driving, tolls, and high-speed trolley chases to the New York Mountain Tours experts. Explore the wondrous white vistas of Hunter Mountain while marching through the snow with a tour guide, gliding up the lift with your lift ticket, or soaring through the air on a hot-wired magic carpet. Hungry site seekers end the day with a snack before heading home at 4:20 p.m. Groupon customers who wish to rent any snowy accoutrements can upgrade to a ski or snowboard rental ($38), and those seeking snow-based instruction can spring for a group lesson ($30).
Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.