When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.:m]]
Birthday parties. Graduation celebrations. A just-because masquerade. The revelry experts at Everything Party know that celebrations take many forms. That's why they keep their aisles stocked with 30,000 balloons, streamers, and trinkets ready to help ordinary homes host everything from baby showers to anniversaries. More than 125 party patterns help birthday boys and girls show off their love of the Angry Birds, Disney Princesses, and Super Mario Bros. emblazoned on matching place settings, decorations, and goodie bag treats. Staffers keep a close eye on the calendar, ushering in the holidays with seasonal items. When they're not busy overseeing blossoming helium balloons or stocking shelves with fistfuls of candy, they also consult with customers, offering theme and design advice that turns parties from ho-hum into humdingers.
Hopelink strives to promote self-sufficiency for all members of the community through housing, financial assistance, family development, and other social services. Since 1971, the organization has helped tens of thousands of people move from vulnerability and crisis to independence and stability.
Along with adult literacy programs, school-supply programs, and career development, Hopelink runs End Summer Hunger, an annual food and funds drive that helps ensure children from families with low incomes have enough to eat throughout the summer. Last year, End Summer Hunger—with the help of individuals, businesses, and schools—raised $181,439, plus thousands of pounds of food to meet the increased demands at Hopelink’s food banks during the summer months.
Teaching life skills as much as stage skills, Drama Kids' curriculum helps kids ages 3–18 learn how to express themselves, while fostering creative thinking and boosting self-esteem. Prepare your proto-adult for later-life triumphs such as winning an Oscar or fast-talking their way out of a questionable real-estate deal with Drama Kids' programs. Kids in the Lower Primary drama program, for ages 5–8, will further refine their vocal delivery and hone their social skills, interacting with classmates through the art of theater. In the Upper Primary program, for ages 9–11, students will explore more complex components of acting, such as speech, movement, and improvisation. Preschool Workshops, for tots ages 3–4, encourage imaginative thinking through in-school field trips, and the KinderKids program, for ages 4–5, develops a lasting enthusiasm for expressive activity. Advanced thespians, ages 12–18, can perfect their soliloquies in DKI Acting Academy. All these programs run for 12 weeks with one class per week, and the $30 option under this Groupon is good for a four-week trial during one of these sessions. Check the schedule for more information.