A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
In the late 1970s, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff uses testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics, which stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
On a given afternoon, Tiny Tots Tea Room buzzes with excitement while kids swoop down slides or tame a roller coaster designed for pint-sized thrills. Inside the playground and cafe, children ages nine months to six years old gleefully frolic amid one another while indulging in open play sessions held six days a week. The space features fun for both kids and adults, who unwind in Tiny Tots cafe while sipping signature drinks, such as espresso drinks or Tiny Tots tea, and noshing on snacks including wraps, housemade desserts, and plenty of gluten-, dairy-, and peanut-free dishes. In addition to promoting open play sessions, the space hosts birthday events with all-inclusive theme parties such as Princess, Rock-star Diva, Ohh La La Spa, and Playroom Parties on the weekends.
After fighting her way back to a size four following the birth of her third child, Debi Condon earned her personal-training-and-nutrition certification and founded Evolution Fitness. Debi and her crew lead mostly female groups of all ages and fitness levels through indoor and outdoor boot camps, TRX-suspension classes and personal-training sessions. Interval routines leverage mats, free weights, and nearby playground equipment to build up endurance against fatigue and cooties. With an emphasis on supportive motivation rather than drill-sergeant tactics or endless scrimmages against fast-food mascots, trainers strive to build accountability among their students through friendships and unlimited email support.
Pet Lodges hosts cats and dogs for boarding and daycare across five New York and Vermont locations, including the Albany airport. During dog daycare, pooches frolic in an enclosed pebble-lined yard, where affable staffers referee games of chase and fetch. Kitty camps treat cats to three private levels of cozy climbing and napping furniture, and dog suites include raised, cushioned beds and three to four trips to the exercise yard each day. Daycare, kitty camps, and canine luxury suites' built-in webcams allow families to check in on their pets as they socialize, sleep, and perfect their latest tail-braiding-tutorial videos. Pet Lodges' sister store, Checkerhills Farm, stocks organic and holistic dog and cat foods, as well as dog-wash stations and coffee and treats for humans in Glenville.
In 1947, Angela and Bernard DiSiena started peddling appliances and kitchen cabinets in a garage with dirt floors covered by canvas. More than six decades later, DiSiena Furniture boasts 85,000 square feet of space spanning a trio of buildings. Today, Angie's three children and their spouses still preside over daily operations. The family brightens homes with furniture from a medley of brands, outfitting boudoirs with luxurious beds, offices with desks, and living rooms with couches and leather recliners. They also add finishing touches to home decor with lamps, mirrors, and grandfather clocks, whose cardigans and corncob pipes lend a distinguished air to any room.