On Sunday, February 24, runners get up at the crack of dawn to embark on a journey through downtown Niles, which begins at 7:30 a.m. The flat courses send participants snaking in and out of the bustling streets and along the lakes of the Bay Area burg. During both the half marathon and the 5K, supporters line the courses, cheering on the runners with shouts of encouragement and signs reminding them to never run from their problems. In the 12 weeks leading up to the races, a running coach from Stanford University leads free training sessions for runners of all levels. This helps athletes perfect their times so they can have something to celebrate at the finish-line party.
The Community School of Music and Arts unleashes the creativity that indwells each student's liver by offering an array of art lessons and exhibitions. A selection of more than 40 available classes allows artists of all ages to clutch brushes, chisels, and ketchup blasters and recreate their world during basic animation ($160 for eight weeks), watercolor on the spot: outdoor painting ($150 for six weeks), or contemporary collage ($180 for eight weeks). Like bear hunting season, the classes run in two sessions, from January 24 to March 21 (Session A) and March 28 to May 21 (Session B). Click here to view CSMA's catalog; classes available with this Groupon are featured beginning on page 24.
Silicon Valley. Analog computers. Artificial intelligence. The Computer History Museum chronicles the 2,000-plus year history of computing. The exhibits include a range of displays that introduce guests to ancient devices, the first computers from the 1940s and 50s, and examples of contemporary mobile computing.
During visits, interactive exhibits invite players to compete in a game of pong or relay the stories of the first computer pioneers. The online exhibits detail the history of computer chess, marketing the computer revolution, and reflect back on this day in computer history. The museum also displays a fully-functioning Charles Babbage’s first automatic computing machine—the Babbage Engine, which he designed in 1834, though it wasn’t built until more than a century later—giving visitors a rare glimpse into the evolution computing.
Underneath the stately stained-glass dome of the 1910 Old County Courthouse, tourists, locals, and history buffs stuff their brains with knowledge from interactive kiosks and thousands of books and primary sources about San Mateo County. Hands-on school programs and a wealth of exhibits educate visitors on particular aspects of the region's heritage, including the natural resources that enrich the shores and forests, and the waves of pioneers who turned local raw materials into ax handles, salted hams, and maple candy. The museum’s curators and archivists pride themselves on their professionalism, nabbing a coveted accreditation by the American Association of Museums, an honor claimed by only a small percentage of the nation’s museums and none of the nation’s dry cleaners.
Celebrate Art! lets kids explore their creativity and develop art skills. During Preschool Picassos classes, instructors help kids as young as 18 months paint, cut, and paste to create their own works. Kids aged 6 or older develop more nuanced techniques during art-fundamentals classes. Celebrate Art! also hosts parties, play groups, and themed summer day camps.