For sand to turn into glass, something must heat it to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—something like a meteor crashing into the earth, a volcano erupting, or lightning striking a beach. At Redmond School of Glass, sculptor Corey Hubbell and his team of instructors take care of the heating part, dipping into a chamber for dollops of molten glass that students turn into pieces of art. They lead one-time sessions as well as six-week courses—which maintain a student-teacher ratio of 2:1—imparting their expertise through projects that involve crafting ornaments, vases, and dishes. And they've stocked their studio with all the necessary tools, such as wooden blocks for shaping and jacks for cutting.
By sharing their craft, Corey and his team continue the storied glass-art heritage of Seattle, which once sustained more than 300 glass shops. The area's world-renowned scene claims sculptor Dale Chihuly, the Pilchuck Glass School, and the Museum of Glass; so definitive is glass, in fact, that four out of the last five mayors were made of it.
The bracing Italian-style brandy known as grappa flows from a vintage hammered-copper still and into oak barrels for aging at Soft Tail Spirits, a craft distillery that gathers its grape pressings from local Washington wineries. An Old-World still's 58,000-BTU burners boil up fresh batches of grappa, with characters of pear and apple-tinged Giallo and the pleasingly grainy sangiovese. Meanwhile, a multistep distillation process whips up batches of Soft Tail Spirits' sipping vodka, the slightly rebellious offspring of Washington State apples that took home the bronze at the 2010 World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Lead distiller Matthew welcomes visitors to the distillery for tours in which he shows off the facility, including the hammered-copper alembic he affectionately calls “Maggie,” before doling out samples and bestowing grappa converts with souvenir glassware for future bacchanalian feasts or Flat Earth Society meetings.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 20+ locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts.
Coveted by the money-hungry eyes of famous explorers since the seas first bred ships, the mythologized Zen Rock emanates physical empowerment. Today’s Groupon pays homage to the rock’s discovery with five yoga classes at ZenRock Fitness for $30. Feel the inner peace of stoic tranquility given off by the rock’s mystical sedimentary powers as you take yoga classes taught by a rock dressed like a yoga instructor.
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Pro Tip: Don't wear clunky shoes.
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Obstacle courses with real hot lava.
Recommended Age Group: Kids
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
You won't hear our students' landings. It's a little secret called "ninja noise." This helps keep impact low, and stealth high.
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
Coaches are legitimately certified to teach Parkour, holding multiple parkour certifications. We are expert momentum anticipators and course creators. We minimize risk through safety drills, multi-level skill progressions and strength milestones. [Instructors are] First Aid– and CPR-trained in case anything happens. However we have not had one serious injury in the three years we've been coaching due to our safety protocols.
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
Through our classes students can expect to experience life-changing techniques. Ranging from the simple truths of how to squat sustainably to how to traverse lava while having fun and collecting speed and style points.