In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Wine, whiskey and beer flow freely as DJs spin rhythms and food trucks heap paper plates with nachos, barbecue, and decadent crepes. As the public unveiling of the 2012 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition's winning libations, the Fun Decanted festival gives its attendees a chance to sample the competition's victorious roster for one evening. When not filling their souvenir glasses with tastes of the winning wines, beers, and spirits from all over the world, guests join classes on how to produce, taste, and write online dating profiles for a range of wines, beers, and olive oils. A silent auction lets guests bid on wine-related prizes, and all event proceeds go to benefit The Learning Centers' developmental programs for children and technical-school classes for adults.
The Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition has showcased and awarded domestic and international libations for nearly 75 years. In the same way a restaurant chooses its chef via midnight raids of the applicants' refrigerators, the competition's panels of professional judges use a series of blind tastings to ensure a non-biased approach in winner selection. The competition also emphasizes wine education by inviting industry experts to lead classes on topics such as wine growing, grape selection, and food pairing.
With more than 35 facilities spread across Arizona and California, California Arizona Storage Centers helps homeowners, renters, and business owners manage their living and working spaces with handy self-storage units, huge 14’ moving trucks, and safe stowing spaces for RVs, cars, and boats. Before freeing up valuable square footage in their domiciles, clients zero in on their exact storage-space requirement with a 3-D calculator, ensuring that every inch of storage is put to use. In addition to helping customers haul and stock cargo, California Arizona Storage Centers recycles computers, TVs, copiers, and other electronics through its All Green Electronics Recycling program, diverting more than 250,000 pounds of waste from landfills since 2010, and staving off the imminent nanobot uprising for at least a few more years.
The licensed professionals at Tony’s Dry Cleaners––who have more than 30 years of experience expurgating stains––make sullied vestments sparkle once again by using delicate equipment and waterless wizardry to clean fine garments. Erase ill-advised mocha tattoos from the sleeves of rebellious two-piece suits ($10) or bring in sweaters worn during sloppy-joe-juggling competitions for a thorough cleansing ($5.20). Dress shirts or blouses can be restored to pristine whiteness for important business meetings ($4.50), and hand-me-down prom dresses can shake off the dust and pre-nostalgic tears ($9). Excellent care and timely service ensure that clients can retrieve their clean-pressed orders quickly and in prodigious condition. Though not included in this Groupon, Tony’s Dry Cleaners also offers alteration, laundry, and pressing services.
Upland Sports Arena's 70,000-square-foot indoor complex ensures games go on in any weather on the facility's four synthetic grass fields. Kids take to the turf in youth leagues and the Lil Kickers program, which teaches children as young as 18 months basic soccer skills like which feet to put cleats on. Adults also hit the fields for co-ed dodgeball and soccer leagues, frequenting the on-site sports bar to unwind and celebrate victories with a beer and a bite.
Cruddy duds transform into eye-fetching attire at Palm Center Cleaners, a family-owned facility devoted to abolishing stains and smoothing out wrinkles. Palm Center’s crew can scour the surfaces of formal and casual garb, treating shirts, pants, and suits to a shrink-free cleansing drier than a lecture on how to lecture. Gentle cleansings of suede and leather are also available, as are alterations and shirt pressing.