At The Soap Factory, enthusiastic soap makers transform a handful of natural ingredients into more than 70 varieties of soap, each laced with skin-friendly ingredients and decorated with colorful stamps or elaborate carvings. During soap-making workshops, enthused, skilled instructors lead students through the essentials of crafting sudsers, including selecting a base such as natural goat's milk or glycerin. Then novices can belly up to the soap bar to mix and match a huge variety of dirt-baiting fragrances, such as plumeria, lavender, lime, or patchouli. Shop owner Dina Good creates her soaps with myriad patterns and themes, such as Berry Berry Swirl’s pastry-like flourishes or the Tie Dye bar’s whimsical splashes of color, and invites burgeoning designers to craft their own bars with their choice of embellishment, such as bright flowers, colorful polka dots, or detailed replicas of the Sistine Chapel. After class, duos can browse the massive array of intricately designed, handcrafted block soaps displayed on sawhorse tables, and pick a slice for each to take home for soothing sudsings. The shop balances utilitarian workshop décor with chic touches, such as a gray sofa atop a bright rug, potted orchids, and a bold-pink accent wall.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
The arts-and-crafts experts at You Do the Dishes, who have captivated the cameras of Fox 13 News, encourage visitors to channel their inner Van Gogh's while brushstroking pre-made ceramics. The studio equips guests with all necessary painting materials needed to enliven one piece of pottery (up to a $15 value) that can include a coffee mug, a jewelry box, or a dog bowl for using as a helmet during ping-pong practice. After painters embellish their masterworks with thoughtful words and colorful patterns, the shop's staff carefully glazes and fires each piece, which will be ready for pickup three to five days later. The studio's full-service coffee bar fills empty bellies with light snacks, hot coffee, and tea that fuel creativity more effectively than eating an original Andy Warhol painting.
Yoga prevents your mind and body from feuding, which may result in stress, general aches, and sour-jaw. Today's Groupon to Namaste Yoga Studio gets you eight yoga classes for $25 (normally $75) to use anytime within 30 days—that's about $3 per class. Supplement your newfound fitness routine with Namaste's weekly free community class every weekend.
The up-beat workouts at 9Round Kickbox Fitness accomplish a lot in just 30 minutes. With nine unique stations to complete, you'll arrive at a full body workout, doing everything from strength building and endurance with kettlebells to whooping on 100-pound heavy bags to blasting your core. Motivated trainers will keep you focused and maximize your minutes in the gym.
Unlike traditional gyms that take a laissez-faire approach to fitness, letting clients fumble through their own workouts, Orangetheory leads exercisers in innovative personal group-training sessions that run through four distinct steps. Inside the warm, citrus glow of each facility, dozens of treadmills, rowing machines, free-weight sets, and Trx suspension systems await the next interval changeover. Music sends electric currents of energy through the atmosphere as patrons sweat out calories, and personal trainers patrol the aisles, giving pointers for touching up form and blinking out motivational words in Morse code. Clients keep an eye on their heart-rate readouts to ensure they're in the peak range for burning fat and building muscle. After an hour—during which guests complete a 10- to 30-minute interval at each of the four stations—the "orange effect" sets in and jump-starts metabolisms, possibly for days after the workout has ended.
Orangetheory Fitness has been highlighted in the New York Times for its seminal workout plan, which was designed by Florida fitness expert Ellen Latham to help people to turn their workout plateaus into springboards. With more than 50 classes per week at each location, members can capitalize on the gym's personal-training vibe and stimulating group setting at their leisure.