Birthday Dreams’ volunteers devote themselves to one simple principle: all children deserve a birthday, regardless of economic circumstance. By working with homeless shelters and transitional-housing agencies throughout the community, they’re able to help children in need enjoy one special day of celebration. Their meticulous party planning leaves no detail unaccounted for—everything from eating utensils and personalized gifts to decorations and a fresh-baked cake ensures the child's day will be full of smiles. They encourage community involvement by soliciting handmade gifts from local crafters and inviting volunteers to bring their own children to help out at the party. Since its founding, Birthday Dreams has curated more than 1,100 birthday parties across the greater Puget Sound area, averaging about 60 celebrations each month.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Owner Steve Olson added Parlor Live to the Parlor complex in 2008 as a way to bring big city-caliber evening entertainment to suburban Bellevue. National comedians take the stage in a wide, shallow room with seating that wraps around three sides of the action as colored shapes produced by a sophisticated lighting system dance across the walls. A globally inspired menu introduces the agonizing dilemma of whether to laugh, fill one’s mouth, or mold little edible hearts to toss toward the performer with shareable dishes that include garlic-gorgonzola waffle fries and coconut prawns. The drink menu, too, aims to surprise with complex cocktails that range from a classic old-fashioned to a sparkling rosemary potion with Aperol.
The Little Gym fosters the healthy growth of children by allowing them to progress at their own pace in a nonthreatening, nurturing environment. As wee ones from 4 months to 12 years-old tackle challenges, overcome fears, and learn to confidently express their opinions about Platonic theory, The Little Gym's original music graces their ears and supports their lessons. The month includes four classes that let tots develop through weekly, age-specific curriculum, with programs including pre-school/kindergarten gymnastics, dance, sports-skills development, and karate.
Dizzy’s Tumblebuses both look like bright yellow school buses, yet they have never taken a kid to school. They don’t even have seats inside. Instead, their interiors are stocked with tumbling equipment, ball pits, and slides, and they make stops at schools, where they augment gym classes. These traveling fun-buses were invented by founder and mother of three, Dizzy, who has spent the last 10 years growing her company, trying to find parking spaces big enough for her buses, and testing out lesson plans with her own eager kids.
And in addition to the busses, Dizzy also created Dizzy’s Bus Stop, the company’s stationary facility. Despite its immobility, the facility hosts a bus structure inside that recreates the fun of the company’s popular Tumblebuses. Kids can clamber up a pint-size rock-climbing wall, jump on trampolines, and join in activities from dress-up to play dough sculpting. To accommodate a variety of little ones, the center offers drop-in day care, parent-supervised open play sessions, or preschool for tykes ages 2-5.
Though thousands of miles from Thailand, Leading Edge Kickboxing & Martial Arts imports the country’s national sport, Muay Thai kickboxing, fresh daily. The fighting style, built on a foundation of kicking, punching, and elbow and knee strikes, forms the core of their fitness programs, engineered by head instructor John Stabb. Enamored of all arts martial, the instructors also teach Jiu-Jitsu’s unarmed combat techniques, MMA, and Jeet Kune Do’s self-defense method that employs weaponry, grappling, and strategically scattering banana peels to throw your opponent off balance. Unlike more repetitive workouts, the studio’s varied martial arts sessions build lean muscle mass and enhance cardio fitness.
Nationally certified personal trainer Luka Hocevar turned to fitness tutelage after 20 years of shooting hoops, which took him to the NBA Summer Pro League and Europe's premier basketball leagues. Since then, he has applied his exercise expertise to help fitness newbies and UFC, NBA, and NFL athletes alike whip into shape, making his way into the top five best personal trainers named by KING5 Best of Western Washington in 2010. He doesn’t just dive right in, though. After a friend revealed to him that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Hocevar has made a commitment to get to know his clients before building an expedited fitness program around their goals and needs.
Hocevar leads a diverse team of passionate, experienced trainers that includes a seasoned martial artist, a soccer player, and a kinesiologist. They motivate clients in both mind and body with customized exercise regimens during group personal training and athlete-performance training, a strength and conditioning program designed to enhance sport-specific movements and improve recovery time. The 4,600-square-foot facility brims with Olympic platforms, kettlebells, dumbbells, and strongman equipment, as well as functional implements to ensure that each workout is varied and challenging.
Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance also serves as home base for the award-winning Renton Results Boot Camp. Hocevar designed this results-driven program that mixes cardio and strength training with vigorous interval workouts to trim fat from physiques. To help students best burn fat, trainers constantly rotate drills to keep different muscles engaged, and nutritional manuals outline wholesome meal plans. With Bootcamps-to-Go media in the form of videos, mp3s, and self-destructing scrolls, students can continue to hone their flab-blasting moves at home. Hocevar also strives to make each boot-camp endeavor a personalized one, providing unlimited email support to all of his clients.
Stan Phillips spent his childhood at his father’s side in their Kansas City backyard, his little hands barely strong enough to handle the wood for the family’s smoker. Now that he’s grown, Phillips brings his family’s recipes to his Issaquah restaurant, where he slathers meats such as beef brisket, ribs, hot links, and ham with a traditional dry rub, smokes them over hickory wood, and dishes them out with sauce on the side. When diners step inside the rustic barbecue joint, they can order their meats by the pound, or dig into sandwiches such as the Cowboy, whose pork is pulled apart with a spur. A full bar slings cocktails, wines, and craft beers to suit every entrée, and the dining room displays a full Sunday football lineup on its large televisions.