P . 18 | FEBRUARY 2023 | THE HAMMONTONIAN
From the gym to the library , plenty to do indoors
OUTSIDE , from P . 17 punch , Instinct Fitness and MMA — located in the Blueberry Crossing shopping plaza at 240 S White Horse Pike , Unit A-3 — may hold the answer .
Alek Zaborowski , who operates the facility along with Bill Doyle , said that Instinct Fitness and MMA offers options for the whole family .
“ We have kids ’ jiu jitsu classes and striking classes three days a week . For adults , we have boxing , kickboxing , jiu jitsu classes Zumba classes . We also offer extra in-season wrestling practice with Coach Phil Bakuckas on Mondays and Fridays . We ’ re also going to be offering a women-only jiu jitsu class very soon . It ’ s going to be great for self-defense and fitness ,” Zaborowski said .
Additionally , Zaborowski said that a new mixed martial arts ( MMA ) cage has been installed at the facility .
“ It offers us more mat space , and we ’ re grooming some people that are looking to do MMA fights . That ’ s where we do our sparring and stuff like that as well ,” Zaborowski said .
Instinct Fitness and MMA also holds group fitness classes .
“ We do cross-training , highintensity interval training , MetCon — it ’ s a mix of weight lifting and cardio — power lifting ; a variety of things . We do offer cardio kickboxing and Muay Thai kickboxing . The cardio is a little more streamlined for beginners and people looking to get in shape ,” Zaborowski said .
Right next to Instinct Fitness and MMA is Elite Athletic Training , which offers more athletic entertainment with the potential for far fewer bumps and bruises .
Owner LT Struble said that the entire facility is turfed to allow for all manner of sports training .
“ There are five batting cages , and then there ’ s one giant area that we have netted
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR WINDOWS ! ACCESSORIZE WITH OUR CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY
CHILDREN AND PARENTS GATHERED AT THE LIBRARY TO HEAR RACHEL SIMMONS READ CLAUDIA RUEDA ’ S NO DURING TODDLER STORYTIME AND CRAFT .
They could do homerun derby , all that kind of stuff . You actually hit the ball , and then it shows it on a television where it went . It ’ s really cool . I use it for training — it shows exit velocity off the bat , the launch angles and all that kind of stuff — but the kids use it for fun ,” Struble said .
For those who prefer relaxing indoor activities , one location has fit the bill for decades : the Atlantic County Library System ’ s Hammonton Branch , located at 451 S . Egg Harbor Rd .
Community Relations Manager Lisa Warker said that the library offers more than just books , movies , music and periodicals . Warker noted several activities , including Family Movie Nights , Kids Crafts and the perennially popular Toddler Storytime and Craft .
“ They read some stories , probably play some games and do a craft ; there ’ s always a craft in there ,” Warker said . off , and you could pretty much do whatever in there ; we call it the big cage . You could do oneon-one baseball training . You could do group training for baseball or softball : batting , pitching , defense , hitting , all of it . People have rented the area for field hockey , and they could do soccer , too ,” Struble said .
Struble said that patrons of all ages have utilized Elite Athletic Training ’ s facilities for training , for practice and for play .
“ I ’ ve had adults come in , all the way down to kids aged 3 or 4 . You could also come in and just rent the cage on your own , like if a parent wanted to bring their child ,” Struble said .
Additionally , Elite Athletic Training boasts the HitTrax system , which Struble describes as being similar to a golf simulator — but for baseball .
“ Kids could play at Citizens Bank Park , and they can play a full game — if they wanted to .
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Warker said that the weekly event is open for children ages 1-and-a-half to 3 and is held every Tuesday at 10:30 a . m .
Warker also said that the library recently started a Lego Club .
“ It was popular at other places , so Hammonton decided they were going to get their own going . We provide the Legos for the kids . They can come and create their own unique designs ,” Warker said .
The monthly event is usually held on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p . m . and is open to children 5 and older . Warker said that the library provides the Legos for the club .
“ The Legos stay there , because then they ’ re re-used by the next set of kids . You can play around with them here . You don ’ t get to take it home , but maybe you take a picture of it , or just know that you did it and leave it to the next person to take apart — or say , ‘ Hey , that ’ s cool . I ’ m going to add to it ’ ... They can come in and let their little imaginations run wild ,” Warker said .
For more indoor fun , one need look no further than the place that has “ fun ” right in its name : DiDonato Family Fun Center , located at 1151 South White Horse Pike .
Owner Steve DiDonato said that the facility — complete with its own restaurant , The Alley Bar and Grille — has entertainment options for patrons of all ages .
“ We have a smaller game room and we have birthday parties on the weekends and the restaurant . You can eat dinner and be bowling at the same time , or the parents can be eating in the restaurant while the kids are on the lanes ,” DiDonato said , adding that the facility has 26 bowling lanes .
DiDonato said that the current game room , which houses pinball machines , video games and a basketball toss , is set for a major upgrade .
“ We ’ re in the process right now of getting approvals for a larger game room — for an addition . We ’ re going to probably do a two-story , about a 7,000 square-foot addition ; 3,500 on each floor . Two stories with birthday party rooms upstairs and a game room on the first floor ,” DiDonato said .
DiDonato said that he hopes the addition will be ready to open in early 2024 .
“ We ’ ll know very shortly . We should be through Pinelands in the next couple of weeks , we ’ re hoping ,” DiDonato said .
In the meantime , DiDonato said that DiDonato Family Fun Center continues to offer fun for the whole family , as it has since 1952 .
“ It ’ s good , clean family fun ; a lot of laughs . It lets you get together and enjoy your family and friends , and , at the same time , get some exercise . Maybe you can even grab some dinner ,” DiDonato said .