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.
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Owner Steve Olson added Parlor Live to the Parlor complex in 2008 as a way to bring big city-caliber evening entertainment to suburban Bellevue. National comedians take the stage in a wide, shallow room with seating that wraps around three sides of the action as colored shapes produced by a sophisticated lighting system dance across the walls. A globally inspired menu introduces the agonizing dilemma of whether to laugh, fill one’s mouth, or mold little edible hearts to toss toward the performer with shareable dishes that include garlic-gorgonzola waffle fries and coconut prawns. The drink menu, too, aims to surprise with complex cocktails that range from a classic old-fashioned to a sparkling rosemary potion with Aperol.
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.
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.
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.
Though thousands of miles from Thailand, Leading Edge Kickboxing & Martial Arts imports the country’s national sport, Muay Thai kickboxing, fresh daily. The fighting style, built on a foundation of kicking, punching, and elbow and knee strikes, forms the core of their fitness programs, engineered by head instructor John Stabb. Enamored of all arts martial, the instructors also teach Jiu-Jitsu’s unarmed combat techniques, MMA, and Jeet Kune Do’s self-defense method that employs weaponry, grappling, and strategically scattering banana peels to throw your opponent off balance. Unlike more repetitive workouts, the studio’s varied martial arts sessions build lean muscle mass and enhance cardio fitness.
Honest Movement Pilates, a Stott Pilates training center, improves the body movement, posture and breathing of all fitness levels with one-on-one teaching techniques and high-quality Pilates equipment. During the private Pilates classes, instructors educate body-bending neophytes on the basic principles of Pilates and microeconomic policy before submerging them into a variety of challenging yet appropriate exercises. Using floor mats, chairs, reformers, and ladder barrels, clients tone muscles through a contemporary, tailored full-body workout. Large windows and an abundance of natural light energize Pilates students and encourage impromptu shadow-puppet duels.