Ballroom Factory Dance Studio's brigade of experienced instructors takes students with two left feet and whips them into dancing dynamos. Light trippers of all ages and skill levels learn the ins and outs of dance styles that range from ballroom basics and American waltz to international tango and advanced hokey pokey. Private or group classes twirl gracefully through an airy studio space, characterized by sleek wood floors and walls lined with mirrors. The studio's expertise also extends to voice and piano lessons for both children and adults in which pupils master scales, harmonies, and the ability to read music.
Since 1957, this friendly, family-oriented fun center has played host to wholly wholesome fun. Today, the newly renovated alley boasts top-notch lanes with mounted flat-screen LCD monitors, a spruced-up snack and slurp bar, fresh coats of colorful paint, a full-service pro shop, and more. Before you saunter up to throw your first ball, but after you secure your lucky ostrich neatly between your toes, guide your footsies into a pair of stylish bowling shoes ($4 rental value). In between frames, refuel your energy tank with a frothy brew from the bar or let one of the alley's sumptuous seats sing a lullaby from Rocky to your resting limbs.
When she was 15, Heather had already been dancing for a decade, and she vowed to one day open her own studio. Later, while in school for interior design, she took her first-ever pole-dancing class and found it was love at first twirl; she installed a pole in her own home that very afternoon. Though she worked for a while as a professional designer, she felt compelled to step away from decorating other people's homes to pursue her teenage dream, swathing her newly opened studio space in hot-pink paint and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Today, it's a go-to hub for novice dancers of all ages, sizes, and experience levels and for barber's poles looking to switch careers. While Heather and three other instructors teach belly dance, aerial technique, burlesque, and fitness classes, though Heather's main passion still lies with pole dancing. She finds it rewarding to watch as students—who currently include spinners in their 60s—break past mental blocks to do moves they never thought possible. She grins each time her students report that they're feeling stronger and healthier just doing everyday tasks, like buying anvils at the grocery store. "I don't feel like it's a job," she says, noting the supportive environment created by her students and the joyous bachelorette and birthday parties—where, she maintains, the older guests always turn out to be wilder than the 20-somethings. "It feels like I'm hanging out with friends."
With more than 6,000 square feet of interactive playground equipment, arcade games, and open play spaces, Krazy Kidz is a veritable youthtopia. Send tiny tikes off to the triple-level playhouse, which has more than 30 obstacles, or join in the fun and chase them until they are too tuckered to climb on your nerves. Children can jump, tumble, and catch shooting stars with butterfly nets in an inflatable moon bounce, and younger tots can play in a toddler area—a protected area free of peanut-butter sinkholes. No matter what Krazy Kidz amusement amuses your krazy kid, he or she will benefit from the safe, social environment that helps hone communication, cooperation, and negotiation skills.
Settle traffic arguments by challenging an opposing driver to a duel on Boomers!'s speedy go-carts. Or just cruise solo, banking curves and outdriving total strangers in a wild day of rubber-burning and dust-eating. For crashtastic thrills, climb aboard a bumper boat and drift on the waterscape, floating amok and gleefully broadsiding fellow captains. A bit of the briny seeps into Boomers!'s mini-golf range, where it creates a sparkling blue hazard to complement the verdant greens. Finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment that comes only from climbing Boomers!'s big, giant rock wall. The 32-foot climbing surface has a variety of handholds and different climbing options, so explore them all with the three climbs. Be sure to check Boomers! Medford's hours before heading out.