As you may know, 2024 is a leap year—a year in which February has an extra day so that calendars stay synched with the seasons—so we thought we might inspire you to venture beyond the boundaries of your comfortable work-out zone by showcasing some activities and classes on The Northshore that involve a “leap”, both literally and figuratively.

The idea of taking a bold leap into the new year strikes a chord for many. The old year is done, the new is being born. Spring is in the air. It goes with the territory, this urge to try something new—to take a leap into the unknown, to rekindle our connection with life and our personal dreams and goals.

Every year many of us commit to a new fitness regimen. There are seemingly endless options on The Northshore from old school style gym and outdoor basics to the latest greatest work-out trends. Challenge your body and your brain and take an adventurous detour from the well-trodden exercise paths! You may find yourself practicing sun salutations in a barnyard, flying upside down in the air, climbing the walls with your kids, jitterbugging around a town hall, or even feeling like you’ve stepped back in time . . . 


Up, Up, and Away!


A young woman practices yoga on aerial silks in Covington.

Our Place Studio


Fly, float, climb, spin, hang upside down—be the circus star you always wanted to be! Aerial silk arts are challenging, exhilarating and fun. Aerial yoga focuses on stretching and yoga flows and poses, while aerial sling is all about the aerial part—think ‘mini Cirque du Soleil for regular humans.'



Aerial yoga is a fun workout at any age.

Our Place Studio


Our Place Studio (Covington) offers aerial sling for adults and children, as well as aerial yoga. For more aerial yoga check in to Love More (Covington) and Reform Yoga & Pilates Studio (Madisonville). Blue Arrow Yoga & Spa in Slidell offers aerial yoga for kids. Boujie Bungee Fitness (Covington) specializes in bungee classes.



You Might as Well Jump


Altitude Trampoline Parks in Mandeville and Slidell offer fun activities for the whole family.

Altitude Trampoline Parks


When everyone in the family is up for everything and anything that goes up, take your pick of three trampoline adventure parks: Altitude Trampoline Park (Mandeville and Slidell) and Urban Air Adventure Park (opening in April 2024) in Covington. Choose your adrenaline rush: trampolines, climbing walls, obstacle courses, foam pits, ziplines, trapeze, climbing ropes and bumper cars are just some of their family-friendly activities.



Down Dog with Dogs (and Goats)


Little goats make yoga more fun at Cajun Corral Farm in Pearl River.

Cajun Corral Farm


Once a month at Cajun Corral Farm (Pearl River), the goats find their Zen practicing yoga alongside - and sometimes on top of - their delighted human classmates. They're also available for picnic dates.



Doggy Yoga at Once Upon a Tail Rescue in Mandeville

Doggy Yoga in the Southern Hotel courtyard


Once Upon a Tail Rescue hosts a monthly Doggy Yoga class at a local venue. They are a 100% volunteer and foster-based 501(c)3 non-profit local dog rescue who rescues and cares for abused and stray dogs. Take a yoga class, save a life. That’s the kind of leap that makes a difference. Follow them on Facebook for locations of pop-up yoga classes. 



On the Water


Land-O-Pines Campground

Land-O-Pines Family Campground offers Day-Use season passes to non-campers. 


At Land-O-Pines Family Campground (Covington), set up camp or grab a day pass and brave the long, winding water slide. Did I mention the rope swing on the river? You know, the kind where you hold on tight, run, then let go over the water and make a big splash? They’ve got one of those, too. All the best summer memories have rope swings in them.


Practice yoga on a paddleboard with Cypress SUP Yoga and Paddleboard Co.

Cypress SUP Yoga & Paddleboard


We practice yoga on the ground, in the air, and with the animals, so why not on the water? Book Cypress SUP Yoga & Paddleboard to guide you through sun salutations on one of their paddleboards while you float along the scenic Bogue Falaya River. Mind the gators and water moccasins. Just kidding! (Mostly.)



On Wheels


Pelican Park in Mandeville has a skate park open to all.

Pelican Skate Park in Mandeville


How long has it been since you’ve laced up your roller skates? Is your skateboard gathering dust in the garage? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to give these old school sports a try, but never got around to it. 2024 is your year! Step back in time and roller skate under the colorful retro lights at Skater’s Paradise in Slidell. Looking to brush up on your tic-tac and ollies and maybe brave the ramps and rails? Head to Pelican Skate Park in Mandeville.



Shimmy, Jitterbug and Maybe Merengue with the Mayor

Opportunities to dance abound on The Northshore. Check out these three for some unique local flavor and exotic flair. All welcome beginners.


  • Transform your two left feet into two lively Louisiana-style dancing feet. Join the Northshore Cajun Dancers every month at Abita Springs Town Hall for some real Cajun dancing lessons and live Cajun music. Search our calendar for dance dates. 


Wear your dancing boots at a Northshore Cajun Dance in Abita Town Hall.

Wear your dancin' boots to Abita Town Hall on Northshore Cajun Dance nights. (George Long photo)



Covington Mayor Mark Johnson leads Zumba with the Mayor each month.

"Zumba with the Mayor" , a free monthly event in Covington


  • Looking to add more shimmy, sparkle, pop, lock and whirl to your life? Pandorium Belly Dance Company, one of the premiere belly dance companies in the Gulf South, offers belly dance and Polynesian dance classes.


Pandorium Belly Dance dancers learn and perform at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival.

Pandorium Belly Dance performs at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival in Robert, LA.


Spring Festival Fitness & Fun


Practice various types of yoga at the Moonshadow Festival in Abita Springs.


Moonshadow Festival, March 15 -17, 2024 at Moonshadow Farms in Abita Springs, showcases music, healing, arts, and local vendors in a secluded natural sanctuary in Abita Springs. Get your hips shakin’ at the Afrobeats Dance Class. Or maybe you want to slow down and tune in with Body Awareness Yoga Flow. Explore traditional breathwork techniques and yoga poses at a sunset Breath + Move Yoga Flow class. This festival is for ages 18 and above.



Yoga by Bhakti Farms at Northshore Greens Farm


The whole family is welcome at Bhakti Farms Yoga Fest, April 19-21, 2024. Enjoy music, yoga, food, and community fun in one of the most beautiful natural settings in Covington. If you love yoga, Bhakti Fest is your ticket – you can find Iyengar, Kundalini, Jivamukti, Hatha and Bhakti style classes, as well as Acro Yoga & Acro Family Fly. For the kiddos, check out Galactic Kids Yoga, relay races, flag football and the scavenger hunt.



The Labyrinth (Minotaur Not Included)

Take a walk around labyrinths with the Covington Labyrinth Project.


Sometimes the leap we feel called to take is only a small step. Many small steps. Maybe the challenge for you, the new adventure, is slowing down and finding more peace and focus. The Covington Labyrinth Project regularly invites the community to help construct natural labyrinths around Covington. The labyrinths are open to the public for walking and occasional special events until the weather inevitably disperses them. Plans are in the works for a permanent public labyrinth, but for now, enjoy these beautiful natural versions. Check out their Facebook page for updates and current labyrinth locations.  


Liz Bragdon is a Movement Educator, Aerial Instructor and Storyteller in historic downtown Covington. You can find her year-round at Our Place Studio, and in the summers at local libraries throughout Southeast Louisiana performing her "Tales With a Twist: Stories That Move!" program for kids.


Photos provided by Liz Bragdon, Skal Axe Throwing, Altitude Trampoline Park, Land-O-Pines Family Campground, Cypress SUP Yoga & Paddleboard, Recreation District 1/Pelican Park, George Long, Zumba-North of the Lake Facebook page, Pandorium Belly Dance Company, Moonshadow Festival, Bhakti Farms, and Covington Labyrinth Project.