A lush, diverse ecosystem of colorful plants and eye-opening exhibits await patrons to the Franklin Park Conservatory. Unveil the mystery behind carnivorous greenery at the interactive Savage Gardens display (through November 14), where visitors can observe a feeding of a Venus flytrap (1 p.m. daily), learn about how carnivorous plants digest horsefly gizzards, or grill a cactus on the latest fruit bat gossip. Feel free to stroll the museum's signature collection of original Dale Chihuly glass art, which decorates 12 gorgeous installments, or watch as in-house professional glass blowers use small puffs of air and careful craftsmanship to create twinkling vessels and life-size Burton Gilliam sculptures.
Steve and Gretel Adams always knew that they were meant "to do something creative with [their] lives," but it wasn't until after Steve completed an apprenticeship at Anderson Orchards that the pair realized their calling was to cultivate the earth. Shortly after, they set out to till seven acres of inherited land, burying seeds for local flowers and organic produce. As an extension of their longtime commitment to a sustainable lifestyle, the Adams eschew the use of unnatural chemicals and create their own compost to fertilize their fields. Gretel claims that she "wanted to have something that was different than what you could get at the store," and Ohio Magazine responded to the farm's noteworthy practices by placing it on the Best of Ohio list in 2012. Now joined by a select staff, Steve and Gretel continue to stay involved with their farm's daily activities. In addition to working the fields and learning to fluently speak Jolly Green Giantese, they also tote their flora to farmers' markets throughout the Columbus area, where they sell freshly cut flowers and educate people about the benefits of sustainable living and locally grown produce.
After 25 years in the retail industry, one-time executive Lisa Darke struck out on her own to open this boutique for teens and adults. Armed with discerning taste and a penchant for colorful, feminine details, she stocks her shelves with formal and casual threads from designer lines such as AG, Joe's, and Red Engine. She is, however, beginning to feature more and more unique indie brands. "Honestly," Darke said during an interview with Shop Talk in the Columbus Dispatch, "we're making a move a little more away from lines everyone knows. We want to give you good fashion for the best price possible." To complement her racks of distinctive garments, she arranges shelves and display tables with accessories such as sunglasses, jewelry, and scarves. Darke also stocks many items up to size 18 to ensure that the majority of local ladies have the opportunity to look their snazziest.
Costume Holiday House's inventory of wigs, makeup, suits, and party supplies enables costume changes ranging from spooky to comical. Customers can dress themselves as everything from pop-culture icons to terrifying specters and macabre forms, and an ample supply of wigs and accessories form the basis of inventive costumes that don’t require full-body suits or rubber masks. In addition to wearable Halloween goods, the shop also sells fog machines and animated props that set the stage for monster mashes and haunted houses. Costume Holiday House accommodates dress-up even in the Halloween off-season, with theater costume rentals for schools and community plays, or Second Skin colored bodysuits for showing team spirit at a baseball game or camouflaging into the green-screen background at local commercial shoots.
Costume Specialties launches adults and children into character with hundreds of costumes, wigs, makeup, and accessories. Youth guises ($15+) range from Dorothy’s signature white blouse and blue-checked pinafore ($29) to Darth Vader’s iconic black cape, helmet, and Hello Kitty lunchbox ($31). Adult getups ($40+) include the rose-hued velvet dress sported by Robin Hood's Maid Marion ($45.99) and the white jumpsuit and bulging, hairy chest of latter-day Elvis ($56). Wigs, such as the white curls of a Colonial man ($22), and accessories, including hairy werewolf gloves ($10), add realistic flair to outfits, and smearing a 16-ounce vial of arterial stage blood ($15.95) around the mouth helps increase a vampire costume's impact or intimidate squirrels that keep breaking into bird feeders.