Since its inception, all the plays that Two River Theater has produced have shared a common thread: capturing the human experience. Bridging the gap between players and audiences, their intimate performances have made them a New Jersey treasure, leading to three Theater of the Year awards from the New Jersey Theater Alliance and The Star Ledger, as well as designation as a Major Impact Organization by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Giving them space to play along the way are two theaters: the 350-seat Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, where six-play subscription seasons and holiday shows unfold, and the 99-seat black box Marion Huber Theater.
During Enable’s day program, five days of structured activities engage individuals with disabilities, allowing them to volunteer in their local community, interact socially with their peers and other adults, and improve their physical and cognitive well-being. Participants volunteer with Meals on Wheels and visit veterans, or learn new skills such as art, pet therapy, and horticulture. The day program empowers people with disabilities to tackle their goals and personal interests while building a recreational community in a structured environment.
Since 1952, this nonsectarian Jewish community center has entertained, strengthened, and educated community members with enriching programs and recreational services. Around 780 people a day lift weights, splash in the pool, or attend book readings. Children and teens absorb knowledge about scholastics, cooking, crafts, and drama during after-school programs and summer camps, while adults talk literature in book clubs, stretch out during yoga sessions, or unwind by meditating in a room filled with stacks of already-completed taxes. Seniors, meanwhile, can play a round of billiards or backgammon in a social club, learn basic computer skills, or take free, arthritis-friendly aerobics classes. The dedicated staff make a point of welcoming all community members by speaking Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish, and Upper East Side.
For more than 15 years, the stain shirkers and blot extinguishers at Laundry.bz have saved Brooklynites from being avalanched in dirty duds. The company’s lightning-fast service helps clothes-havers overcome the time constraints created by their hectic lifestyles and tedious commutes, ungriming their garments so they don’t have to wear the same barbecue-covered trousers to each week’s rib-slinging competition. Simply hand over your bedraggled accouterments at your doorstep, then wait for Laundry.bz’s talented dirt demolishers to bring them back looking mannequin fresh. Next-day service is the standard ($0.90 a pound), but for folks down to the last set of skivvies, same-day service is also available ($1 a pound). Unlike cleaners who offer extraneous services, such as wedding-dress tie-dying and personal training for pants, the team at Laundry.bz focuses solely on the art, science, and metaphysics of laundry, tackling not only clothes but also blankets ($7 each), comforters ($10 each), and other specialty items.
The Watershed Butterfly Festival, presented by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, will teach families about their local environment. Kids can get face to antennae with butterflies and other insects at the insect zoo, and families can explore nature on hayrides, walks, and at the festival's interactive enviro-zones. After learning all about a butterfly's lifecycle and rambling along on a trail, guests can take in the fest's butterfly parade. Other entertainment will include live music from Grammy-nominated kids' artist Miss Amy and classic rock from The Dadz. Food and art will also be available from local artisans.
Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors—formerly known as Outdoor Bound—turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts—each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT—temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions]. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.
The Theresa Alessandra Russo Foundation believes that children of all backgrounds should have an outlet for artistic expression. To that end, the foundation created the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts, or TAPA—a venue for visitors with special needs to kindle their creativity. With programs that cover art, music, and drama, TAPA boosts its students' confidence and builds an atmosphere of camaraderie. Dance and Sign sessions weave sign-language cues into interpretive movements, and singing and piano classes for all ages compose uplifting rhythms. The academy also hosts fitness workouts for teens and adults, calling on the infectious beats and choreography of Dance Trance to set bodies in motion. Guests of every ability level are welcome to join most courses on the accessible curriculum. Tuition costs benefit further enrichment efforts and programs, the success of which has earned the foundation the title of Best Not-For-Profit on Long Island from the Long Island Press.