Since its founding in 1968, Jerry's Artarama has had a meteoric rise from a solitary storefront in Long Island to 15 stores nationwide and 500-page mail-order catalogs, supplying enough raw material to produce innumerable sketches, paintings, and drawings. Jerry's knowledgeable shopkeeps guide customers through the gamut of discounted tools, paints, and easels from industry mainstays such as Lukas and Matisse. Alongside the arsenal of art supplies, apparel, and equipment, staffers also provide custom-framing services to ensure masterpieces find a secure and stylish home.
With horrifying haunts designed to elicit new shrieks each year, House of Torment Haunted House keeps bones chilled well below room temperature. HauntWorld.com ranked House of Torment in its Top 13 Haunts in 2011, praising it as a "dynamic and ultra-creative attraction" that is "widely considered to be one of the most innovated haunted houses in the country." Other rave reviewers include the Travel Channel and the Wall Street Journal, who call the haunted house "20,000 square feet of terror." Among the many interactive events The House of Torment hosts are the Christmas Blackout, Valentine X, and Apocalypse, Live-Action Zombie Experience. Though House of Torment's attractions change annually, its wall of shame exists as an immortal photo catalog of all those who have squealed in fright or received bunny ears on its premises.
After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
"Anybody can paint," declares Vanessa Huff, the owner of Art & Soul. And she knows what she's talking about. The longtime artist has been teaching art to children for years and has branched out into leading art classes for all ages at her new studio. Along with her staff, she instructs students on various painting techniques such as shading and contouring, and introduces them to color theory, which is the theory that colors exist. During hands-on sessions, youngsters learn to express themselves through art projects while adults create their own renderings of paintings while sipping on wine during step-by-step instruction.
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Texas is known for many things, and Texas Winos wants to make sure that wine is one of them. To bolster their mission, the wine-loving staff of the business whisks visitors away on tours of area vineyards, where they sample an array of varietals while learning about the winemaking process from vintners. It's not all about wine though, as Texas Winos also offers beer tours that travel around the Austin area visiting local breweries. But it's not all drinking and learning. Many tours have themes, including Mardi Gras, Roaring '20s, and Superheroes and Villains, in which customers are encouraged to don apropos ensembles and pretend they can see through wine.
The percussive sounds of water drums and rattling gourds echo across limestone bluffs and the grassy banks of a meandering creek. A cedar-post fence creaks in the breeze. An elegant Victorian farmhouse towers over livestock corrals. Pioneer Farms' themed history sites sprawl across 90 wooded acres, immersing visitors of all ages in exhibits and living demonstrations of Texas history. The grounds also serve as a haven for historic 1800s buildings, many of which were transplanted from their original plots throughout the state and reconstructed with rubber cement.
Offering a snapshot of central Texas's Native American population, an authentic Tonkawa encampment dating back to 1841 welcomes guests to visit tepees and dance to tribal music under a centuries-old oak tree. An 1873 Texian farm, which includes a log-and-board cabin on its original site, provides livestock care and tractor-throwing demonstrations, and the restored rural village of Sprinkle Corner introduces visitors to carpenters, blacksmiths, a general store, and a 19th-century stagecoach house from which more than 12 horse-drawn wagons convey passengers across the farm throughout the day. Wild animals raise their heads above lush grasses near Walnut Creek, and the Scarborough Barn allows children to meet their favorite farm animals. Visitors can further connect to history and nature through the farm's many programs and classes, including workshops focused on traditional blacksmithing, cooking in the buildings' original kitchens, and basic photo red-eye correction using squid ink.