By Bob Burchfield, Editor
Today I visited the NinjaZone Academy at Grand Park – The Sports Campus at Westfield in #Westfield #Indiana to check out this new gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle training, and freestyle movement facility with my 12-year-old grandson, Zion.
The NinjaZone, which just opened last week, is located INSIDE the Grand Park Events Center at 19000 Grand Park Blvd in Westfield. It’s part of a national network of these franchises that just started two years ago. Right now, according to the manager, it’s open Mon-Sat 9 am to 12 pm and Mon-Thu 4-8 pm (hours may fluctuate as traffic patterns and classes develop).
This is a really cool fitness gym for kids with state-of-the-art equipment and fully-trained coaches and trainers. As you can see in the photos, trainer Tyler Robling was right there to keep an eye on Zion as he went through a little exercise routine on “The Rig!” in the The Challenge Room.
(Here’s a tip: my grandson has autism, which presents a lot of challenges of its own. But Zion kicked off his shoes and took to the equipment like a duck to water! I think kids will naturally be drawn to this equipment.)
Grand Park is the first-ever Academy location for NinjaZone — and there’s going to be a 2nd location opening this summer in the Geist area at 116th Street and Olio Road.
The NinjaZone Academy offers child-centered personalized instruction with small classes of a 6:1 ratio. Students receive one class per week and eight 20-minute challenge classes per month. Each regular class lasts for 40 minutes.
It is designed to meet the developmental needs of children ages 3 to 13 (you can enroll your kids up to age 11 and they can stay on through age 13).
So although Zion is too old to enroll in the Academy, two of my favorite bloggers Jenny Lear (Fortville Mama) and Katy Mann (Indy with Kids) have kids in that age group who are ideal candidates for this program.
In fact, Jenny Lear is actually the one who suggested that I visit NinjaZone and check it out, and when I got there, I discovered that both Jenny and Katy have already beat me to the punch!
By the way, NinjaZone can also do birthday parties for your group!
I’d like to personally thank Scott Rudicel (yes, it’s Rudi: THAT Scott!) and Megan Noel for taking time out of their busy day to give Zion and me a tour of the facility. And as a bonus I discovered that my good friend Jason Nye, who used to work with me at the University of Indianapolis, is now the Digital Content Manager for NinjaZone!
For more information, visit http://theninjazone.com/location-learn-more/ or call 317-418-8761. You can also follow NinjaZone on Twitter @ninjazonegpacad or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/. Check it out when you get the chance!
DISCLOSURE NOTICE: Rudi gave Zion a free T-shirt during our visit.
Photos provided by the Children’s Museum and used with written permission.
By Leslie Olsen
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Have you ever thought about running away to join the circus? Now you have a unique opportunity and you don’t even have to pack your suitcase!
“Circus — Starring YOU!” is a colorful, highly interactive exhibit filled with the sights, sounds and even some of the enticing food smells of some of the greatest shows on Earth.
Opening at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on February 18, 2017, children and families are invited to step right up and join three rings of circus fun and history under the big top.
See the circus world as it was decades ago when it served as a rare form of exotic entertainment. Experience what has changed, and what has remained the same including the highly skilled athletes and performers who dazzle and amaze. Become part of the circus family as you dare to walk the virtual tightrope, learn to juggle, or practice your rigging skills.
“Visiting the circus has been a family tradition for millions over the centuries. Nowhere will you see such teamwork and talent that is passed from generation to generation,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum. “We want our visitors, which often consist of multiple generations to share those circus memories, create new memories, and practice teamwork and build confidence as they conquer circus skills together.”
Here is a sampling of some of the fun families will experience when they join The Children’s Museum circus experience:
· Virtual Reality Tightrope: Experience the thrill of the high wire when you put on a headset and walk along a “wire” from one basket to another in a realistic simulation of a classic circus act.
· Lyra Rings: Practice a real circus aerial act using real equipment in a safe and secure environment.
· Rigging Knots: Learn to tie and secure knots similar to those used in real circus rigging.
· Juggling: Work together as a family on a stationary roller board to learn the rhythm and timing of basic juggling then try your new skills using scarves or beanbags.
· Roman Ladders: Two sizes of ladders allow you and all members of your family to practice acrobatic skills on special ladders created just for circuses.
· Clown Car: Dress in clown costumes and see how many of your family members you can “fit” in a simulated clown car. Don’t forget to take your family selfie!
Clown Face-Painting Touchscreen Game: Create your own clown face after learning the different types of clowns. Email your finished product to yourself.
Circus — Starring YOU! is presented by Chick-fil-A. It is supported by Purdue University and Aquafina. For more information, visit http://childrensmuseum.org/, or call 317-334-3322.
By Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone
On behalf of “Sizzling Day of Bacon”
The grand opening of Fair Oaks Farms’ newest agritourism attraction, the Pork Education Center, will be an over-the-top, family focused event celebrating the only pork education center in the nation focused on transparent pig farming.
The “Sizzling Day of Bacon” will be held on Sunday, June 28, 2015, 10 AM to 5 PM, and will attract a wide demographic of individuals from around the nation.
The celebration will be hosted on the event grounds of Fair Oaks Farms, which are adjacent to the new Pork Education Center, and in the center itself, as well as across the rest of the Fair Oaks Farms campus.
“The grand opening celebration for this one-of-a-kind attraction will feature industry leaders, consumer products, great musical entertainment, delicious food and fun activities. It will be an exciting event for the whole family,” said Brian Martin, president of the board of directors for the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure.
The Pork Education Center is a nonprofit facility whose mission is to bring food to the table, educate consumers about the many uses of pork products and set industry standards, as well as offer a transparent look into the world of modern pig farming.
Guests to the center can learn amazing facts about how pork products are used in everyday life, challenge themselves on an exciting ropes course, watch videos about selecting and preparing pork, view a giant storyboard or play pig-related games.
Children will enjoy exploring the center’s tree house featuring a bacon slide and a “real” fireplace. This creative addition to the center was custom-made by Daniels Wood Land, Inc., and will be featured on the Animal Planet show “Redwood Kings.”
“We could have opened this amazing education center with just a ribbon cutting, but the creative minds of our board members and those at Mixdesign wanted to come up with a fantastic way to celebrate such a special building. I think we have planned a very memorable day,” Martin added.
The highlight of the grand opening celebration will be a concert showcasing the world famous Bacon Brothers Band – nothing says “bacon” quite like a performance by Michael and Kevin Bacon!
Additionally, the celebration will include a battle of the chefs’ pork cook-off competition, pork and related product samplings, a “bacon shake” for kids, a full day of kids’ activities and much more.
Tickets for the day’s events are $45 for adults and $21 for kids. The Bacon Brothers Band concert and entrance into both The Dairy and Pig Adventures, as well the educational centers on the Fair Oaks Farms campus, are included in the ticket price.
Fair Oaks Farms is located in Newton County in northwestern Indiana at 856 North County Road 600 East in Fair Oaks, just off I-65 Exit 220. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit http://fofarms.com/. Tickets can also be purchased online on Ticketweb. For more event details, contact Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 219-322-7190.