The skilled dancers at Anchorage Classical Ballet, recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Arts Organization Award, lead pintsize pirouetters in daylong camps that introduce them to the disciplined grace of classical dance. The one-day workshops partition girls and boys into theme-based programs catering to three separate age groups: 3- and 4-year-olds, kids ages 5–6, and youngsters ages 7–9. Students can plié, jeté, and electric boogaloo in Ballerina for a Day camp, jump to their feet in Can’t Sit Still, or commit to sanctioned insanity in Crazy 4 Dance. Each course incorporates music and song with dance instruction and includes the creation of crafts, such as macaroni portraits of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Camps run July 26 to August 27 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with occasional Thursday sessions.
The same passion for classic and vintage video games that led Michael to the finals of a Donkey Kong tournament galvanized him to open Video Game Depot several years later, which he runs with an aim toward holding on to what video gaming used to be. Stepping into the shop is like stepping into an anachronism, where vintage Ataris mingle with PlayStation 3s on the shelves. Michael’s clientele often stop by to trade in old Nintendo Entertainment Systems for other consoles or pocket money for asking out Princess Peach’s less-distressed cousins. The store's inventory is constantly expanding, with recent additions including game soundtracks, an ever-rotating selection of consoles, and several arcade cabinets such as Donkey Kong and Ms. Pacman. His passion has passed onto his four sons, who help run the store's websites and counter before the family sets off for home to game together in the evenings.
All Fired Up serves as a portal to a wonderland of creative possibilities, where guests select figurines and dishware from multiple walls’ worth of pre-fired ceramics and unleash a flurry of brushstrokes over unembellished pieces. All of the shop’s bisques are dishwasher-safe, and its water-based paints are non-toxic and easily washable from hands, clothes, and Bride of Frankenstein wigs, making projects appropriate for artists of all ages. A panoply of pre-made designs makes a great starting point for gifts, which visitors can further personalize with hand, foot, or paw prints. Locally owned and operated, All Fired Up helps play its part in the community with a wealth of fundraising projects, such as paintable piggy-banks for donation drives.
A denim jacket by Diesel Kids, a flower-patterned dress by Janie and Jack, and scores of other clothes hang from racks, their tags often showing a discount of up to 70% off. That's because these fashionable kids' duds are gently used. At 23 locations across the United States, Kid to Kid stores buy used children's and maternity clothing, as well as toys and baby gear made by high-end brands. Before selling them-—with thousands of items priced at less than $5—they meticulously inspect each item for quality and to confirm that no child is still literally attached to them.
The warm staff at Sleep Comfort by Nerlands invites people to laze about a showroom boasting more 50 mattress sets on a quest to find the dreamiest dream pad. Utilizing the technology of the Sleep Metrics diagnostic system, the scholars of slumber match weary people with mattresses, including classic duos of foam mattresses ($215) and basic innerspring mattresses ($248) with box-foundation counterparts. The pocket coils of the queen-size Luxury model Simmons Beautyrest ($677–$887) offer snoozers a night of support and comfort akin to crowd surfing on an audience wearing cashmere oven mitts. As a purveyor of Boyd Natural Flex Latex mattresses, Sleep Comfort by Nerlands introduces allergy-suffering clients to this bacteria-resistant bedfellow and its unwavering resistance to dust mites. Knowing that a good night’s rest is important to physical and mental well-being, Sleep Comfort guarantees blissful slumbering for 60 nights.