THEARC Theater was created out of necessity. The first theater in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, it was founded to provide residents living east of the Anacostia River with expanded cultural opportunities and hide-and-seek spots. Constructed by local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, the theater aims to improve the lives of children and adults in southeast Washington through educational, health, and social-service programs such as free theater workshops and youth internships in technical theater management. Noting the tower of glass windows that crowns the entrance, the Washington Post called it "a veritable lighthouse of learning—a $27 million, 110,000-square-foot campus set on 16 beautiful green acres."
The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
Chef Moses has a surefire way to ensure everything he cooks brims with the best ingredients and flavors—he imagines it's for his mother. The veteran chef cooked his first meal, which was a steak dinner, for his mom at the age of 10 before eventually going on to train at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans. The burgeoning cook then honed his skills by working under renowned chefs Emeril Laggasse and Paul Prudhomme at their respective restaurants.
Today, the now-seasoned chef creates his own signature dishes—such as a crawfish bisque and pasta jambalaya—that blend old family recipes with his own unique additions, earning himself features in Louisiana Cooking Magazine and on WWL-TV News. All the while, he cooks with a firm grasp on the differences between Cajun and Creole cooking, which mostly come down to the spice level, origin, and astrological sign of Cajun and Creole shrimp. In addition to using catering trays as his canvases, he showcases his culinary talents during classes that teach novice chefs how to prepare their own restaurant-quality meals.
Today's Groupon gets you $35 worth of French café fare and Belgian beer for $15 at L'Enfant Café & Bar. This Parisian-themed eatery is best known for their perfect crepes: "cooked enough to lose the doughy flavor and just thick enough to keep from tearing," according to The Washington Post. Get them with fresh strawberries, Nutella, amaretto liquor, lemon and sugar, stuffed with mushrooms and gruyère in béchamel sauce, or with roasted red pepper and goat cheese. With seven savory dinner crepes and more than 12 sweet options, L'Enfant can cook a staggering stack of crepe combinations (click here to see the sweet crepe menu).
Evocative aromas ascend from swirling chalices at Veritas Wine Bar, a brick-walled lounge where sommeliers pair more than 70 wines by the glass with a menu of cheese and charcuterie plates. Grape-infused elixirs gush from a temperature-controlled tap system, ensuring uniform sips unmarred by sudden climate shifts or clumsy fire breathers. Reds and whites from Italy, South Africa, and New Zealand slosh into individual glasses or join forces to create flights. Globetrotting artisanal cheeses fall under four categories—blue, cow, goat, and sheep—and deliciously mingle with charcuterie selections. Sippers can scrawl an appetizing epilogue across the evening’s feast by noshing on chocolate morsels laced with slow-cooked caramel or pistachio butter, which silence petulant sweet teeth without preemptively donning a bedtime retainer.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has been serving families and family-free individuals for more than 150 years. Today's deal gives you one month of individual (an $83 value) or family membership (good for two adults and any children under the age of 21 residing in the same household, normally $104) to this venerated institution and its numerous locations, which have numerous amenities, including fitness equipment and indoor and outdoor pools (pool availability varies by location). You also get the choice of one personal-training session with a certified trainer to help jump start a stymied fitness routine or improve a preexisting one ($75 value). Personal training can even incorporate popular elements, such as Zumba, cycling, belly dance, kickboxing, playing catch with computer monitors, and more. If you prefer squeaky-shoe sports, you may instead choose one private tennis lesson, available at the Bethesda/Chevy Chase location, Silver Spring location or the YMCA Arlington Tennis and Squash Center ($75 value).