Tarsitano's Artisan Winery used to be a dairy farm. "But I would rather squeeze grapes than cows, so I started a winery," Ken Tarsitano says. This isn't the only reason Ken turned his 17 acres—which has been in his family for five generations—into a vineyard. His grandfather, Michael Tarsitano, "always had something bubbling away in his cellar," and it was Grandpa's ability to transform elderberries, apples, and even dandelions into wine that inspired Ken.
Today, Ken is the owner, vineyard manager, and winemaker at his eponymous winery and vineyard, whose 25 grape varieties have been organic since its 1998 inception. Wine isn't the only thing visitors dine on here: winery goers savor flatbreads and cheese plates. Tarsitano's Artisan Winery even hosts events, such as moon-viewing parties, where guests gather to launch sky lanterns in the light of a waxing moon.
Phantom Fireworks first burst onto the scene more than three decades ago. Today, the company lights up backyards of America from coast-to-coast with more than 1,200 permanent and temporary locations.
Much like its products, Phantom?s employees frequently take to the skies. They travel around the globe in search of the industry's latest ground and aerial displays before returning home with rockets, missiles, fountains, and aerial repeaters. From there, an extensive in-house testing program takes over, checking each item's safety before it?s sold to the public.
That testing program is just one of Phantom?s pillars of safety. The company also holds memberships with multiple pyrotechnics organizations, and it offers customers additional information about fireworks laws and history through its Fireworks University.
Housed within an art gallery and wine shop, the Urraro Gallery outfits artwork and keepsakes with close-fitting protective frames. Staff lead patrons through a smorgasbord of wood and metal frames to find the border best suited to protect a portrait from harsh sunlight or the oily fingerprints of a child robot. A plethora of mats in various colors, textures, and shapes can accent prints, and shadow boxes house treasures such as a collection of medals, a lock of football-mascot fur, or a hobo's shadow. The average cost for a custom frame ranges $50–$150, and frame sizes range from quaint 4"x6" memory-keepers to 40"x60" frames large enough to hold a life-size print of a miniature pony. After framers finish their work on-site, clients can pick up the finished piece in the store or have it shipped home.
Grode Florist is a floral boutique specializing in contemporary and traditional floral and plant arrangements. To warm a cold room, or the chilly blood of an alligator you want be your pet and live beneath your kitchen sink, opt for an arrangement of tropicals such as the strawberry floral margarita, a bundle of brilliantly colored Dendrobium orchids, lilies, alstroemeria, and roses. Or, surprise a lover of sudsy brews with a beer mug of blooms, a display of fresh, white, mini carnations in an acrylic beer mug (filled with rocks, not beer or copies of Rodney Dangerfield's autobiography). Grode's also has a selection of silk, plant, and dried floral arrangements for the herbaceously-indecisive.
Cultured Purl is a quaint outpost for neophyte knitters and stitch-laying veterans, providing customers with the tools, fibers, and positive environment necessary to make sweaters and hats out of naturally occurring circular cat toys. The beginner's class will equip you with basic skein-wrangling skills and tricks, such as how to highlight the portrait of Ronald Reagan that mysteriously appears in every right-plaited stitch series. Head to Cultured Purl to master the yarn and thread basics, or gift this Groupon to a sartorially-minded friend with graceful, needle-ready paws. Classes are scheduled monthly, so check online for the most recent schedule before calling to reserve your spot. Upcoming classes are on January 12, 19, and 26, and meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Later sessions are available on February 2, 9, and 16, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The walls and racks at Teaching Touches bring order to an enormous collection of activity books, science experiments, teaching tools, and more. Friendly, knowledgeable staff members guide education professionals and parents through a heady maze of bingo games, in which students are introduced to time telling, addition, vowels, and more ($9.99+), before reaching the grove of colossal-size classroom posters, featuring inspirational classics such as Open for learning, Are you making progress?, and You’re doing an interesting job dressing yourself ($15.49 for a combo pack of six). The Mulplication Rock DVD ($19.99) teaches kids math through music, and Games to Go let kids learn anywhere, from road trips to Red Rover breaks ($22.99+). Give nascent imaginations a concrete outlet with PlayFoam, which equips young sculptors with the power to replicate Michelangelo's David or craft unflattering busts of their pediatricians.