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.
Tucked away in the shadows of pines and hardwoods that were planted in the late 1940s, Timber Ridge Golf Club's 6,585-yard course roams through dense tree lines, rolling hills, and native marshland to form a scenic, challenging layout. The Club's new golf carts come equipped with internal GPS systems, which tell players the distance they must hit the ball to clear water hazards, the yardage at which a dog-leg fairway begins to curve around the trees, and the whereabouts of every squirrel that has a golf-ball burglary on its record. The 18th hole brings rounds to a dramatic end, as golfers must dial in their approach shot to a green guarded by water on the left side and bunkers to the right.
Golfers can improve their skills with lessons from Class A instructor Greg Beavers, who became the club's head golf pro after a stint at Walt Disney World Golf. In addition, players can fine-tune their swings at the grass-tee driving range or master short-game strokes at the chipping and putting greens. After rounds, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and cold drinks from a full-service bar await at Rubey's Grill.
Course at a Glance:
Wild Beaver Saloon's energetic staff dish out classic bar eats, selections from a full bar, and the occasional choreographed bar-top dance. Fun-filled evenings kick off with a slate of thin crust pizza such as pepperoni ($8.99) or three types of cheese ($7.99), while domestic beers ($3.25) sooth heated palates and gasping beer fish. Imported suds ($4.25) present varying tastes of foreign degree, pairing well with home favorites such as a signature chicken quesadilla, a triumvirate of chicken, melted cheese, and red onions ($7.99). Pairs of chili dogs ($5.99) and full racks of smoked ribs ($18.99) challenge hands to stay free of slippery sauces in preparation for games of pool or longest handshake contests.
Solace Therapeutic Massage's experienced massage therapists soothe patrons with an arsenal of relaxing and clinical modalities. Like chemists at a soda fountain, clients can mix and match their own modalities or allow the therapist to tailor the treatment as they see fit with techniques such as polarity therapy or positional release. Swedish techniques apply gentle pressure and massage muscles in the same direction as blood returning to the heart from its circulatory sojourn, attempting to coax toxins out of their homes while better oxygenating the body. Clinical techniques delve into the musculature in search of the causes behind such persistent discomforts as back pain, tennis elbow, and chess wrist. Reflexology treatments target the feet with a specialized therapy that spends approximately 30 minutes attempting to rebalance the corporeal systems before finishing the hour with a full-body massage. The staff also prevents the need to rub the back on a telephone pole by performing prenatal and sports massages.
Professional dancer Tiffany Russell's early career saw her gliding across some of the world's most prestigious stages, winning applause with her nimble footwork in productions of My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, and The Wizard of Oz. When Tiffany and her family settled in Lansing, she had trouble finding a dance studio with the scheduling flexibility she needed as a parent and the challenge she craved as an artist who trained with the Russian Ballet Academy and the Broadway Dance Center.
She subsequently founded Spartan dance and Fit Center in 2010, where adults with hectic work schedules can shimmy in anytime for drop-in ballroom classes, and kids can find plenty of opportunity to study pirouettes and greco-roman swan wrestling in after-school ballet classes. The center's esteemed chorus line of dance teachers is well-versed in a multitude of performance styles, enabling wide-ranging instruction in dance varieties that include hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical.
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.