Helmed by a mother-daughter duo, The Paint Bar nurtures budding artists through themed painting classes set in a welcoming atmosphere. Brush-stroking disciples receive step-by-step guidance from skilled instructors, who lead classes designed to replicate a specific image, such as the famous Citgo sign, Boston's skyline, or van Gogh’s lesser known masterpiece, Frowny Emoticon. The Paint Bar supplies Monets-in-training with a 16"x20" canvas, paint, brushes, an easel, and an apron, though painters should wear clothes they don't mind getting splattered. Classes are generally held four or five times per week, at varying time slots; check out the calendar to reserve a spot, as class space is limited. Though this Groupon is not valid for alcohol, The Paint Bar offers an intoxicating selection of brews, wine, and all of the 1975 issues of Popular Mechanics.
American Real Estate Academy has been helping students master the intricacies of property sales for 42 years. Its carefully selected instructors lead classes for neophytes looking to get their salesperson license, learn the ins and outs of the business, and find out the startling truth about where houses come from. The academy boasts higher test scores for its students than the state average, and many students go on to successful careers. The academy also helps real-estate veterans step up to a broker license in preparation to open their own office and work for themselves. Continuing-education courses keep professionals up to date on current rules and regulations, fulfilling state-mandated requirements and keeping licenses active.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
The staff at Good Vibrations aren't salespeople—they're SESAs, or Sex Educator-Sales Associates. The title was invented by the store to reflect not only the rigorous training that the employees go through, but also the open and empowering attitude that they project. They encourage questions about the stock of romantic accouterments, and dispense safe, respectful advice on enhancing erotic play. For the SESAs, knowledge is a stepping stone to pleasure. They've even employed the same sexologist and historian—Dr. Carol Queen—for more than 20 years to host a regular "Ask the Doctors" class.
Above all, the staff keeps a warm and welcoming shop—a characteristic that automatically distinguished Good Vibrations from its counterparts when it opened in 1977. Extending the positive, forward-thinking ethos beyond the shop's walls, the company has committed to environmentally friendly wares with its Ecorotic collection of natural lubricants—as well as eco-friendly packaging. The shop is also stocked with candles, costumes, and lingerie with the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco locations carrying their largest supply of nightwear.
Finally, you'll have a viable alternative to wooing potential romantic partners with a sousaphone serenade. For $137, today's side deal gets you five private, in-studio guitar lessons at Boston School of Guitar in Brookline (a $275 value for adults), including use of a guitar during your lessons. You may also choose to take home a rental guitar for additional practice (limited availability). Boston School of Guitar's private lessons are available seven days a week and typically last 45 minutes (30 for kids). All you'll need to bring to your lessons is a pick, some functional fingers, and maybe an iPod full of the music you'd like to learn.