Youngsters master karate chops, take on fencing opponents, and perfect balletic pliés under the same roof at New England Sports Academy. As you walk through the facility, you might hear the sounds of guitars as kids learn to strum chords. And of course, the academy also offers competitive team sports—from basketball and soccer to cheerleading.
Through every program, the upbeat instructors foster a fun and supportive atmosphere in which students learn to cooperate with their peers and challenge themselves, whether it's in a class or during a summer camp session. Parents and guardians can also rent out the space to celebrate a child's birthday or recent ascension to the royal throne.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
Peter H. Reynolds, co-owner of The Blue Bunny Books and Toys, knows his books—he’s even a published author, with his illustrations adorning popular children’s titles such as the Judy Moody series and several Judy Blume novels. That love of the printed word is reflected in his family’s store, filled with an array of books for children and grownups. In addition to literature, customers can peruse a selection of DVDs and children's diversions such as albums, sticker books, craft kits, lunchboxes, and puppets that can be trained to bark on command. The Blue Bunny also hosts special events, such as workshops, preschool story hours, and book signings from celebrities such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.
Life's A Bead's jewelery artisans align disparate baubles to forge unique pieces of wearable glam using a variety of techniques. The class calendar indicates the required level of expertise and necessary supplies for each session, including a list of beads available for purchase from the store's inventory and the locations of telephone poles from which to cut wire. Jewelry-forging duos can acquire skills in a variety of bead-entwining techniques, such as wirework, stitched jewelry, crocheted bracelets, and epoxy sculpting with a material called Crystal Clay. While this Groupon does not cover the cost of materials, customers receive 20% off materials purchased for class projects. The value of this Groupon can also be applied toward classes where materials are included; customers will receive $15 off the cost of each class.
With the decline of boomboxes and mixtapes, the lovelorn have discovered that blasting "In Your Eyes" from an iPod held aloft doesn't pack quite the same emotional punch. Today's Groupon gives crafty romantics a much-needed alternative medium for creatively professing love. For $20, you get $50 towards jewelry-making, sewing, or paper crafts classes at Abeille. If you're feeling especially inspired, you can buy two for $100 worth of do-it-yourself tutorials. Your Groupon can also be applied toward jewelry-making materials, even if you don't enroll in a class.