The Tulip Grove nurtures an educated support community of local moms for new and expecting mothers with professionally led classes and a comprehensive supply of safe baby gear, clothing, and toys. The resource center's workshops fill parents' noggins with know-how in breastfeeding, postpartum and newborn care, and infant massage for babies stressed by their new surroundings and piles of postbirth paperwork. In addition, The Tulip Grove gathers new and expecting parents for peer support groups and provides a lending library for nursery necessities. With daily classes available at each location, parents continually learn childcare skills such as proper nutrition, infant and child CPR, baby sign language, and how to win arguments with babies in sign language.
At Nest Maternity, helpful staffers happily assist expecting moms, guiding them through what can often be a confusing, albeit exciting period in their lives. With the goal of making mothers-to-be comfortable, they adorned their shop with tranquil fountains, a lounge, and a kids' play area—all thoughtful details that helped earn them the Red Tricycle Award in 2011 for Best Maternity Store and in 2012 for Plushest Baby & Maternity Shops. Shelves teem with haute threads from Olian and Lilac, which celebrate and enhance the beauty of a woman's body during pregnancy, as well as accessories including musical CDs, nursing covers, diaper bags, and carriers. In addition to dresses, skirts, and jeans designed to fit over baby bumps, they also carry organic baby clothes that accommodate infants who are slowly transforming into larger infants or small children.
The Preschool Prep Company's award-winning line of DVD's and books are designed to teach children basic concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Founder Kathy Oxley has good reason to believe that toddlers? can easily learn these concepts. After exposure to the alphabet, Oxley?s 14-month-old daughter began to recognize letters on signs and in books. Within a year, the two-year-old could read simple words on her own. Preschool Prep aims to provide children with a basic set of tools they'll be able to use when they're ready to learn how to read. In the end, it's a philosophy very similar to other educational approaches. "We teach toddlers to identify dogs, elephants, unicorns and dinosaurs," Oxley said in an interview with EW.com. "Letters are no different. They are just animals of a different kind."
The comfy couch-laden Call Tag serves casual gamers and hard-core enthusiasts with hours of thumb-flexing entertainment. This next-generation game room charts the evolution of the console, starting with a nostalgic assembly of sentimental machines such as the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Nintendo NES, and Sega Master System, which put smiles on the stoniest of Pac-men and -women. Modern incarnations include Xbox and Playstation 2 and 3, allowing plush-cushion warriors to band together in multiplayer Call of Duty melees on a 120-inch screen or jam together on Guitar Hero or Rock Band with pro gear in a fully equipped studio. Realistic racing chairs enhance the experience of full-throttle car games, and wireless Internet connects PC gamers embarking on dragon-slaying quests. The studio is the perfect place to host a private party. Up to 10 gamers can indulge in two hours of unobstructed birthday celebrations and Mario Kart retirement toasts.
A family of four poses amid crisp fall leaves, late sunlight casting a warm glow across their smiling cheeks. A newlywed couple beams at each other under a canopy of palm trees. Staff members of a new salon hold a giant pair of scissors, poised to cut the ribbon and the hair of their first giant customer during their opening ceremony. ultra-spective's photographers can capture groups and individuals in nearly any context, and they take a distinctive approach to each—so much so that the studio boasts six different divisions, for family portraits, high-school seniors, art portraiture, weddings, boudoir shoots, and business photography. An all-female team with expertise in lighting and airbrushing directs the boudoir shoots, where they guide subjects in poses designed to make them look svelte and beautiful. For family shoots, they'll gladly venture to a selection of reliably picturesque parks where split-rail fences lean, redwoods loom, and sycamores dapple golden fields with shade. The studio itself has plenty of personality, with chandeliers and black walls lined with hot pink sequins.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the floor and ceiling by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.