For more than 45 years, Koyman Galleries’ custom-framing team has corralled fine art, photos, diplomas, and other keepsakes within the confines of custom-made frames. The subjects of 8”x10” ($60), 11”x14” ($95), or 16”x20” ($110) family portraits beam proudly from inside a sturdy wood frame and enjoy protection from the sun's moustache doodles with an upgrade to nonglare glass ($77+). Premium frames ($119+) treat art pieces to meticulously applied matting and enlarge dimensions up to 22”x26”. Art consultants stand by to offer framing suggestions and spot-on impressions of the Mona Lisa smile.
McMaze was established more than a decade ago by Sandy McDonald, who designed the family’s first 3.5-acre corn maze when he was just 14 years old. Over the next 10 years, Sandy and his family watched their endeavour blossom into a year-round family-friendly business that hosts seasonal activities year-round. Fall is the family’s busiest season, when visitors flock to find spooks in their haunted walks and wagon rides, and explore the pumpkin patch to search out a perfect specimen to be turned into a pie, jack-o’-lantern, or organic football helmet. The original hand-carved corn maze has since multiplied into five separate mazes, including a “haze maze,” which mystifies wanderers by sending them on a seemingly endless journey through fog and lights, and a door maze that presents 52 possible exits.
Winter snowfalls fail to stop the McDonalds’ love of celebrating, and so they invite families back to the 120-acre farm for old-fashioned sleigh rides through the woods, made all the more festive with hot chocolate and homemade cinnamon buns. Once the ground thaws in the spring, the farm comes alive again as guests descend upon the fields to help plant the first pumpkin seeds and welcome the arrival of baby farm animals as they parachute down from passing blimps. Homemade ice cream keeps things cool throughout the summer as pig and duck races entertain spectators of all ages, and parents stock up on corn on the cob and other farm-fresh produce.
Wineries are often found far down country roads, shrouded by the curling tendrils of their vineyards. At The Wine Garden, though, the entire winemaking experience can be had without setting foot outside of the city.
Yeast bubbles busily in stainless-steel fermentation vessels, transforming the juices of grapes from fertile regions of Chile, Argentina, and California. The fermentation process yields wines that range from crisp chardonnay to heady cabernet franc, the progenitor of cabernet sauvignon, and oak barrels bestow some of the elixirs with a rich maze of tannins. Fruit wines made with peaches, cranberries, or strawberries make refreshing summertime drinks and help work friends mingle with hummingbird friends at parties. Patrons play a major role in the entire process, selecting grapes and siphoning finished wine into bottles. The Wine Garden's gourmets also brew craft beers and stock hot sauces with humourous names such as Blair's Chipotle Death Rain.
The Mud Oven gives amateur artisans the chance to design and paint their own ceramic pieces, with an array of mugs ($19–$25), plates ($18–$32), individual-serving-sized bowls ($18–$26), mixing bowls ($28–$62), and more. Begin your ceramics-styling journey by choosing one of The Mud Oven's earthenware offerings, and then sit down to design and paint the piece. If you're at a loss for inspiration, the studio's staff of pottery whisperers is happy to translate the clay-based concoction's unspoken desires into the realms of colour and form. Go-getter businesspersons may wish to express appreciation for an eventual raise by painting a wine goblet for their CEO, while recently returned-from-orbit astronauts can log their dialogues with the stars on the surface of a salad plate. Once guests have designed and painted their pottery, The Mud Oven staff will glaze and fire it in the studio's onsite kiln, allowing patrons to return for their finished pieces in five days. Rush orders can be met for additional costs.
Sundance Balloons' vibrant hot-air balloons float adventurous passengers over scenic landscapes at sunrise and sunset. Each one-hour journey commences as sojourners greet their flight crew at a pre-determined location, receive a briefing on what to expect during the excursion, and observe their balloon as it swells to more than 10 storeys in height. Morning flight teams convene 30 minutes before sunrise.
The woven gondolas glide 1,000 feet above the ground but can sometimes gently skim treetops or cornfields when wandering over the countryside. Since balloons drift with prevailing winds, there is no wind chill and travellers feel only a slight sensation of movement. As is tradition for ballooning, explorers of the appropriate age end their flight with a champagne toast to tranquility, beauty, and neighbourhoods that appear as giant smiley faces only visible from the air.
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