Captained by multi-instrumentalists Aja Elaine and Daniel Norris, the talented teachers at Music to My Ears have trained many accomplished pupils on a range of instruments. New students can hone their musicality with one-on-one sessions or alongside their peers during group classes in the 15’x10’ ensemble room. Afterward, they can stock up on music books, accessories, or rental instruments in the shop. Players ready to demonstrate their musical chops can rent out the recital room, where up to 45 guests can hear them belt out gorgeous melodies after they quiet the stage's baby grand piano with a pacifier. In addition to concerts, Music to My Ears fills stages with song through its non-profit musical theater program, which annually introduces youngsters to the process of auditioning, rehearsing, and performing in a Broadway-style show.
Candy & Kites welcomes wind-chasers with a kaleidoscopic flock of kites and sates saccharine cravings with more than 30 flavors of saltwater taffy. Sundry sails eagerly await the chance to earn their wings, flaunting designs that mimic bright butterflies ($17.99), fearsome dinosaurs ($24.99), and freedom ($24.99). Fledgling fliers can lift off with the Poison Dart Easy Flyer ($17.99), while advanced aeronauts trade their training propellers for a Prism Nexus stunt kite, which folds easily for travel and comes with a 45-foot tail for windy days ($69.99). Docked beneath the swaths of neon nylons, a wooden boat abounds with dozens of saltwater taffy flavors, available by the pound in any combination you choose ($6.50/lb.).
The adroit cleansing wizards at EcoFresh Carpets whip floor fur into shape with non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning treatments. The experienced cleaning staff descends upon domestic groundscapes, performing a thorough inspection of the targeted areas before blocking furniture and removing scattered pieces of laboratory kits for a thorough pre-vacuuming. Spot treatments are applied directly to offending blemishes, erasing specks and persistent stone-ground mustard stains. The truck-mounted EcoFresh carpet steamer blasts grime with potent heat punches, and, post-steaming, freshly bathed fibers get cloaked in a carpet protector that helps to thwart the machinations of indoor graffiti artists and keep rugs fresh and fluffy. A blustery air-mover system ensures diminished drying time. Though not included in today’s deal, Groupon holders can also opt to have an advanced odor treatment for pets applied for an additional charge.
After leading expeditions in search of underwater treasure, the instructors of Sonoma Coast Divers show their students how to cook and eat the spoils—abalone. They try to conclude each of their abalone diving classes with a group picnic, where everyone can compare their catch in hopes of snagging a record-size shell. Persistent hunters can even compete in the autumn's abalone cook-off, part of a Halloween celebration that includes subaquatic pumpkin carving.
These special events highlight the dive venue's dual emphasis on community and adventure. Whether they are hosting a scuba-certification class, a Stress & Rescue course, or a simple air-fill service, the staff freely shares their passion for oceanic exploration. Their training pathways safely transform patrons from first-time pool divers into instructor-level dive masters. By filling their curriculum with specialty courses—such as night diving, wreck diving, and bubble collecting—they inspire guests to pursue different disciplines. They also plan several trips for all skill levels, guiding tours through local kelp forests and planning weeklong retreats to Caribbean islands.
Once upon a time, Victorian Farmstead Meat Co. was an "unassuming shack” on a Christmas-tree farm, according to Sunset magazine. However, after Adam Parks returned home to take over his parent’s 40-year-old tree farm, he converted the shack into a thriving meat and poultry shop that earned a slot on Sunset’s list of the top 50 local food shops in the west. Before picking out their gourmet cuts of lamb, chicken, and grass-fed beef, visitors can peruse the surrounding pastures, where sheep, chicken, and turkeys graze alongside miniature horses that are hoping to turn into reindeer.
Part pasture-raised ranch and still part Christmas-tree farm, the company raises all of its meat on Sonoma County pasture, ensuring the livestock eat a natural diet and soaks up plenty of sunshine. The results are beef cuts from bone-in rib eye to carne asada, chicken breasts, racks of lamb, and a monthly rotation of sausage, including spicy herb chicken sausage and aged Spanish-style chorizo.
Beneath the high ceilings of Cast Away's yarn shop, towering shelves overflow with bundles of color-coordinated wool, cashmere, and alpaca yarn. Cobblers' tool shelves, iron baby bathtubs, and even a dingy retired from its maritime duties catch the runoff, creating a homey space peppered with vibrant colors for a distinctly bohemian feel.
At the center of this antique bliss is a pair of vintage armchairs, where customers can recline and survey how-to books or familiarize themselves with the supplies for one of Cast Away's staff-taught classes. Though the calendar implies a steady buzz of activity, the shop's proprietor doesn't stop there. She regularly books notable authors and designers for workshops and special lessons that center around projects such as knitted afghan squares and lace vests that add old-timey charm to an outfit without forcing one to wear steel gauntlets.