Though FLOAT's neon sign is small and easy to miss in the window of a converted historic cotton mill, its interior is anything but unremarkable. The artist-owned urban art spa stimulates the mind with work from established and rising local artists and submerges clients in warm, dark chambers that relieve bodies of their senses. These floatation therapy sessions enhance relaxation and open up channels of creativity, freeing brains from the incessant digital stimulation and algebraic speed-limit signs of the outside world. While enclosed inside the tank, clients float in a weightless state in a solution composed of 1,000 pounds of medical-grade Epsom salts and water. There, air, water, and skin become alike—refreshing the nerves while recharging the mind more efficiently than sleep. Complementing floatation sessions are massage services that enhance already relaxed states.
The Museum of Children’s Art's staff provides learning experiences for children and adults with hands-on activities, summer camps, and exhibits. Good for two children and a backup team of any number of adults, this one-year family pass gives mini Picassos access to unlimited drop-in art sessions, which are led by a professional teaching artist and boldly explored by children and parents together. An artillery of materials lies within growing fingers’ grasp, allowing creative minds to wield fabric, clay, or paint in the struggle to create life-size replicas of their inner adults. Memberships also equip families with a 10% discount on camps, which are based on different themes and culminate with a gallery exhibition, allowing campers to show off their work to parents while attracting future commissions from refrigerator art collectors. Check out the website for additional member benefits.
Since 1969, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has presented world-class performances. With a subscription package, you'll earn a tutu triumvirate, which may include the newly debuted The Three Musketeers, Tchaikovsky's timeless holiday tale The Nutcracker, or Dracula, Bram Stoker's macabre saga of love experienced by sentient lawn ornaments. A Gershwin Fantasy presents a graceful reimagining of the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin with accompaniment from Tony Award nominee Ann Hampton Callaway and her band. Balanchine celebrates the work of legendary American choreographer George Balanchine.
Your ticket includes a mind-expanding movie about the cosmos, some live music you can dance to, and access to the observatory and all of Chabot's exhibits. Current exhibits delve into the scientific achievements and cosmology of the Maya, give you a most likely dehydrated taste of the life of an astronaut, and take you on a journey to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, among other things. And—weather permitting—you'll get to spy on other planets from either Nellie, the 36" reflector telescope that allows access to 180 degrees of night sky, or Rachel, the largest refractor in the western U.S. You'll have four hours to amble through the science center with a celestial concoction in one hand (drinks are $3–$5 at the cash bar) and your date in the other. After staring into the depths of distant galaxies, you can stare into the depths of each other's eyes over dinner at the Starlight Bistro or Celestial Café (not included in Groupon; reservations required).
Oakland Zoo was first established in 1922, but it didn’t find its permanent home until 1939, when it was thoughtfully constructed amid the rolling hills of Knowland Park. Today, Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 animals, who thrive in biomes designed to mimic their natural environments.
The sprawling African savannah is one of the zoo’s largest habitats, housing hyenas, zebras, elephants, and giraffes. The centerpiece is a 1.5-acre lion exhibit called Simba Pori, which translates to lion county in Swahili. Inside, a pride of lions freely roam an enclosure outfitted with kopje rock structures, a pond, and a booth where the king can sign autographs.
Over in the rainforest habitat, chimpanzees and white-handed gibbons swing through the treetops. Emus and wallaroos—a cousin of the wallaby and the kangaroo—roam freely in the Wild Australia exhibit, accessible via one of the zoo’s rides, Outback Express Adventure Train. Other rides include the Endangered Species Carousel and Sky Ride, a chairlift that soars above the habitats and offers Bay Area skyline views.