Smoke and fierce heat rise from a battalion of Weber gas grills and Big Green Egg smokers as barbecue docents line up in front of them, ready to wrangle rafts of raw meat into expertly grilled, smoked, and sauced feasts. In classes that range from three to seven hours, Phoenix BBQ and Grilling School's instructors impart their knowledge of sauces and marinades. They also teach students how to brine, smoke, and grill ingredients such as ribs, turkeys, chickens, peppers, pork, and veggies, all of which are provided. The three dudes in charge have been leading classes since 1998. Head honcho Stu McMullen draws upon myriad cooking classes and international travels to develop exciting recipes, while "sauce king" Eric Viken introduces sauces that can enchant palates and save accidentally overcooked meats. The barbecue experts hold classes onsite or in private backyards, enabling the family cat to finally learn to do something productive with its hunting gifts.
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.
Lined by neon rails that glow under the blacklights, Safari Mini Golf's course may seem futuristic, but it's actually helping keep an old tradition alive. Recent additions to the course include two obstacles transported from the historic (but now-closed) Golf-a-Rama, Vancouver's first-ever mini-golf course. The result is 18 holes of classic family-friendly, animal-themed putting that challenges players to skirt past anthills, ascend the four-sided Mount Zachary, or evade a swatting monkey, all while ignoring the caddies jabbering in their ear. Other attractions at Safari Mini Golf include a stuff-your-own stuffed-animal station and rides on motorized animals, including an elephant, crocodile, giraffe, and hippo.
For a couple of days, the Washington County Fairgrounds transforms into a jungle. Large cats. Venomous snakes. Reptiles of all types. Those and other animals sprawl across the Pacific Northwest Reptile & Exotic Animal Show, where more than 100 vendors display exotic creatures and related merchandise. In addition to the animals and products on sale, the show doubles as an educational attraction. Interactive reptile and mammal displays teach visitors about new creatures, while an exotic animal petting zoo lets visitors discover which animals secretly know how to shake hands.
In 2011, Aarun?Carter won the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho, and in 2012, her band, the Concrete Cowboys, was recognized as Oregon's best country band. At Red Barn Studios, she shares her gift for music with students by teaching violin, fiddle, guitar, and voice lessons. Students also can opt for online classes held over Skype, during which Carter chats live feedback.
Bikram Yoga Hazel Dell is a classic Bikram yoga studio—meaning the instructors here teach the discipline's 26 postures and two breathing exercises—but it's not without modern charm. Guests enjoy a variety of amenities as they seek peace, including showers, changing rooms, and anti-microbial floors that prevent any odors to keep the air fresh. The studio also houses a high-end gas heating system, which ensures a 105-degree climate during 90-minute classes. There, students stretch deeply and gain strength while detoxifying their bodies through sweating. Mastering the challenging poses of Bikram yoga also helps students gain confidence and finally learn how to count all the way to 26.