Resplendent with creatively displayed, informative exhibits and beaming with an array of interactive events, Sandoway House Nature Center delights visitors eager to engage with wildlife and local ecosystems. Meander through the popular shark exhibit, taking thrilling ganders at now-harmless jaws from more than 80 different species, including a replica of the world-record-holding great white jaw and pictures of it earning its other world record in hot-dog eating. The Florida reptile room showcases a plethora of native slitherers along with a variety of invasive species, and daily shark feedings display the predator's ravenous ferocity. Groupon guests spend their $5 credit at the gift store, and members take advantage of a blanket discount of 15% off goods, stocking up on crack-your-own geodes ($3.50), or grabbing handfuls of mixed fossil shark teeth to create edgy jewelry or exciting dentures ($2/bag). Members also receive free admission to the center for one year, as well as a newsletter and invitations to special events.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.
While Mugs' main room welcomes spirited sports lovers with 14 plasma TVs and a 102" projection screen, its fiery flavorsmiths busily intensify the menu with fine cookery to save fans from mid-game famine. Prepare palates for kick off with Mugs' spicy tuna tataki, pan-seared sushi-grade tuna ensconced in cajun spices ($12). Spinach-stuffed ravioli ($11) appeases mouth mafias with payments of mozzarella, roasted garlic, and a choice of vodka, marinara, alfredo, or pesto sauce, and chicken marsala ($12) paints brilliant, wine-infused portraits of sautéed mushrooms onto waiting tongues. A lineup of 12 draft beers, including Newcastle, Stella Artois, Guinness, Blue Moon, and Coors Light ($3), ensure a mug-filled match to fit every ale-appetite, and frosty bottles of Heineken, Red Stripe, Coors, and Dos Equis wait to be emptied and re-purposed as purely decorative kazoos.
With rolling hills and lush, green woods in the background, expert instructors lead students out into the great blue Pacific for custom surfing lessons. During lessons, wave tamers certified in CPR, first aid, ocean safety, and mermaid diplomacy bestow burgeoning surfers with all necessary skills and ocean awareness, which helps surfers to keep their bearings and tackle whitecaps safely. Surf techniques and etiquette can be tailored to ease rookies into their comfort zones or amped up to challenge and heighten the skills of more experienced boarders.
Tamalpais Surf Club also rents boards and wetsuits for surfers looking to paddle out on their own, and their lending inventory includes vintage boards from renowned shapers. To throw more adventure into the mix, the team organizes yoga-surf retreats and surf camps in exotic locales such as Costa Rica and Hawaii, where groups can immerse themselves in the country's culture, cuisine, and bilingual waves.