Friends for Youth's Senior Friends volunteer to spend time with a Junior Friend between the ages of 8 and 17, solidifying a relationship of trust and support with weekly activities such as going to the movies, visiting the zoo, and reading together. Friends for Youth plans to send mentor and mentee pairs on an adventure trip to Lake Tahoe to help strengthen the bond between Friends and introduce youth to exciting outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding. With $300, a mentor-and-mentee pair can attend the trip, with funding to cover the cost of transportation, a meal, skiing or snowboarding lessons, and equipment rental.
Kiteboarders skim across the tops of ocean ripples, propelled by the wind, seemingly free of gravity. But a lot of science goes into each ride, and Ovi Banuta founded KITE415 to help aspiring boarders learn to manage their multipart excursions. He and a crack team of instructors—all of whom are certified to teach by the International Kiteboarding Organization and the Professional Air Sports Association—begin lessons on land, teaching students how to read wind direction, control their kites for optimum power, and use divining rods to locate the ocean. The instructors focus on a logical, from-the-ground-up education in the science of kiteboarding to eliminate the learning curve that often stymies beginners. Once students master the basics, instructors throw them into the ocean’s deep end to take on the waves. Ultimately, Ovi and his team aim to quickly produce kiteboarders who can safely hop onto any sea in the world for a high-flying ride without the hassle of lassoing a seagull.
Mandala Lounge takes its name from the Sanskrit word for circle, and in that spirit, it aims to create an experience that fully connects friends, signature cocktails, upscale ambiance, and live entertainment. Here, chicly dressed patrons congregate in the Asian-inspired lounge or on the heated outdoor patio, backed by decade-spanning spins from the rotating line-up of DJs or, in the case of a private party, the host’s own MP3 player or yodeling personal assistant. The cocktail list bears a similarly pan-Asian attitude—the Tokyo Decadence blends pear vodka, rose syrup, cranberry juice, and soda, and the Fit to be Thai’d sweetens palates with ginger vodka, saint germain, pomegranate liqueur, and muddled basil. Aside from cocktails, the bar tenders also pour a selection of single-malt scotches and Asian beers.
For years, football fans lobbied for a football field that looked more like a hockey rink. For $10, today's side deal gets you a sideline-seat ticket to a San Jose Wolves home game (a $25 value), or for $20, get a club-level ticket (a $40 value). All seven 2010 home games take place on Saturdays between March 20 and June 12 and begin at 7:15 p.m. at the Cow Palace in Daly City. Watch as the thrilling routes, veers, and tackles that define football take on new meaning in the confinement of a 50-yard field.
The experienced staff at The Peninsula Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance nurture awkward appendages into free-flowing figures with their dance and fitness classes. Learn the sultry style of Latin-based beats during the beginning folklorico course with Norberto Martinez, or join flow yoga with Patti Stafford to elongate a rigid endoskeleton. The beginning ballet class enables novice dancers to pirouette to work and the grocery store, and the synergy Pilates class swiftly strengthens the core for upcoming sit-up competitions against the neighborhood snap bracelet.
At Menlo Hub, both food and art find a place on the menu. The modern restaurant's walls are blanketed in original contemporary paintings, and on some nights, the dining space reverberates with music from live bands and solo musicians. But even on nights with performances, the main attraction is always found in the kitchen. Here, chefs design casual American dishes sprinkled with elements of Mediterranean cooking.
The menus focus on simple steaks and seafood, complemented by organic produce sourced from nearby sustainable farms. The artfully plated dishes include California sea bass, New York steaks with gorgonzola demi-glace, and eggplant-wrapped lamb shanks. While most visitors sample the cuisine in the airy main dining space, private groups eat in a secluded room warmed by a corner fireplace.
At the lively bar, flat-screen TVs broadcast sporting events as bartenders mix fruit-infused martinis and pour a range of California wines, which are made from grapes that are just thankful that they never became California raisins.
The Little Gym of Belmont ensconces children in a nurturing, noncompetitive environment conducive to building kid confidence with fitness-focused activities. Youngsters can participate in a jellybean jar of professionally developed classes (a $19.75 value per class) such as gymnastics, dance, karate, and sports skills. Each session is geared toward improving the attention spans, mind and body balance, and motor skills of babbling tots ranging from 10-month-olds to middle-school sages of 12 years. Classes last 45–60 minutes, lavishing small fries in movement, music, learning, and laughter, leaving little darlings with no time to bite the instructor's ankles or write a scathing opinion letter to the New York Times about child ennui. Check out the schedule for a full listing of class times.