Backyard Candle Co. owners and votive lieges Tricia Whisler and Linda Messer hand-pour 100% soy candles into attractive container sets of numerous sizes (5–16 ounces, $7.99–$15.99). Before getting their candles, guests take in wafts of the scent menu, which drifts with 50 different aromas that include the sweet Pink Sugar, the delectable Coconut Cream Pie, and the soft Country Clothesline. Lotions and shower gels douse bodies in fragrances (two for $15.99), while tarts ($1.50) and scented room and linen sprays can be used to freshen up an office or mask the scent of a secret horse stable ($4.99). With creative graphics and images, Papaya cards greet loved ones with a nod toward style and a nudge toward creatively abandoning the envelope ($2.50). Under its vintage pressed ceilings Backyard Candle Co. also stocks a vast array of rotating eclectic home decorations.
The Niabi Zoo houses 900 animals from 160 species hailing from a quintet of continents on its 40-acre grounds. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, this Midwestern menagerie abides by rigorous standards for bird and beast welfare. Traverse the educational trails, sighting zebras, ostriches, and giraffes trying on oversized bowties in the African exhibit or large cats such as the jaguar, leopard, and bengal tiger. The Niabi Zoo also protects 200 acres of area land for native wildlife preservation and bocce-ball tournaments.