Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
With more than 13,000 divers certified under their tutelage since 1975, Scuba Ventures' instructors, dive-control specialists, and dive masters guide pupils through the three steps toward scuba certification. Students first learn diving and safety fundamentals during classroom training and practice sessions in Scuba Ventures' heated indoor pool. Then teachers whisk them away on two-day open-water training trips to locales such as the Caribbean or Lake Ouachita where, upon successful completion, they earn an open-water certification card and a free back scratch from a puffer fish.
Instructors also teach an array of training courses ranging from spearfishing sessions to lessons in underwater photography. Scuba Ventures also sponsors dive trips throughout the year, which guests can stock up for by renting or purchasing brand-name gear from the shop.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
The halls of the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse are decked in bows of sarcasm as David Sedaris’s sardonic diatribe The Santaland Diaries fills mature audiences with Yuletide cheer and apropos humbug. Adapted from Sedaris’s popular irreverent essay, the play features actor Luke Thomas Eddy embodying the foul mouth and uncomfortable shoes of Crumpet the Elf during a scintillating one-hour, one-man performance. Tearing at a famous department store’s holiday façade like a grizzly bear rudely woken up from hibernation, Crumpet reveals the sordid lives of Santa’s little helpers as they endure the side effects of the holidays. Chock-full of one-liner chestnuts and hilarious humiliation, the show ensures audiences howl with empathy as the embittered elf rants against baffled tourists, entitled parents, and the anti-elves known as children. Like standing under sulfuric mistletoe, The Santaland Diaries gives the season both a heartfelt kiss and a swift kick in the chimney.
With more than 25 years of experience, Window Gang and its window cleaning warriors professionally polish home and commercial portholes with eco-friendly cleaning chemicals. The fully trained and insured glass swabbing specialists use a special wash and wax formula to escort uninvited grime to the door and arm windows with a see-through shield that protects against dust and dirty looks. After Window Gang's expert washers finish soaking them in cleanliness, windows will admit more sunlight, which in turn can help save dying houseplants and decrease energy bills. Use today's deal to cleanse your home’s windows of incriminating spots (about $9 per window) or clean up commercial casements (about $2–5 per pane) before your company is inducted into the Unclean Windows of America Association.
For 30 years, Saturday's Family Hair Care has tended to the manes of men ($15), women ($16–$20), and children ($11–$15), crafting classic cuts and modern styles in a kid-friendly, appointment-free atmosphere. Moms can steer hopelessly tussled bedheads toward Saturday's salon, where experienced hair herders soothe anxious kiddies and corral misbehaving locks into tidy style stalls. Moms and tots alike can opt for stylistic inspiration, such as the soft and simple classic bob or the rugged cool kid on the block look, which enables tykes to judge which junior-high alt-rock bands are rad and who sold out to play this fall's Battle of the Bands. Name-brand products including Matrix, Paul Mitchell, and Moroccanoil treat locks to an opulence matched only by down-bristled toothbrushes. Saturday's welcomes walk-ins anytime and boasts convenient evening and Saturday hours.