Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Lawn Doctor's roots lead back to the mid 1960s, when friends Bob Magda and Tony Giordano took on the endeavor of reviving uncared-for lawns in their hometown of Matawan, New Jersey. Their local business has since blossomed into a national franchise with more than 400 locations across the United States, each adhering to the mission of enhancing lawns' allure with time-tested techniques, dedicated customer service, and dabs of foundation makeup.
Before Lawn Doctor's assiduous staffers unleash expertise on swards, they arrive at the client's home for a complimentary consultation to gauge each lawn's specific needs. Grass gurus can thicken turf with their patented Turf Tamer power seeder and foster healthy growth for grass, trees, and shrubs with fertilizer. Uninvited lawn assailants?such as grubs, ants, and grazing neighbors?shudder at the sight of Lawn Doctor's pest-control experts. The company also helps to preserve Mother Nature's receding hairline with organic lawn treatments and natural, eco-friendly products.
Eclectic Goat is a creative space for aspiring artists, with a studio and gallery adorned with impressive displays of locally fashioned works. Anyone who finds themselves absentmindedly sketching on the edges of notebook papers or recent photos of their exes is welcome to come hone their scribbling skills in a relaxed environment. The 90-minute class allows doodlers to experiment with three different sketch styles. Pen, pencils, and paper are provided to nurture creative instincts, as well as instruction on the realistic number of teeth to give the dinosaur monster truck you're drawing.
Mudd Lake Furniture is a rustic barn brimming with eclectic, sophisticated furniture. Owner and former NFL football player Bob Kratch hand-selects quality furnishings, lighting, artwork and home goods from reputable suppliers that purchase goods in India, Europe, Atlantis, Asia, and local flea markets. Dress up a room with a Victorian frame ($60), find forgotten isles or isthmuses on a vintage globe ($99), and or make space for medium sized draft table ($75) ideal for drawing or holding multiple ice-cold draughts. Mudd Lake Furniture is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment.
Fall is in the air at Minnetonka Orchards, where a corn maze is just the beginning of the autumnal adventures that await kids and families. After navigating the twists and turns of the maze, guests can wander through the apple orchard to pick a fresh juicy globe or marvel at how weird bugs look. Visitors can also shop for jams, apples, and other farm fare at the barn, or go on a leisurely stroll on one of the walking trails. Kids' entertainment comes by way of the climbable hay mountain, the corn crib slide, and barnyard friends including goats, sheep, and bunnies.
More than 1,200 acres worth of gardens, prairies, and woodland trails grace the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Upwards of 5,000 plant species call the arboretum home, including trees, shrubs, and Minnesota?s state flower, the Showy Lady?s Slipper. Expert naturalists happily lead visitors through the verdant space via tram or on foot, though guests can also go it alone along the arboretum?s 12.5 miles of trails and walkways. Journeys can lead anywhere from the boardwalk running through Green Heron Pond's bog to Color Me Spring?s vibrant stretch of thousands of annuals.
Amongst these pillars of the natural world stand sculptures made by world-renowned artists. More manmade artwork awaits inside the arboretum?s two galleries, which host seasonal displays of watercolors, acrylics, and photography. Guests can also get involved with the arboretum by attending forums and symposia with scholars, or participating in classes that teach skills such as flower arranging or pruning magical beanstalks so giants can't climb down.