Imagine Drop-In Childcare is a licensed daycare center designed to provide flexible tot wrangling by the hour for children age 1–12. Licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as a daycare home, the center cushions and entertains wee brains with a three-ring circus of play spaces including a mini kitchen, a dress-up area, a puppet theater, and an ample library for Dr. Seuss study groups. A $25 annual membership fee is required for entry into Imagine’s parallel universe of harmonious amusement and careful supervision, so new members can use this Groupon to cover the registration fee and $35 worth of additional child-care hours, and current clients can apply the full value of the Groupon toward child-care hours.
Childrens' parties at Googols allow tots free rein of the childcare facilities for two hours. Party guests aged 1 to 12 can scramble around the indoor climbing structure, learn about nature in the kid-friendly science museum, and conduct Socratic seminars on cooties in the outdoor playground. Each of the six party guests receives a slice of pizza and a drink, and supplies for additional tykes can be added ($7.50 per child). A host or hostess from Googol's expert staff shepherds the progress of the party, taking care of setup and cleanup so parents can focus on building present fortresses. Prior to the party, themed decorations can be selected, ensuring that matching table settings greet each incoming partygoer.
The professional washer-persons at Suds Laundry Service lather, rinse, and deliver garments back to their owners, fluffy and folded, within 24-hours. They also wash each client's duds separately to ensure that no one goes home with the wrong socks and to prevent button-up blazers from getting corrupted by the rebellious neighborhood leather jacket. As washing machines hum their hypnotic rhythms, staffers iron shirts, jeans, and pillows, as well as uniforms for hotels and restaurants. Their services also come with free pickup and delivery.
The new two-story tree house that sits amid Kansas Children’s Discovery Center’s 4.5 acres of greenery is more than a house—children can also swoop down its slide or scale its climbing wall. The multifaceted structure reflects the center’s overall complexity. On its outdoor grounds’ network of bike trails, hiking paths, and obstacle courses, youngsters can cultivate their love of nature without going off to live with a family of wolverines; meanwhile, 10 hands-on, educational exhibits in the 15,000-square-foot indoor facility fuel youthful curiosity in everything from construction projects to an interactive lemonade stand that teaches kids the basics of balancing a budget.
The YWCA is the largest women's multicultural organization in existence, encompassing some 125 million members in over 100 countries. The membership represents a diversity of culture and lifestyle that assembles in 300 local associations, including the YWCA of Topeka. The Topeka chapter, first instituted in 1887, lives out the YWCA mission of empowering women with locally focused programs and outreach initiatives ranging from fitness and wellness to youth services such as Girls on the Run of Topeka. A local council of Girls on the Run International, the Topeka organization often partners with the YWCA, using running to encourage girls in grades 3-8 to live lives of confidence, health, and togetherness.
The gas purveyors of Propane Central empower grills across Kansas. Hopeful barbecuers bring their depleted vessels to one of four offices to receive a 20-pound barbecue-propane-cylinder recharge so that they may continue charring steaks or roasting incriminating laptops full of fan fiction about C-SPAN commentators. The office is open for immediate transfusions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday–Friday.