At GrayStone Stables & Equestrian Center, the horses play, stomp, and whinny happily in their ample surroundings?the natural result of proper nutrition and a compassionate environment nurtured by passionate equestrians. The welcoming spirit pervades every aspect of the center: from the 70'x180' indoor riding arena to the 110'x220' outdoor field, as well as its pony club meetings to the lessons in Western and English riding. All lesson-takers are encouraged to focus on communication with their horse?a skill that manifests itself in dressage competitions, reining, and successful trips to the drive-thru.
Glider-Rides.com’s FAA-certified pilots propel Grob Motorglider planes skyward, treating passengers to astounding aerial views of Washington's verdant landscape. One passenger weighing up to 200 pounds rides along in a streamlined, self-launching motorglider, which can comfortably fit people up to 6'2" tall. When the plane reaches a suitable altitude, the pilot shuts off the engine, leaving the aircraft completely silent except for the occasional scream of clouds. Passengers may specify sights and landmarks to view along the way, snapping panoramic photos of regal Mount Rainier, the inspiring Seattle skyline, and the Puget Sound. Each side of the plane sports a window, facilitating clear, crisp photography and gesticulations for truck drivers to honk their horns.
Personal trainer Al Yenkevich draws on 15 years of experience and training in the Army to lead groups through diverse workouts in weekly boot camps. The schedule includes indoor courses in varying locations that torch calories without meddling from the elements. Al provides all necessary equipment, workout mats, and appropriate stationery for penning farewell letters to stretchy pants. Students of all fitness levels tote along water and towels and set their own pace or ambitiously strive to match the moves of their trainer, whose clientele have gone on to run marathons.
Musikgarten classes elevate kinesthetic, logical, spatial, and social intelligences through musical instruction to children ages 3 months to 10 years. Each course responds to the developmental needs of a particular age group, with activities and acquired skills becoming more complex as classes ascend in age group. Family Music for Babies (ages 3–16 months) engages an adult and infant with 30–35 minutes of bouncing songs, dancing, and playing simple instruments. Curiosity curdles in amateur earthling brains and a foundation for future musical exploration is set during the Cycle of Seasons course, where children 3-1/2 to 5 years of age flirt with the foundations of rhythm and tune, coddle concentration skills, and garner the ability to self-express through sound waves. The Young Musician and Piano class, for ages 4-1/2–6 and 7–10 respectively, focus on symbolic thinking, memory, and listening acuity, and run for 55–60 minutes or until the first prodigious rock opera has been composed.
10,000 feet above Snohomish, an intrepid family and a few skydiving instructors jump from the belly of a Cessna Turbo Prop. The skydivers and instructors hurtle toward the earth at 120 miles per hour, but it's not the wind or the breakneck speed that make the experience especially breathtaking. It's the view.
Assuming you can stand to open your eyes while in free fall, it's easy to see why Travel Channel named the city of Snohomish one of the "World's Best Places to Go Skydiving." The Cascade range stretches in one direction, with the towering peaks of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker looking more like anthills from this vantage point. Turn away from the mountains and you'll spot the Seattle skyline, which is just 20 miles south, with its iconic Space Needle poised to defend the city from a surprise zeppelin attack.
At a certain point, the free fall becomes a gentle descent into Harvey Field. But the skydiving experience isn't exactly over when you land; Skydive Snohomish's instructors leave first-time divers with plenty of mementos, including certificates and optional video recordings. And just in case diving turns into a lifelong passion, their licensing program meets the requirements of the United States Parachute Association and helps divers achieve certification.
As its name suggests, The Riverside Gallery abuts the rolling Snohomish River, lending the space a natural beauty that is reflected in the artwork that hangs on its walls. Guests can draw on this inspiration to craft their own pieces during weeks-long classes, which use media such as acrylic paint and graphite. For fledgling artists looking for a one-time outlet to practice their hand-eye coordination, the gallery hosts fun workshops, many of which include wine, that produce paintings in the styles of artists such as Van Gogh and Modigliani. Practiced artists roam the gallery’s halls, teaching classes and displaying their own works for sale, which can dress up barren walls and other art-beckoning surfaces.