Royal Bartending School's convivial classes on mixology teach burgeoning barkeeps how to shake, stir, and blend drinks ranging from martinis to margaritas. In the four-hour crash course, aperitif apprentices learn to mix drinks and chic shots while mastering jargon for bar equipment and garnishes. Pupils seeking a master's in mixology enter into the 40-hour program, where amiable teachers use hands-on instruction to instill the knowledge of more than 21 liquor-focused subjects into eager noggins. After a bar set-up practice, mixology-theory lessons analyze the science behind mixed drinks, the essence of proper customer service, and the history of the shaken-versus-stirred martini war of ‘77. Leaving the course with 30 hours of practical mixing knowledge and mastery of drinks and shooters, graduates can wow friends and coworkers at holiday parties or the office. Novice blenders perfect their soda-gun technique with quick-draw competitions, and after changing out of their wet shirts, master blending liquors and sodas in speed drills.
Greg Dean, author of Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy and an instructor since 1982, mentors groups of hopeful humorists as they glean tips on effectively busting guts in four-hour workshops. During the Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy course, which accommodates up to 25 people, participants learn the basic architecture of jokes—from setup to punch line—and how to write funny premises. Greg also guides beginners to overcoming stage fright and developing their own comedic voices, instead of mimicking the styles of famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld or Ellen DeGeneres. Apprentices will discover ways to riff and interact effortlessly with audiences, which can improve overall public speaking skills for doctors, members of the clergy, and lawyers.
Rubs or sauces. Wood or charcoal. Chicken or ribs. There are lots of choices when it comes to barbecue, and the pit masters at California BBQ Institute are experts in them all. The masters, who including restaurant owners and barbecue-competition champions, lead immersive classes, during which they teach participants the step-by-step process of creating exceptional barbecue. All of these sessions end in a lunch, which serves as a celebration of the class's accomplishments and California BBQ Institute's larger mission. The nonprofit donates its proceeds to children’s charities throughout California, and they're careful not to get any sauce on the checks.
At Revelation Raceway, electric and gas cars whip around a dirt track, steered by drivers of all ages. The drivers, though, aren't at the wheel. The cars are radio-control model cars, and the drivers are standing on the sidelines, hammering on their remotes. The adrenaline rush is still there, however?that's why flocks of people turn out for the races the track hosts every Saturday, and special events such as the Summer Series and the Winternational race. To buy a first car or upgrade a current one, visitors can head to the track's hobby shop, stocked with the latest car models, plus accessories more fun than tiny seat belts for no one.
Filled with velvet draperies, crystal chandeliers, and oversized feathers, Unleashed Fitness channels the posh allure of a burlesque lounge from a bygone era. Here, the daring spirit of America’s first pole dancers lives on, inspiring modern-day women to strut with confidence whether walking down the street or sweating during a fitness class. The studio revolves around flirty fitness classes that use poles and chairs as props for building strength, flexibility, and endurance. During Unleashed Pole classes, attentive instructors lead warm-ups filled with sensual, yoga-inspired toning moves before imparting pole-based spins and slides suitable for any body type or fitness level. Brimming with upbeat music and Latin-inspired dance steps, Zumba classes cultivate positive energy as they melt calories and stress. The studio also hosts private sessions for festive events such as bridal showers, birthday parties, and braces-removal ceremonies. After shimmying and shaking, guests can fill their closets with stylish workout apparel by visiting the Unleashed Fitness boutique.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.