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.
In 1978, a modest 32’x144’ poly greenhouse began supplying a farm with tomatoes and pepper plants. More than 30 years later, the greenhouse has 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. Helmed by Don and Janice Bench and their son and daughter-in-law, the greenhouse and nursery pairs visitors with more than 200 varieties of hybrid roses, which only require 1 gallon of gas to bloom on the highway, as well as trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains.
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 crimson bows. During summer months, the Benches man a roadside produce stand, where they sell sweet corn, melons, beans, and squash from their 650-acre farm.
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.
At Vail Meadows Equestrian Center, experienced trainers employ a holistic approach to horseback riding and instruction to help riders to develop life skills and live healthfully. Its 25-acre farm abuts the Maumee Bay State Park bridle trails, allowing riders to explore tree-laden mazes in addition to open pastures. Ducks, goats, and pot-bellied pigs roam the landscape, peeking into the historic 1893 barn while students improve concentration and problem-solving skills through therapeutic sessions. In another barn, beginners bond with new four-legged friends over the western riding techniques they have just mastered. Programming also includes riding opportunities for veterans, field trips for classes of students, and weekend horse camps for teens and adolescents. During camp sessions, young visitors participate in farming- and nature-related learning adventures before retiring to a warm indoor bunk, preventing them from having to rely on starlight to read copies of The Iliad written in hieroglyphics.
For 129 years, the farmhouse at Country Lane Tree Farm has looked out over acres of trees and crops as they bear fruit, change colors, and catch a light dusting of snow. The Bowlander family keeps the land bustling through the seasons by inviting families and school groups to come take part in farm activities. Craft barn events happen in the spring and summer, along with farm tours where children can see and interact with a variety of animals. Activities include, milking cows, holding chickens and ducks, and gazing profoundly into the deep eyes of Peaches the donkey. Animal feed is also included. During the fall, the Bowlanders make an enormous maze out of their cornfield, invite guests to pick pumpkins from their 10-acre patch, and enjoy a Haunted Hayride and the indoor Haunted "Carnevil" Barn.
School Matters helps students at Toledo Public Schools and Toledo charter schools assemble a new outfit or uniform from an inventory of decorous clothes for boys, girls, and 10-year-old headmasters. For gents, crisp Dickies pair nicely with polos and sweater vests, whereas girls can round out their own navy cardigans with brown plaid skirts or slacks. Jackets featuring characters such as Spongebob and Disney princesses add a touch of whimsy to the classic ensembles.