From the outside, the nonprofit, 100% volunteer-run Kids Cooking Corner has the whimsical appearance of a fairy-tale cottage, its white siding accented by baby-blue paint and surrounded by fresh flowers and topiaries. The interior of the century-old house is equally exciting to youngsters, though not because of a prince or fairy godmother willing to do all of the heavy lifting. Children work hard at The Kids Cooking Corner, but the work is disguised in fun and rewarded with tasty snacks. Instructors warmly welcome foster children and children with special needs into their classrooms.
Helmed by chef, health enthusiast, and mother of three Heidi O'Connor, the volunteers at The Kids Cooking Corner strive to educate whippersnappers on nutrition, food safety, and food prep, often helping picky eaters try new foods along the way. Instructors incorporate math, science, and reading into curricula, teaching real-world applications for kids' school-sourced skills. Children definitely get their hands dirty, however: in spring and summer, they spend time in The Kids Cooking Corner garden, getting firsthand experience working with ingredients from seed to plate. Brightly painted walls, a playful party room, and a fully stocked kitchen provide a safe, exciting environment for kids to get crafty with edibles during each class, as well as during summer camps, parties, and peaceful games of food baseball.
When pharmacist Gary Goug?r first started making wine, he was an amateur who was simply translating his love of vino into a pleasurable hobby. Soon, his passion took over, and he began racking up numerous International Gold awards for his red blends. His science background, coupled with training at one of the world?s finest winemaking schools in Australia, helped Goug?r take his wines to the next level. Goug?r now oversees his own winery, built in 2013 inside a renovated firehouse, where his bottles take center stage at tasting-room events ranging from holiday events to varietal samplers.
The whoosh of baseballs against protective screens and leather mitts drifts through Extra Innings’ 11,000-square-foot facility even when rain is pouring down and baseball season seems far away. Athletes training for all levels of play can shut themselves in under the black meshing of eight multiuse batting and pitching tunnels, where they crush ball after ball to sharpen the minute movements of their swing. The tunnels, one of which is equipped with ProBatter ATEC7600 simulator, are all equipped with L screens and ping machines and are ideal for practicing sliders. A staff of current and former professional, college, and high-school athletes offers step-by-step instruction and on baseball- and softball-specific strength conditioning. In private lessons and group clinics, Extra Innings puts students of all ages on the path toward big-league skills such as hitting the curve and spitting sunflower seeds into the shape of a beautiful sunset.
Oregon Inflatables' fleet of bouncy chambers, water slides, games, and obstacles courses brightens birthday parties, graduations, and backyard barbecues with an old-school carnival flair. Each bouncy structure decks out air-filled cavities with themed decorations, dressing up playpens to resemble sunny stacks of crayons, turreted castles, or formidable pirate fortresses. Water slides and dunk tanks cool off partiers with romps through refreshing molecules of H2O, while obstacle courses, sumo suits, and games add a touch of friendly competition to gatherings. Oregon Inflatables couples its castles and water spouts with rentable cotton candy and snow-cone concessions that entertain taste buds with the sweet notes of spun sugar and flavored snowman meat.
An Xbox 360 console, a 40-inch high-definition television, and a surround-sound headset: all of this is yours alone at PLAYlive's individual gaming stations. But that doesn't mean each round of gaming has to be a solitary affair. The gaming center hosts parties and weekly tournaments, too, pitting players against each other in live contests with titles such as Call of Duty and NBA2K. For members, the lounge even hosts monthly mixers where gamers can participate in mini tournaments or debate which Mario brother made their mother prouder. Beyond its comfy lounge, PLAYlive can enrich your gaming experience with its shop that specializes in repairing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii consoles.
Golden Skate's 2,500 sq. ft., state-of-the-art laser-tag arena shows a glimpse of the future. Players can don battle vests and battle against each other with beams of light, as black lights illuminate teams of players as they scour obstacles in search of adversaries. Alternatively, roller skaters glide around the rink and into a bygone era filled with life's simpler pleasures. But despite the name, not everything here is awash in the golden hue of nostalgia. Modern pop music blasts through the rink's speakers, helping skaters maintain their rhythm as they brazenly coast through traffic lights.