Licensed childcare director Kristal Bailey serves as mayor of The Play Place's toddler metropolis, complete with a bustling rush hour of kiddie commuters and free WiFi for parents (all-day admission $6). The tots' town is equipped with miniature versions of civic institutions, including a bite-size boutique for dress-up, a hardware store for blossoming builders, free toy-truck parking, and state-of-the-art climate-control technology. On Tuesdays and Fridays, Bailey frees harried parents to run their errands or just get a morning off with indoor childcare ($10/hour), where tykes can meet and play with other local little ones. On certain upcoming dates, The Play Place will host a four-hour Parents' Night Out, granting moms and dads with 2-year-olds and older a Friday-night freedom that once seemed more fictitious than a fairy-princess rap battle.
Clint Barr, a former A-advanced-level baseball player in the New York Yankees organization who has a Masters Degree in Exercise Science, leads a team of versatile, firm-but-not-screamy fitness experts into battle against sedentarianism. The boot camps, which are designed for all ages, fitness levels, and blood types, incorporate a hodge-podge of athletic maneuvering to keep muscles as surprised as someone opening a refrigerator to find only a bowl of marbles. After 28 days of stretching, performing push-ups, running, jumping over mini-hurdles, and more, you can expect to see a 3%–8% loss of body fat (results may vary), which dissipates through the pores and enters the atmosphere to form clouds. Check the schedule online.
The USPTA-certified pros at The Club Tennis Center at The Township teach tennis trainees how to wield rackets with the finesse of Wheaties box gracers. Tennis practitioners may bring their own stringed instruments to the lessons, while newbies borrow demo rackets from the pro shop. After opting for a battlefield of clay or another hard surface, students master techniques for defending their territory against incoming neon-yellow projectiles and acing their opponents with baseline attacks.
In View Golf renders rainchecks obsolete by virtually teleporting patrons to more than 30 famed golf courses—including Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill—via 12'x9' high-def projection screens. As golfers take to the cyberlinks, video analysis software, previously available only to touring PGA and LPGA pros, records every swing, capturing such statistics as shot distance, club-head speed, and the golf ball's potential earning value. During a 45-minute private lesson, In View's professional instructors analyze the videos to make individualized adjustments to patrons' natural golf swings. Or forgo in-person tips on chips and grips, and instead opt for a round of 18 holes in the golf simulator with a fellow iron-wielder, using the instant video feedback to see and measure the results of tweaks to techniques and tempers.
In 1969, Judi Sheppard Missett shared her love of jazz dance with the world through an original exercise program known as Jazzercise. Almost instantaneously a phenomenon, the regimen took off and grew to include 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries around the world. The Jazzercise Ridgeland Fitness Center counts itself amongst one of the many locations that continues to carry Judi’s torch.
True to the original program, instructors fuse elements of many other athletics into the framework of jazz dance. Pilates and yoga strengthen the core and help build long and lean muscle. Resistance training provides muscle definition and explosive-movement power, which can be used to light a troublesome grill by slapping it. Kickboxing classes and classic jazz steps round out the program, providing cardio training that builds endurance. Because the program involves simple, easy-to-follow moves, it is an accessible form of exercise for people of all skill and experience levels.
On the Ross Barnett Reservoir sits the Main Harbor Marina, and subsequently, the full-service Main Harbor Store. There, the staff dispenses a host of boating aids, ranging from ethanol-free fuel to ice, food, and supplies, such as life jackets or inflatable marinas for boating vacations on the go. But the store doesn't merely indulge its customers in boating merchandise. It also rents out party-boat behemoths, such as pontoons fit for a dozen people looking to relax in the sun and dip their faces into the marina's waters. And in addition to personal watercraft, or small jets fit for three passengers, there's also the massive, 30-foot party barge, which holds up to 16 people and features two levels of above-water decks, as well as a slide.