Maumee Valley Growers, a growers association, includes more than 70 individual growers who work together to strengthen the local greenhouse industry. Though all the growers in the group offer local plants, they have distinct locations, product mixes, and specialties. Each year, Maumee Valley Growers puts on Christmas Shoppes at various locations, including Bench's Greenhouse & Nursery and Wardell's Garden Center.
Bench's, which started off as a modest 32?x144? poly greenhouse full of tomatoes and pepper plants in 1978, has since exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and elf catchers.
Wardell's started in 1987 as small greenhouse with some vegetable plants and a few hanging baskets. The owner put the plants out by the road with a sign and a coffee can to collect the money and ended up selling out. Now, what was once a 480-square-foot operation has turned into a more than 25,000-square-foot greenhouse area with a garden center that operates almost year round. During the Christmas season, patrons can sip hot spiced cider while browsing holiday decorations, artificial trees, wreaths, and scented candles. Wardell's three miniature horses, Moonbeam, Moondust, and Moonshadow, are also on hand to greet the customers and make them feel like giants.
Costume Holiday House's inventory of wigs, makeup, suits, and party supplies enables costume changes ranging from spooky to comical. Customers can dress themselves as everything from pop-culture icons to terrifying specters and macabre forms, and an ample supply of wigs and accessories form the basis of inventive costumes that don’t require full-body suits or rubber masks. In addition to wearable Halloween goods, the shop also sells fog machines and animated props that set the stage for monster mashes and haunted houses. Costume Holiday House accommodates dress-up even in the Halloween off-season, with theater costume rentals for schools and community plays, or Second Skin colored bodysuits for showing team spirit at a baseball game or camouflaging into the green-screen background at local commercial shoots.
With decades of experience skimming the shores of Lake Erie, U.S. Coast Guard–licensed Captain Sib Randolph has had ample time to hone in on the best spots to nab walleye, bass, and perch. Though he relies on years of successful fishing charters to guide his routes, it doesn’t hurt that his 27-foot SportCraft fishing boat is equipped with fish-finding and navigational equipment. In addition to advice on the likelihood of a fish’s ability to grant wishes, Captain Randolph supplies fishermen with free bait and ice.
Originally sculpted into the landscape in 1958, Green Hills Golf Course winds through 5,933 yards of smoothly rolling terrain bordered by clusters of mature arbors. To compensate for its relatively short length, the 18-hole course catches clubbers off-guard with strategically placed ponds, subtle slopes, and self-destructing yardage markers. Each round takes spiky-shoed golfers gliding around tranquil ponds and past rippling creeks, which add to the course’s shot-impeding obstacles. A nine-hole par 3 executive course stretches out alongside the full-length monolith, beckoning to greenhorns, youngsters, and experienced pin-hunters still seeking their first hole-in-one. A driving range, practice green, and full regimen of golf clinics nurse withering swings back to life, while the onsite restaurant fuels muscles and carnivorous golf carts with all-beef hot dogs and other savory grill fare.
The factory-trained sleep experts at Mattress Matters strive to help customers get up on the right side of the bed with a wide range of mattress brands and types. Clients count fewer sheep than ever before on a Simmons Beautyrest queen set, whose motion-separating, pocketed coil springs and highly trained shepherds fill nights with uninterrupted REM cycles ($699+). Developed by NASA, the Tempur-Pedic bed conforms to every nook and cranny of the body, supporting perfect spinal alignment and comfort ($1,199+). Media mogul Donald Trump's line of luxury slumber vehicles boasts KoolComfort memory foam and a top-layer quilt to caress bodies and minds into dreamland ($849+), and the Sealy Posturpedic's orthopedically correct support aids in creating ache-free days and z-filled nights ($579+).