Spider Mansion coaxes terrified patrons through narrow, wraith-consumed corridors accented by flashing lights, live spiders, and chainsaws. More than 15 trained actors wait to lurch in front of horrified visitors throughout 25 separate scare points, as live spiders taunt guests with scary faces. Spooky sounds permeate the narrow corridors, exploiting claustrophobic fears throughout the winding labyrinth of terrors. Past petrifying scenes have included ominous bloody bathrooms and asylum trailers, and this year’s spooky expanse, like an infant cookie monster, has doubled in size since last year.
The family behind Snow Creek Ranch strives to make restaurant-quality steaks available to the public by selling its free-range, hormone-free beef at area farmers’ markets. In addition to grazing its Black Angus cattle on 2,500 acres of indigenous, pesticide-free prairie grasses, the family also supplements the herds’ diets with natural flax seed oils, creating tender, marbled beef. Dedicated to ensuring quality, the family dry-ages all of its steaks for 21 days and claims that “Grandma kisses every cow” to check whether it’s actually a handsome prince.
Golden Child welcomes rug rats and expectant mothers to browse a hoard of second-hand accouterments such as toys, gear, equipment, books, and DVDs all marked down at least 50% from their retail prices. Keep demi-people buoyant with Swim Ways pool floats ($9.95+) or fill them with feelings more magical than a nest of Santa Claus' eggs by procuring wooden puzzles and toys ($1.95+). The staff tests and cleans each item, and keeps a vigilant eye on product recall lists to ensure optimal safety. Tote teethers in style with a lightly used snugglie ($9.95+) or plop your child into an infant swing ($19.95+) to provide them a lazing spot as cozy as the belly of a slumbering golden retriever. Golden Child also carries a selection of books, DVDs, and maternity wear, and supports a bevy of area charities and disadvantaged families.
Homer Hoyt founded the glass-arts school Glasscraft in 1970, the same year he penned the book Glassblowing: An Introduction to Solid and Blown Glass Sculpturing. Both creations have aged well: his book remains in print, and his school, staffed by qualified instructors who teach the intricate art of molding glass, continues to thrive. Inside safe, clean studios, students learn to decorate the surface of beads with swirls of color and create sculptures with solid insides perfect for concealing genies from jealous family members. Guest artists often visit the school to lead workshops centered around their specialization.
When customers walk into Bella A Boutique, they don't have to navigate the racks by themselves. Professional stylists are on hand to guide them toward designer pieces from CoVelo or Desigual or to help them coordinate new items with what's already in their closets. Shoppers can do their own searching or save some time by calling ahead and asking staffers to set aside some garments in their size. After finding casual looks from Joe's Jeans or party-ready frocks from Trina Turk, buyers can fork over any of their non-sale purchases for free alterations, ensuring that pants don't drag in the mud or get ensnared in your bike spokes' web of lies. A kids' area entertains tykes as parents gawk at the shop's chic atmosphere, which showcases chartreuse walls, an exposed ceiling painted purple, and hardwood floors lit by a chandelier.