With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.
Family owned and operated since 1923, Metropolitan Theatres unspools blockbuster and art-house independent films at 19 locations in the U.S. and Canada using superior film presentation and digital sound systems. Theatre concession stands dole Coca-Cola products and detonate kernels of popcorn to fill bellies and share with encroaching Godzillas. Snacks in hand, customers sink into seats inside conventional or stadium-style theatres to laugh, gasp, and grimace at star-studded titles, such as The Grey, War Horse, or Hugo. Independent films such as The Artist and The Descendants appease creative tastes.
The Channel Islands YMCA has been around for 125 of the greater YMCA’s 170-year existence. In that time, the volunteer-run, volunteer-led outpost—a branch of the six-location Channel Islands YMCA network—has been a stalwart steward of the nationwide organization, striving toward the overarching mission of fostering well-rounded individuals through increased self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, and an appreciation for the outdoors.
Three core tenets guide the organization's list of programs and events: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Whether visitors take part in a pickup game inside the basketball gym, take swimming lessons in the lap pool, or attend an overnight camp, they’re contributing to the sustainment of a strong community and celebrating a decades-old tradition.
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During Airobic Fitness classes, students get a high-energy workout by following routines of jumping and "rouncing"—that's running and bouncing. They pop into the air from the wall-to-wall rebounders, rocketing skyward to try and touch their toes. As they jump, their bodies do more than just shedding stress. The dynamic exercises build strong cores, all while being easy on joints. The list of benefits for the low-impact exercise classes is staggering, and includes stimulating the metabolism, improving coordination, and building strength.
An ideal place for anybody looking for a slower-paced atmosphere that still offers plenty to do, Uptown Bar & Lounge seeks to serve as a neighborhood bar for all types. The recently renovated lounge is divided into distinct sections. A gleaming granite bar supports 12 taps and shelves full of high-end spirits, and visitors perched on leather chairs at high-top tables gaze at 13 flat-screen TVs broadcasting sporting events. Classy touches—an old-fashioned cash register here, a piano there—elevate the space from the typical sports bar.
Elsewhere, two red-felted pool tables are an outlet for the casually competitive, while a seating area appointed with sofas provides a refuge for guests who can't watch a shot clock count down without turning into a pumpkin at the buzzer. Also, parts of the bar are converted into a rousing music venue to host open-mic nights, DJ sessions, and live bands. The back patio, with its couches, fire pits, and additional TV, is a pleasant spot to enjoy a cool Santa Barbara evening, especially when you include a pizza cooked in the outdoor oven.
Drawing on traditions passed down through the generations before her, Nimita Dhirajlal prepares vegetarian Indian cuisine following the Ayurvedic philosophy. To that end, she cooks to promote health with a menu based on only vegetarian ingredients, as well as to nurture the community by using locally sourced ingredients. At Nimita's Cuisine, she shares not only her meals through catering services, but also her techniques for preparing the piquant dishes through cooking classes.
Dhirajlal—a culinary instructor since the mid '90s—leads classes that teach students how to cook intuitively with a knowledge of the spices and methods, rather than just how to follow a recipe. At the end of each three-hour class, she invites the students to sit down and enjoy their vegetarian creations together, after first promising to not incite a food fight.
She also offers catering for large groups and delivers weekly baskets packed with meals such as saag paneer, butternut squash garbanzo curry, and moong bean daal to subscribers' doorsteps each Monday.