When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.:m]]
The stain-eliminating staff at Aloha Cleaners eschews the harsh chemicals of conventional dry cleaning to extricate grime and stains from clothing and fabrics in a nontoxic manner. Every soiled blouse ($9.95), slept-in sock ($2.50/lb.), or anthropomorphic pair of slacks ($9.95) that wanders through the door tastes a helping of “green” nontoxic hydrocarbon dry-cleaning agent that gently sloughs away stains to render garments as fragrant as rose water distilled from angel's wings. Other items that can awaken from their crud comas include comforters ($30–$50), overcoats ($20.95), and tablecloths ($30). The courteous cleaners at Aloha generally finish orders by the next day, though same-day service is available. A free pickup and delivery service for all locations saves patrons the trouble of navigating the city's maze of municipal garden mazes, with a staff member whisking away and returning laundry to home doors.
A record-breaking ascent to the top of luxury condominium Bellevue Towers, the Fight for Air stairclimb raises funds to benefit the American Lung Association. Participants will each need to raise at least $100 in donations by October 20 before they max out glutes while completing a 45-, 90-, or 182-story climb, the latter of which encompasses a whopping 3,242 stairs. To keep you climbing at a steady pace, leave the weighty Super Soaker with straw attachment at home and take advantage of designated water stops every ten floors. Though it may be tough, the grasp for the top burns massive calories, earns you bragging rights, and can induce a hallucinogenic euphoria known to the French as l'esprit de' l'escalier. It's all in the name of a good cause, of course, as more than one million children and adults in Washington struggle to breathe each day because of lung disease. Participants that raise $250 or more are automatically entered to win two round-trip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies but do not earn permission to slide the banister back down to ground level. Check out the event FAQs for more information.
Dizzy’s Tumblebuses both look like bright yellow school buses, yet they have never taken a kid to school. They don’t even have seats inside. Instead, their interiors are stocked with tumbling equipment, ball pits, and slides, and they make stops at schools, where they augment gym classes. These traveling fun-buses were invented by founder and mother of three, Dizzy, who has spent the last 10 years growing her company, trying to find parking spaces big enough for her buses, and testing out lesson plans with her own eager kids.
And in addition to the busses, Dizzy also created Dizzy’s Bus Stop, the company’s stationary facility. Despite its immobility, the facility hosts a bus structure inside that recreates the fun of the company’s popular Tumblebuses. Kids can clamber up a pint-size rock-climbing wall, jump on trampolines, and join in activities from dress-up to play dough sculpting. To accommodate a variety of little ones, the center offers drop-in day care, parent-supervised open play sessions, or preschool for tykes ages 2-5.