Founded in 1972, Cougar Mountain Zoo has maintained a commitment to wildlife education, with particular focus on endangered species. Sweeping views of the Cascade Mountain range and Lake Sammamish set the backdrop for myriad activities, such as daily keeper-led animal walks and minilectures led by zoo staff on two- and four-legged residents who refuse to speak English. Membership benefits include free zoo admission and a 15% discount at the zoo gift shop.
Birthday Dreams’ volunteers devote themselves to one simple principle: all children deserve a birthday, regardless of economic circumstance. By working with homeless shelters and transitional-housing agencies throughout the community, they’re able to help children in need enjoy one special day of celebration. Their meticulous party planning leaves no detail unaccounted for—everything from eating utensils and personalized gifts to decorations and a fresh-baked cake ensures the child's day will be full of smiles. They encourage community involvement by soliciting handmade gifts from local crafters and inviting volunteers to bring their own children to help out at the party. Since its founding, Birthday Dreams has curated more than 1,100 birthday parties across the greater Puget Sound area, averaging about 60 celebrations each month.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Before Sandy Horvath retired from his career as a sales manager, he spent his spare time chronicling the lives of his loved ones and documenting his own travels throughout the world. Over time, his love for his craft blossomed into a thirst to become an admired photographer, so Sandy started submitting his action-packed sports photos to newspapers and magazines. With the publication of his work came professional status and a desire to share his knowledge with others. His first opportunity arose in 2009 when the Si View Metropolitan Park District asked him to teach a class. Soon after, the Issaquah Parks District clamored for Sandy's expertise; he now has over 1400 Club SnapShot students and more joining every day.
Today, Sandy teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to transform snapshots into high-quality pictures with lenses, settings, and exposures during his basic, advanced, plus, and creative classes. He loves helping novice shutterbugs abandon automatic settings—the training wheels of photography—and create memorable images with nothing but manual settings and high-tech freeze rays. Sandy also transforms his own work into high-dynamic-range photo art and gallery-wrapped canvases. Students may do the same to decorate their homes, give as gifts, or hang inside windows to hide nature's flaws.
Stan Phillips spent his childhood at his father’s side in their Kansas City backyard, his little hands barely strong enough to handle the wood for the family’s smoker. Now that he’s grown, Phillips brings his family’s recipes to his Issaquah restaurant, where he slathers meats such as beef brisket, ribs, hot links, and ham with a traditional dry rub, smokes them over hickory wood, and dishes them out with sauce on the side. When diners step inside the rustic barbecue joint, they can order their meats by the pound, or dig into sandwiches such as the Cowboy, whose pork is pulled apart with a spur. A full bar slings cocktails, wines, and craft beers to suit every entrée, and the dining room displays a full Sunday football lineup on its large televisions.
The Little Gym fosters the healthy growth of children by allowing them to progress at their own pace in a nonthreatening, nurturing environment. As wee ones from 4 months to 12 years-old tackle challenges, overcome fears, and learn to confidently express their opinions about Platonic theory, The Little Gym's original music graces their ears and supports their lessons. The month includes four classes that let tots develop through weekly, age-specific curriculum, with programs including pre-school/kindergarten gymnastics, dance, sports-skills development, and karate.
Within Skatebarn's 45,000 square feet of skating space, half pipes and launches patiently perch and wait for the skateboards, rollerblades, bikes, and skates that glide over their surfaces. During two-hour sessions, skaters can freewheel throughout the area, jumping and coasting over rails, verts, ramps, and drops as smoothly as a family of olive-oiled seals. Skatebarn hosts a variety of events and skateboard, BMX, scooter, and rollerblade contests. All skaters must sign a waiver before officially entering into skate territory.