The photo strips produced by Happy Days Photography's open-air photo booths have a classic look—they're 4”x6”, each one contains up to five images, and they often depict people posing with wacky props. But there's one drastic difference that sets these booths apart: each shot is snapped by a creative photographer rather than by an automated machine. Those photographers also capture images outside the booths, preserving memories of events from multiple perspectives. Clients can also opt for traditional photo shoots in scenic locations such as Fallasburg Park.
At House This, keen-eyed staffers help outfit shoppers in distinctive apparel and jewelry and aid them in fulfilling their abodes’ decorative desires. Along with clothing from popular lines such as Hazel, Trinity, 1921 jeans, and Mystree, the shop stocks candles, lamps, mirrors, and furniture. Decorators can spruce up bare walls with framed artwork, prominently display an automobile’s smog-check certificate inside assorted picture frames ($23–$45), or prop up masterpieces in progress on iron easels ($10–$30).
Shaggy Pines Dog Park accommodates cordial canines and their furless human counterparts with 20 acres of leash-free playing areas. Located in Cascade Township, the fenced park encloses such attractions as a manmade swimming pond, a large sand pile for digging and climbing, and a private playpen for small dogs and Anne Geddes models dressed as small dogs. A one-mile, illuminated jogging trail helps owners get ready for upcoming marathons and pups bulk up before auditioning for a remake of White Fang. Gold memberships grant fidos unlimited access to the park from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the year, and they also enjoy discounts on dog washes, coffee, and obedience classes.
"When we teach—from babyhood—people to move well, they'll enjoy doing it, and they'll continue doing it." Such is the philosophy of Gymco president and co-founder Doreen Bolhuis, which she relayed to the New York Times in a 2010 video report. The importance of starting young kids on the road toward athleticism is something Bolhuis is passionate about, especially as a former elite-level gymnastics coach who's been teaching for more than 35 years. It's a concept she calls "physical literacy," and she's appeared on news outlets such as Today, CNN, and ABC News to discuss how young children's physical training and development is just as important as their mental growth. Along those lines, Bolhuis created the GymTrix line of DVDs to help parents develop babies' fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
And Bolhuis's enthusiasm for childhood fitness is apparent at Gymco, where her staff undergoes a four-step technical and philosophical certification protocol on sports development. She has transformed what began in 1980 as a few classes held in a barn behind a local retirement home into a 5-acre, 16,000-square-foot first location and a second, state-of-the-art facility on the north side of town.
When you walk into either site, you'll see kids scaling rock walls, doing back flips, and defying imaginary pirates as they walk the plank-like high beam, improving their physical skills in sports, gymnastics, and cheerleading classes. What aren't as obvious are the internal changes that begin to manifest, from improved self-confidence and perseverance to the gradual building of character. Fulfilling her start-them-early mission, Bolhuis also offers classes designed specifically for preschoolers and kindergartners.
In Gymboree Play & Music's most popular class, Play & Learn, tots master skills such as cause and effect, problem solving, and good communication through games and play. The notion that learning should be fun for the under-five set permeates all of Gymboree's classes. From music and art to sports activities, most classes are calibrated for development at six-month age intervals. Mixed-age classes teach cooperation, as kids play movement games or perform songs on musical instruments. Older children take the school-skills class to learn skills that will help them in school and during conference calls with the president. All of this takes place in a well-padded indoor playground with tunnels, slides, and bridges designed by nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to withstand tiny bare feet and the wrath of resident trolls.