Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece 7-10 days later.
Mountain Timber Furnishings saturates homes in rustic charm with custom-designed pieces and collections inspired by the natural beauty of the Wasatch Front and Fraser Valley. The meandering tendrils of a twig wine rack ($175+) securely entwine oak-aged vintages or mason jars of fermenting yogurt. Add rugged vitality to unguarded walls with a framed oil painting ($59–$99) featuring motifs of solitary wolves or frolicking elk herds. A taupe lamp ($99) supported by a sturdy, pear-shaped base can illuminate shadowy corners and a cubical wooden table ($189) comprised of vertically stacked logs can display bowls of decorative apples or edible potpourri.
Dog Training Elite's founder and head trainer John Mestas leans on 32 years of experience training pups of all shapes, sizes, and breath swampiness. He's worked with guide-dog puppies, coached members of a search-and-rescue team, and has trained police-department canines. In training programs for family pets, he leverages that experience to help pups learn behavioral basics and weeds out troublesome habits such as sitting on the furniture and jumping.
Drawing from his experience helping professional athletes get in the zone, hypnotist and author Jake Shannon uses his craft to aid clients in achieving peak mental performance so they can effectively discard unwanted dependencies. During hypnotherapy sessions, Shannon speaks to subjects using encouraging language, giving them what he refers to as a "massage of the mind." Through one or multiple sessions, clients learn to relax, meditate, and use positive reinforcement to reverse behavior that can exacerbate smoking habits, weight problems, or excessive anxiety.
Morning Star Balloons ushers cloud hunters toward their quarry, navigating the skies as transfixed guests float high above Utah's pristine mountainscape. The seasoned, FAA-certified pilots employ experience flying military jets, winning numerous hot air balloon competitions, and establishing dominance over out-of-control umbrellas as they confidently steer the colorful vessels to heights of between 500–1,500 feet. Groups of up to 12 soar above Park City’s lush landscape and during early-morning flights, with a complimentary champagne or nonalcoholic toast welcoming passengers back to solid ground. Despite its burgeoning fame through the TV shows The Amazing Race and Nitro Circus, Morning Star Balloons keeps a level head as it donates its services to local schools and charities.
In an unassuming building tucked away off a suburban road, enormous fish swim, pastel penguins turn their backs to the wind, and giraffes in sunglasses strut. These works are the result of art camps and classes for students aged 4 and older at Mesa Art Studio. Founder Kris Cannaday has taught art in various forms and mediums for more than 25 years, but she continues to enhance her brush skills by attending seminars, taking art classes, and painting designs on loved ones’ faces while they sleep. She teaches courses geared toward kids' attention spans as well as broad-ranging adult classes that last up to two hours. Cannaday’s patient approach to teaching allows her to reach students of all skill levels, including those with learning and physical disabilities. During her three-day summer camps, she also introduces kids to arty fundamentals. During the trio of sessions, kids armed with art markers, colored pencils, or even pastels engage with projects ranging from portraits of zoo animals and cartoony faces to kiddie-sized facsimiles of works by masters from Van Gogh to Cezanne.