Since 1986, Believe In Tomorrow has supplied overnight lodgings for more than 560,000 families during a child's medical crisis. The organization’s respite-housing program sends families to a beach or mountainside location for a three-day weekend stay at one of five Maryland facilities. These calming retreats offer a vacation-like experience for families who might not otherwise be able to afford a getaway due to overwhelming medical expenses. During their stays, families can re-create the atmosphere of normal family life while taking a break from the stress of hospital visits and medical emergencies.
“We teach you the job” may as well be Atius Technology Institute’s motto. Their instructors, most of whom have more than 10 years of experience in information technology, help students gain practical knowledge that can help them hit the ground running as soon as they get hired. During a variety of courses, including Security+, Cisco ICND1 and 2, and Windows Active Directory, instructors not only prep students for their IT certifications, but also for on-the-job proficiency in a variety of IT fields. The institute also doubles as a mobile testing center where students can take their certification exams, then walk to an adjacent room to ask their favorite teacher for a gold star sticker.
The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
Terrapin Adventures never fails to live up to its name—even their swing set gets the stomach fluttering with excitement. To be fair, though, the swing in question is anything but the traditional apparatus you'd find at a city park. It seats three people and starts its trajectory 40 feet above the ground, generating 2Gs of force as it swishes riders back and forth over the landscape. The park's other attractions are equally exhilarating. On the high ropes course, visitors attached to sturdy safety harnesses cross 18 traverses situated between lofty platforms; some must be tackled via a rickety bridge, while others require leaps of faith. The 43-foot high climbing tower offers 10 routes up and down, including a head-first downward climb over the Rainbow Serpent. Otherwise, the 330-foot-long zipline sends visitors gliding through the treetops at speeds of up to 20 mph, fast enough to beat the USA track team's star squirrel.
After another back-bleeding day at the leech farm, your body will be ready for a relaxing tune-up. Today's Groupon to Awaken Wellness gets you a customized 90-minute massage for $55, a $110 value. Retreat to the serene studio for an appointment Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. or Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cozy lounge is outfitted with oversized armchairs, and peaceful therapy rooms will keep you feeling calm with warm lighting and natural colors.