On Woodside Nursery & Garden Center's 5-acre grounds, a sprawling greenhouse hosts seasonal, Long Island–grown florae. The nursery staff cultivates its own flowers, vegetable plants, and herbs onsite to oversee every facet of growth and read each plant its preferred bedtime story at night. With photos and measurements for reference, these green-thumbed experts will also help customers design lush landscapes free of charge. Woodside's stock changes with the necessities of the seasons, with sundry flowers in the springtime, pond fish in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees and wreaths in the winter.
An annual tradition for the WMHO, the Home for the Holidays series enchants audiences with unique, interactive musical-theater tributes to showbiz icons. This season, the charmed and charming life of legendary entertainer Bob Hope is vividly depicted in a living history rife with music and ribald laughter. Performed by St. George Living History Productions, which specializes in filmless biopics about talking humans, the musical salutes Bob’s comic timing, tireless philanthropy, and tolerance of Bing Crosby’s camel banter through songs, stories, and fourth-wall breaks that immerse the audience in the show. Amid the Yuletide-decorated set, guests enjoy a high-tea luncheon of scrumptious finger sandwiches and desserts as the musical glides through vaudeville beginnings, marquee stardom, relentless USO appearances, and 58 honorary doctorates in wooing Dorothy Lamour.
Deer Park Community Center runs on the belief that children should remain active and use their imaginations. So, the facility organizes a full slate of athletic and cultural programs as an alternative to other popular forms of entertainment, such as playing video games and trying to sell annoying siblings on eBay. The DPCC offers activities that satisfy a wide range of interests. Youngsters can spark up competition with games of volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball, or get their creative juices flowing during theater performances and age-appropriate dances.
The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center throws its visitors into the shark tank. And the tropical lagoon. And the salt marsh. As executive director Bryan DeLuca noted in the New York Times, the center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is one of the most interactive aquariums in the area, which snagged it a place on Parents magazine's list of the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids. The Atlantis-themed aquarium’s educational exhibits combine myth with science as they bring guests face to gills with creatures such as eels, jellyfish, seals, and clownfish. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits right on the banks of the Peconic River, the aquarium delights guests with aquatic adventures such as snorkeling or receiving a photo op and kiss from loveable sea lion Java, who still dreams of one day being turned into a beautiful princess.
Unlike swimming, nobody learns to fly by being thrown in the deep end. Instead, it takes gradual instruction to teach students the controls and feel of an aircraft guided by their hands. Luckily, instructors Antonio Ferrara and Zachary Barrett specialize in that sort of slow-burning scholarship. Both men make their living with their heads in the clouds. Ferrara flies for a commercial airline, ferrying passengers across vast distances in enormous jets. Barrett also possesses his commercial pilot's license, along with an FAA Flight Instructor certification.
At Affordable Aircraft & Flight Instruction, LLC, the duo helps fledgling flyers find their sky legs with discovery flights and group ground school. They also teach longer courses, guiding students toward certifications as private-, multiengine-, and commercial-rated pilots.
Just outside of Naples, Italy in a town called Dugenta, Salvatore Diliberto's family crafts its own wine each year and stores it in the cellar of the castle next door. Though miles away from the vineyard and the old stone building, Diliberto carries on the Old World techniques at his Jamesport winery, where he tends to several acres of vines including franc and chardonnay. He presses the grapes, barrel ages the wine, and bottles it with Diliberto labels—some of which bear an artistic rendering of the castle in Dugenta.
In his tasting room, Diliberto presents his specialty wines to guests during a tasting experience designed to transport them to his ancestral home. He forgoes the bar experience in favor of the small table settings that one finds staggered outside an Italian café. A mural on one end of the room further heightens the sense of travel, trading the North Fork for the bustling streets and sentient traffic lights of a Tuscan mountain town.