The friendly and cozy Salon Le Rae invites sun-starved patrons to enjoy a golden color touch-up with natural-looking airbrush tans. The 30-minute treatment employs an eco-friendly product made by Biddiscombe, a U.V.-free tanning mist that leaves skin with a flattering bronze glow. Like endless workweeks and most junior-high relationships, the tans generally last 7 to 10 days. The French-inspired salon welcomes guests into its elegant space, with stenciled, mustard-brown walls accented by white trim and satin curtains.
Eddie Rivera’s trip to Puerto Rico, during which he ate everything the island had to offer, convinced the entrepreneur to bring Puerto Rican cuisine back to Bridgeport. Thus, El Flamboyan Restaurant & Lounge was born, a brick, moody eatery reminiscent of those Eddie dined in while visiting bustling San Juan. Twin lobsters with two sides highlight a menu of island delicacies, from empanadas stuffed with crab or octopus to plantain mofongo mashed with roasted pork shoulder. Nightly special events include live DJs on weekends, and Thursday-night karaoke, when guests can emulate the chirpings of Puerto Rico’s iconic coquí frog.
The classes at Baran’s Kenpo Karate forge stronger students by working on them from the inside out. Sifu Jim Baran leads sessions with an emphasis on self-confidence, perseverance, and mental discipline. Baran and his fellow instructors guide students through a multibelt progression of kenpo classes. Students learn quick strikes, rapid-fire kicks, and body blocks in an inclusive environment where no one feels out of depth or is forced to sit on the sidelines. Instructors also train adults in self-defense sessions as well as the rigorous krav maga fighting style developed by the Israeli armed forces.
When they began Mountain Fun in 2001, Stephen Messina and Gary Lundin wanted to create a space where novice rock climbers could sample the sport. More than 10 years later, Stephen, Gary, and their dedicated staff continue walking beginners through climbing fundamentals during their Try a Climb workshops. The instructors help guests into climbing gear before allowing them to scale 25-foot walls decorated with murals of towering, thick-branched trees and mountain vistas. Their advanced climbing sessions boost endurance for experienced visitors and yodelers.
Jared Andrew Studio's five licensed instructors deliver both fitness and performing-arts instruction within a fun, encouraging environment. Dance classes focus largely on the performance aspects of beginning tap, ballet, and jazz, which teaches every student how to jitterbug with a tuba in case they can't find a partner at wedding parties. Meanwhile, 10 Zumba fitness classes motivate bodies of all shapes and ages to shed weight and tone up with pumping Latin-inspired beats and energetic movements. Participants can shimmy and shake away calories within a supportive group atmosphere until they are lean enough to hide themselves in a stack of paper.
At Club Kids, the idea that children possess boundless energy is shown—like the thought that life can survive south of the Mason-Dixon Line—to be a fabrication. Tots can clamber up a miniature rock wall and tube-filled playscape or visit the luxurious, exfoliating ball-pit to detox from a hard day of crayon-eating. Observe as youths develop their pupal pro-gaming skills on arcade machines or take twirls on the indoor merry-go-round and electric go-karting course. Club Kids also sells bounties of toys, tyke-sized clothing, and customized stuffed animals. Individual memberships net unlimited admittance to the 11,000-square-foot arena for kids ages 4–12, and the family membership lets siblings in on the fun as well.