Wheelz Skate Arena provides a 24,000-square-foot circular playground for veteran and neophyte foot gliders. A three-hour solo session in the rink is complemented by a pair of rented skates and snacks from the nearby food court to provide edible energy or exciting obstacles for rival skaters. Between 12 and 15 students attend Saturday-morning group classes, renting skates and spending 15–20 minutes warming up, after which they receive 30 minutes of skating knowledge on fundamentals such as marching forward, starting and stopping, and fixing skates’ tiny engines when they overheat. Following the class, students can free skate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., enough time to practice rolling presidential inaugurations.
Premier Paintball provides pigment-packers ages 10 and up with multiple fields on which to run, shoot, and play dead. The brand new x-ball field pits teams against one another amid the playful geometry of stuffed, beanbag-like fortifications and an enormous red X that, when combined with the correct incantation, is capable of summoning every zombie pirate within a half-mile radius. Players who prefer a more true-to-life take on tempura warfare can take on the role of SWAT tacticians in the village, invading buildings in search of opponents and shouting "clear!" each time they note a window's transparency. Or, test your aim and adrenaline tolerance during woodsball, a calculated contest of wits and color shooter in which half of the included 500 paintballs spend themselves against branch and bough instead of limb and leg. Although today's deal includes all the equipment, air, and ammunition players need to fuel their frescoed festivities, Groupon guests can also take advantage of a 10% discount on same-day purchases made at the on-site pro shop.
Away from the rink, the players who make up Dockyard Derby Dames could be seen as teachers, accountants, nurses, journalists, and moms. But once they strap on a pair of skates, these women become warriors of the track—impassioned athletes with a thirst for victory who wear bruises like badges of honor. The league was founded in 2005 by a small group of skaters, and has since grown to include four teams. Today, it even boasts a travel team that treks across the country to face other squads and make sure the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans both have enough water in them. Dedicated as they are to the sport, though, the ladies of Dockyard Derby Dames are equally committed to giving back to the community by sponsoring charities and participating in community outreach events.
Building mind-bending music on a foundation of ancient Japanese taiko drums, Ōn Ensemble merges a deep, hypnotic form of percussion with everything from turntable-ism to electronica to Tuvan throat singing—creating the unique world-fusion sound that has kept fans on their toes, when they're not levitating just off them. Wired magazine's Underwire blog said that Ōn's 2009 effort, Ume in the Middle, "should appeal equally to fusion aficionados and left-fielders in search of something stranger." Despite their dauntless exploration in the realms of the avant-garde, the Ōn Ensemble has gained the ultimate stamp of approval in classical Japanese culture—an endorsement from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, instrument maker to the emperor of Japan—ensuring that Ōn doesn't fall victim to the public shaming that has torn apart so many promising avant-garde Japanese percussionists.
For decades, the city of Tacoma was the minor league home of MLB teams from across the country. It hosted affiliates of the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and even the New York Yankees for one season. In 1995, the Seattle Mariners took over Tacoma's team and instantly inherited the long-time organizational name, the Rainiers. The alliance has seen much success over the years, including a Pacific Coast League championship in 2010, a title the club had to win on the road while Cheney Stadium was groggy from anesthesia as it endured drastic renovations.
Those renovations earned the facility a "2011 Renovation of the Year" award from Ballpark Digest. Once dubbed the "100-Day Wonder" thanks to its hasty construction before the 1960 season, Cheney Stadium features an iconic 75-foot wooden exterior façade. Inside, the stadium now boasts such modern amenities as luxury suites, a restaurant, and a grass berm along right field. Despite all the updates, though, the stadium has preserved its epic 29-foot tall batter's eye in centerfield, which sits a distant 425 feet—or, the equivalent of 5,437 sunflower seeds—from home plate.
After opening their doors in 1986, the backyard beautifiers at Rosedale Gardens have continued to stock their full-service nursery with backyard essentials to keep homes lively year-round. The sprawling, 5-acre-plus campus boasts inspirational lawn arrangements and a vast inventory of accessories to help to foster budding green thumbs. Along with a panoply of blooming buds, the expansive inventory includes garden structures, ground coverings, and aquatic additions to help to realize the dreams of fish that always wanted to become garden gnomes. Skillfully shaped shrubbery inspires patrons to awaken their inner Scissorhands, and a range of bare-root trees stands as sanctuary for backyard birds. Upon leaving the nursery, each plant promises to be without disease or insects and totes along a one-year guarantee, which issues replacements for any flora that fails despite proper care.