Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
"Gardens are a lot like people,” Marilyn Simmons told Now Magazines. “As they grow and mature, they come into their own.” Marilyn and her daughter Donelle, owners of Garden Inspirations, have their own unique plot. “A Radio Flyer wagon is home to an assortment of flowers and trailing potato vines and an herb garden is flourishing in a nonfunctioning barbecue grill.”
At their farm, the two work to show pupils how to plant their own beds with pesticide-free veggies, which blossom into sources of personal pride. The full schedule of classes includes introductory courses on overcoming the gamut of challenges that aspiring gardeners face, such as inhospitable soil, lack of time, and accidentally planting their car keys. Knowledgeable about diverse garden types—including rooftop, field, and aquaponic—the instructors impart their wisdom on the best kind of garden for each grower’s individual needs, as well as which vegetable varieties grow most readily in North Texas and how to plant them. When not brewing compost tea or working beneath trellises tangled in emerald wisps, the crew does a radio show which talks about how to obtain baskets of naturally grown peaches, cucumbers, and squash.
Fanny Kerwich, Lone Star Circus’s founder and current creative director, was born with the circus in her blood. An eighth-generation member of a renowned French circus family, she has been performing since age 6, delighting international audiences at Paris’s Lido and Moulin Rouge, Germany’s Circus Roncalli, and San Francisco’s Teatro ZinZanni.
Fanny’s performing experience and artistic vision now guide the nonprofit Lone Star Circus, which is a two-branched operation. Its performance troupe’s grace and athleticism shine during shows. The circus’s school hosts classes for adults and children throughout the week. Beginners’ classes cover a variety of circus skills, from trapeze and aerial silk work to acrobatics and lyra, also known as aerial hoop. Learning to lift and hold your own body weight is a good way to get stronger and see muscle definition quickly.
A fleet of nine carriages bearing the NorthStar insignia clips and clops through the city streets of Dallas and Fort Worth, ferrying riders through historical tours and evenings filled with romance. Passengers watch the city skyline pan past their open-top carriage or opt for shelter beneath a cloth canopy as they visit historic locales. Ahead of them, a professional driver sports a white tuxedo shirt, boots, and Western hat, and his noble steed, trained at the company farm to be gentle and politely decline drag-race challenges, maintains a natural grace. Since its establishment in 1990, the company has had the honor of participating in a number of special local events, including football-victory parades and the Adolphus Children’s Christmas Parade.
After honing a house improvisation style, Dallas Comedy House began teaching burgeoning comics to deliver fast-paced, spontaneous humor that slays audiences with on-the-fly performances. The packed schedule features Roadside Couch shows, during which performers springboard from an audience-generated topic to craft a barrage of scenes as spontaneously funny as a Vegas drive-through wedding of two clowns. Late Night Improv (Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m.) brings two teams together to showcase their comedic chemistry by playing off associations, images, and goofy premises. Established comedy teams Roadside Couch and Victory Point unite at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, respectively, to deliver off-the cuff comedy while fans brandish giant foam fingers in support. Though not included with this Groupon, Dallas Comedy House stocks a full bar that starts serving 30 minutes before shows and offers table service during performances.