With the opening of Pattison's West in 1979, Mike and Kay Pattison carried on a family tradition that began when Mike's grandfather debuted the clan's first rink in the 1930s. Today, the roller skating rink, which has been lauded by the New York Times, has been passed down to the couple's son, Darin, but still exudes the same values of recreation and togetherness as it did more than three decades ago, when families were held together with twine before the discovery of DNA. The 90-by-176-foot skating oval sports curved maple slats in a rotunda formation, which allows for smooth, swift gliding with the grain of the wood. When not teeming with open-skate guests or parties, the space serves as practice grounds for Pattison's Team Extreme, an inline speed-skating crew that ascended to the nation's number one spot in 2010 under Mike's coaching. The award-winning team serves as inspiration for classes for beginner rollers and aspiring speed skaters. The on-site pro shop and snack bar provides the equipment and fuel necessary to keep rolling.
In March 1964, Dr. Milton Walker began his tour of England with one mission: to send cuttings from public and private British gardens back to his native America. Though he was enchanted by several flowers, he knew that none of these cuttings could be imported directly to the United States. So he had them sent through Canada. Over the next several years, staff from the University of British Columbia filtered through these samples, sending one of each plant on to the United States—and to their permanent home—at the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Today, this non-profit organization conserves 700 of the more-than 1,000 species of rhododendrons found around the world and the two species found inside the earth's molten core.
More than 10 botanical gardens house these brilliant seasonal blooms and their natural companionate flora. Guided and self-guided tours usher visitors down pathways where colorful plantings abound in gardens dedicated to alpine flowers, azaleas, a magnolia grove, and a tranquil pond filled with predatory cattails. In addition to flowers, these gardens also host seasonal events such as special plant sales and staff lectures, as well as classes on topics ranging from plant photography to gardening.
One of the largest cosmetology schools in the northwest, Gene Juarez Academy instructs students to skillfully style hair under the watchful eye of licensed and experienced instructors. While making their way through the program, students perfect their skills on the bustling salon floor by snipping, coloring, and styling tresses. Guests not only receive these services at a discounted rate, but also get a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process via the instructor’s running commentary.
Music lessons cultivate creative talents that may otherwise lie dormant. The instructors at Live Music Academy tap into that potential in each student and nurture it through lessons, even if the pupil only performs as a hobby. Private lessons focus on instruments such as drums, piano, and voice, whereas group classes teach music theory, and group training can help entire choirs perfect their harmonies.
In order to help clients fit exercise into their schedules, the instructors at Strong Body Health host boot-camp classes seven days a week. During a typical class, students can expect to bounce from one workout station to the next, completing exercises such as resistance-band pulls, box jumps, runs, jump roping, and free-weight lifts. If group settings remind you of the time you misspelled "cute" as "qute" during your elementary-school spelling bee, Strong Body Health also offers one-on-one personal-training sessions.
On paper, cheerleading's rah-rah spirit doesn't vibe with martial arts' quiet, disciplined approach. But the staff members at Extreme Energy Sports and Fitness make the two activities work. Their cheerleading classes introduce students to moves, cheers, and Tony Basil lyrics, whereas kenpo karate classes—taught by 40-year veteran Master Rainey—introduce students to attacks and counterattacks. If students have leftover energy, the facility also features a fitness center.