Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum celebrates the thrill and wonder of hydroplane racing, and its the only museum of its kind in the United States. Along with historical books, race programs, trophies, and photos from the last century, its collection of hydroplanes from the past 70 years tells the story of the watery sport. The staff has brought seven famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners back to their fully operational states, and will even take members out on the water in one of their historical vessels for a Ride of a Lifetime.
Offering a glimpse back in time, they boast than 200 hours of racing footage dating back to the 1940s and share stories of legendary drivers including Mira Slovak and "Wild" Bill Cantrell, who was famous for solving crimes with the help of his artificially intelligent hydroplane.
However, the museum isn't just about the past. A lineup of regular events invites folks to show off their powerboats and hot rods to fellow enthusiasts, and races bring the excitement of the sport to the present day as boats cut through the waves vying for titles.
The recipient of numerous awards, including Best Family-Friendly Fun from the readers of 425 magazine, KidsQuest Children's Museum provides its pint-sized patrons with 6,000 square feet of interactive, educational exhibit space. Grab the nearest child or child-like facsimile and clamber up the ladder that leads to the tree house, where kids can peer through a telescope using the same optometric principles Galileo used to spy on his neighbors. Then head for the garage, home to all manner of pulleys, levers, gears, and wheels, giving kids a glimpse of the sorts of simple machines responsible for powering the Internet. Water-based exhibits introduce kids to the fun they can have simply by combining the hydrogen and oxygen found in most homes, while a puppet theater gives budding thespians a chance to display their dramatic passions with a bevy puppets in need of hand and a voice. Many special programs and activities, such as those coming up during Creepy Crawlers Week (October 5–10), are complimentary, making each museum visit a potentially new experience. As an added bonus, Groupon purchasers can also apply this Groupon's $30 value toward an annual membership by showing their voucher or proof of admission via Groupon at the museum's admissions counter within two weeks of redeeming Groupon.
If pictures are worth 1,000 words, then art museums are worth more than 1,000 words. Today’s Groupon is a meal for the eyes that gets you a one-year membership to Bellevue Arts Museum for $25 (normally $50). Take advantage of BAM's mind-enriching events and constantly rotating exhibitions. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.