When Karen Beninati's son was young, she had a hard time finding a childcare facility with which she felt comfortable. So she decided to create WeVillage—a drop-and-go daycare, preschool, and summer camp that parents would feel comfortable leaving their kids at and a place where kids would actually want to go.
To put parents at ease, Beninati hired professionals with degrees in early childhood education and certifications in first aid and CPR. She also ensured they went through a thorough background check. To make WeVillage a place kids wanted to go to, she decided to offer activities such as dodgeball in the park, drawing, and visits to nearby museums.
All the activities at WeVillage are aimed at helping children improve their mental and physical skills while building the social skills necessary to succeed in school and make meaningful connections with their peers. Kids at WeVillage are also exposed to international culture via yoga classes, world music, and global cuisine.
While Pilates is corrective, The Bar Method is transformative—much like those cars that transform into miniature weasels. You’ll burn fat, sculpt muscles, refine your figure, and improve your strength and endurance. After a brief warm-up, you’ll tackle the upper body with weights and bar exercises. The workout continues with challenging lower-body positions and floor exercises designed to firm up your abs and glutes. This diverse and challenging workout gives you the long, lean muscles and elegant posture of a ballet dancer without the discomfort and inconvenience of being heckled by ballet hooligans.
After their owners drop them off, dogs rush into the indoor playroom at The Dog House Doggie Daycare & Boarding, where they greet new friends before challenging old pack mates to games of chase. They romp for hours around the 2,000-square-foot play space, which is outfitted with a ramp and separate sections for large, small, less-active, and slinky dogs. A ventilation system specifically designed for pets keeps the air clean and comfortable. It's clear that dog owners designed this canine utopia, which also includes boarding service 365 nights a year, as well as a grooming zone with self-service or professional washes, tooth brushes, and nail trims. Many on staff are certified in Red Cross first aid and CPR for dogs.
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.
Kate Dessommes has traveled the world in search of techniques to further her knowledge of yoga. She began with a five-year apprenticeship under Luciana Proaño in Portland before packing her bags for New Zealand to study with instructor and author Donna Farhi and John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga.
At Portland Yoga Studio, Kate and her team of instructors fold those globe-gathered techniques into classes that incorporate Ayurveda, asanas, meditation, and relaxation techniques. They also offer special classes for students who otherwise might not be able to participate, such as those with MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or problems balancing. Classes for children and families round out the curriculum, giving parents and their kids a new way to bond that’s more active than watching television and safer than traveling to the future by falling into a coma together.
Play Boutique makes a thoroughly wholesome experience out of the classic childhood combination of snacks and playtime. Kids burn off energy in structured but creative educational play sessions, stopping for snacks made from ingredients such as Tillamook cheddar cheese, low-fat greek yogurt, and fresh fruits and veggies. Themed events often arrange for simultaneous parents' date-night entertainment and kids' activities.