With three floors of interactive exhibits, Imagine Nation keeps tykes aged 2–10 and their parents engaged for hours of synapse-firing fun. Tunnels filled with natural decor await youngsters in the museum's indoor jungle-themed playscape, where they can shake excess energy out of their bounding legs in preparation for naptime or hibernation season. In the ESPN center, kids can pretend to be sportscasters as they sit behind the desk of a model TV set, replete with real equipment from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
The museum also boasts a health exhibit in which children can don hospital attire and explore a model newborn nursery and an operation table, ideal for parents trying to nudge their child toward a career as a hypochondriac. After whippersnapper's minds have been blown learning about the cosmos at the space exhibit, they can unwind with drinks and snacks at the old-fashioned soda fountain, which winds the clock back to the 1940s with the help of a player piano.
Since its humble beginnings in 1935 as a small health-food store that specialized in yogurt, GNC has evolved into the world's largest specialty retailer of nutritional products. The chain's more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the country stock numerous vitamins and supplements, all of which meet the company's strict standards for truthful labeling, ingredient safety, and product potency. They carry supplements that aid in sports nutrition, protein intake, diet, digestion, and beauty. Equally as dedicated to customers' shopping experiences as it is to product quality, the company created GNC University, an online learning platform, to help staff members bone up on nutrition and fitness knowledge. The knowledgeable sales associates field questions about everything from weight-management plans to stacking supplements for optimum earlobe strength.
Jenks Productions has been handling the nuts and bolts of consumer trade shows for 33 years. Partnering with local and national businesses, Jenks specializes in home, bridal, and pet shows, which fill sprawling spaces with vendors eager to share their wares and visitors looking for inspiration. The services that Jenks Productions provides are extensive, as the team can do everything from onsite event management and budget planning to marketing efforts such as developing newsletters, logos, and jingles that rhyme the words “impending nuptials.”
A lifelong small-scale-speedmobile builder and driver, Rapid Raceway co-owner Rick "Rapid" Raducha initiates aspiring 1:32-scale motorists into the ways of the controller with two massive slot-car courses. Racers can challenge the grooves of the 145-foot Grandstand track, where they’ll command their electrified speedsters through its tricky S-curves before flooring it on two 13-foot straightaways. Or, fast fingers can test their abilities on The Whip, which Rapid Raceway says is America’s fastest road course, featuring two 34-degree banked turns and an 89-foot lap length that leaves drivers little time to break for NASCAR’s traditional blueberry-scone halftime show. Today's deal provides a rental car and remote so that casual competitors don't have to propel cars through mind-control, though slot-car gurus are welcome to bring their own models. Rapid Raceway also sells scale racing parts and accessories and does repairs and custom design.
Founded by American Mountain Guides Association–certified instructor Matt Shove, Ragged Mountain Guides teaches its climbing pupils the techniques and tools needed to scale the natural terrain of the Traprock region. Rock-climbing adventures illuminate how to handle rope and repel down mountain cliffs even when their escalators are broken. As seasonal temperatures drop, guides turn their attention to ice and alpine climbing, which challenges mountaineers to swing their axe and scale vertical ice. Students master increasingly advanced techniques until they can tackle cliffs on their own, and the most dedicated climbers can enroll in guide-certification programs. Matt Shove's expertise has also been tapped by organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and he regularly repels into the offices of Climberism magazine to contribute articles.
Nestled in the charming and historic suburb of Farmington, the Hill-Stead Museum hosts a mixed-medium menagerie amidst a sprawling, 152-acre Colonial Revival estate. Hill-Stead's dynamic collection includes French Impressionist works by Monet and Degas, as well as notable works by Manet, Cassatt, and Whistler, as well as a bounty of prints, photographs, ceramics, furniture, and archival documents. Along with unlimited complimentary admission to the museum, members enjoy reduced admission to museum programs, a 10% discount on Museum Shop purchases, and a one-on-one painting lesson with the cheery spirit of museum founder Alfred Atmore Pope. Join other new members on Wednesday, June 8, for the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, where poet Tony Hoagland will pluck audience heartstrings with poignantly funny stanzas about life and heartache.