After six years of working in Chicago, Kasey Shoemaker returned to Lansing to raise her family. Fusing her dedication to her children with her entrepreneurial aspirations, Kasey set out to assemble natural, local, and organic materials and to transform them into a space where kids aged 6 or younger could frolic while parents relaxed with other adults. Her vision came to fruition with play., a 2,600-square-foot space with play areas where kids shop at a pretend farmers' market or cavort across a stage in elaborate costumes and props. Tykes who wish to check in with Clifford, Dora the Explorer, or Hamlet can nestle into the reading nook with a favorite book. Beside permanent play spots, constantly evolving interest areas accommodate new attractions, such as a chalk wall and a basketball hoop, that enthrall drop-in visitors and birthday-party guests alike. Along with unstructured play, classes led by experienced educators engage tykes with art activities and interactive projects. During the warmer months, play. also offers summer camps that run for two-week sessions and let children explore and create while accompanied by staff and guest instructors.
During their annual Big Zoo Party, Potter Park Zoo’s team rolls out the red carpet in support of conservation and educational programs with fine food and drink, local music, and dazzling entertainment amid the zoo’s exotic animal habitats. Don snazzy duds and hit the red carpet as photographers snap pictures and offer an excuse to start a flash-strobe dance party. One hundred sixty species of animals, including blushing red pandas, cooler-than-thou snow leopards, and mischievous tamarin monkeys, strut their stuff in elaborate habitats as guests enjoy glasses of fine wine or Michigan microbrews from Short's Brewing Company. Sample fine food from local restaurants, including Mitchell's Fish Market, Enso, and munchables by chef Jesse Hahn of Lansing’s own Trailer Park'd. Entertainers dazzle animals and humans alike on the brightly lit grounds. Check out the blazing dance antics of the Detroit Fire Guild as they inspire oohs and aahs from humans and jealous comparisons to dragon ancestors from crocodiles. LED and laser lighting and performance art enliven a live and silent auction, spotlighting guests bidding on donated notions and experiences.
Moonlight pools in the gym’s entryway as the nighttime visitor stops to fumble for her keycard. It’s 3 a.m. She worked the night shift again and wants to work off some tension. Her fingers grasp the small plastic card and with a quick swipe, she’s inside. Immediately enveloped by the warm glow of Snap Fitness, she joins the other late-night exercisers in pounding on the treadmill and lifting weights before the sun rises.
Accessible 24/7 via keycard, guests enter Snap Fitness to tone their physiques on myriad cardio and strength equipment day or night. During staff hours, they can seek out fitness assessments and one-on-one sessions with personal trainers, which ensure all moves are performed effectively, topped with a dose of motivation. The trainers devise personal fitness plans for each guest, taking into account their strength, cardio, and flexibility conditions to help them tackle weight loss, boost overall body strength, or attempt to finally unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Patrons sip on custom teas at Bubble Island, where staffers mix tapioca balls, or “bubbles,” with milk tea and creative flavors to concoct delightful chilled and hot beverages. Fresh fruit swims in many of the drinks, such as the green tea with mango stars ($3.65), and customers can often choose between bubbles and alternative drink accessories such as jellies and diamond-encrusted straws. As visitors lounge and mingle among the café's ample chairs or construct forts among the cozy benches lining the wall, they sip dulcet pourings of drinkable treats, such as milk tea with multicolored bubbles ($3.65).
Backed by more than 35 years of dance experience, Kick It Out! Competitive Dance director Denise Krumm leads her team of instructors in coaching students from kindergarten through adulthood in dance styles such as pom, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical. Classes run the gamut from casual lessons to achievement-centered classes that result in travel to various Michigan competitions. In addition to more traditional dance forms, the studio also offers Zumba’s dance-party workouts, which get bodies moving with Latin-inspired moves that are more fun than tangoing with a treadmill.
Unpainted figurines and pottery pieces stand in single-file lines on the pine shelves of Haze Ceramics and More, patiently waiting for guests to brandish paint-dipped brushes and embellish their blank surfaces with artistry. The studio's instructors lead classes and special events throughout the week, demonstrating techniques for mixing colors and achieving a variety of smooth or grainy textures. Aside from giving children and adults the chance to select a ceramic coffee mug, coin tray, or spiked mace from the studio’s expansive collection, classes include all glazes, paints, and firing fees. Special events, such as ladies' night, fuel outbursts of creativity with wine and snacks, and private parties clear out the room so that birthday boys and girls can gleefully bash away at terra-cotta piñatas.
As a Zerona-certified laser technician with thousands of treatments under his belt, Terry J. Ward knew many of his clients weren’t satisfied with the results of Zerona. Tapping into cold laser technology developed by NASA, he designed and built the first UltraSlim prototypes, as well as the finished version he uses to slenderize clients. As a local provider of the nationwide technique pioneered by Ward, technicians at UltraSlim Mid Michigan treat clients and back up their work by pledging repeated treatments until customers lose 2 inches.