Shelves stretch across the walls of The Pottery Piazza, abounding with more than 1,500 bisque mugs, plates, and figurines in need of decoration. Beside them sit stencils, brushes, bottles of paint, and more than 100 types of glaze. At the tables, clients adorn their blank bisque canvases with paint while sipping from their favorite home-brought wine. Staff members stroll up and down the store, eagerly awaiting their chance to offer advice on the best ways to design a piece, perform artistic techniques, or accidentally drop incriminating evidence into the kiln. During fairer weather, painters lay claim to the tables on the front patio, painting, snacking, and socializing alfresco style. Throughout the year, the shop hosts special events, including private parties, kids' summer camps, and BYOB ladies nights.
The window dressers at Connecticut Shade and Blind have embellished bare panes with custom blinds, shades, and sumptuous draperies for more than a quarter century. Interior rooms exposed to overly enthusiastic sunbeams or binocular-bearing blue jays cover vulnerable windows with light filtering double-cell shades ($546 for a 36"x54" panel). The futuristic blinds are energy efficient, helping to defend against winter drafts and roasting summer suns. Wood blinds ($549 for a 36"x54" panel) or faux wood blinds ($413 for a 36"x54" panel) add texture and a touch of the outdoors to stylish interiors. A variety of fabrics in woven blends or ethereal sheers dress window interiors as curtains or human exteriors as stylish togas. Any accrued shipping costs are included in this Groupon.
The Music Shop's name may be succinct, but its scope isn't. Every square foot of the store is devoted to musicians of all disciplines, from the racks of sheet music for classical and pop tunes to the aisles lined with guitars, drums, amplifiers, and other accessories. A hallway in the back of the store leads to private lesson rooms, where dozens of instructors teach the basics of piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, violin, flute, and drums. The Music Shop also offers repair services for raspy woodwinds and guitars that won't stop complaining about their achy necks.
At The Little Green Tambourine, an environmentally friendly creative-arts studio that promotes active lifestyles, children’s imaginations roam freely during unstructured open-play hours. Kids can create artwork from play doh and paint, don dress-up clothes, or spout The Catcher in the Rye soliloquies during dramatic play. The mini ball pit and hula hoops promise to burn off excess energy, and youngsters can train for the import-export business at the train table. During open play parents must remain with their children, but for an additional $5 per session parents may leave their children to be supervised by the staff during drop-off open play. Parents supervise little ones younger than age 3, but can drop off children 3–5 years old in the sunlit studio with sustainable bamboo floors. Registration for drop-off play is required, and reservations for open play are recommended.
Tommy’s Tanning offers customers more than two dozen bronzing options, from single-session spray tans for special occasions to yearly memberships inside five levels of tanning beds. The vertical and horizontal beds imbue skin with color while cooling faces and playing music for a more comfortable tanning session. For UV-free color, VersaSpa spray-tanning booths coat the skin in a streak-free glow, all while the client stands in a comfortable, wide-open interior.
The experts at Yarnover help knitters of all skill levels learn basic and advanced techniques in knitting classes, as well as help those comfortable enough to knit by themselves navigate the shop and secure buttons, needle cases, and colorful royal alpaca, mulberry silk, or baby llama yarn. During the hands-on classes, students progress at their own pace as they take in wisdom and pointers from experienced teachers and broaden the knowledge of their hands and muscle memory. Guests can also stop by to sharpen their skills and talk trash about crocheters at a free knitting circle held every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.