It's hard for Let's Catch Fish Specialty Charters' founder Ken Strimple to imagine a life without fishing. Captain Strimple first pulled sunfish out of his grandfather's pond when he was 4 years old. From this early foundation, he moved on to bigger fish and competed in bass tournaments including the ESPN Northern Tour. Today, Captain Strimple and the team at Let's Catch Fish Specialty Charters aim to instill this passion in new generations. Through the classic pastime of fishing, they believe people can truly connect with nature.
The crew leads full- and half-day excursions into fish-packed waters such as the Genesee River, Salmon River, and the giant #1 Dad mug that holds Lake Ontario. The staff also hosts members-only tournaments and lets pint-sized fishers cast lines in their youth division; members also receive discounts on rentals and access to waterside chairs and fire pits for post-fishing relaxation.
On 134 acres of farmland outside of Fairport, the dedicated staff and volunteers of Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester care for thousands of stray animals each year. The open-admission shelter adopts animals of all breeds and species—including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, horses, and pigs—and holds programs to educate visitors on the issues that contribute to the animals' overpopulation and difficulty in attaining advanced degrees.
The staff encourages families to visit the animals and enjoy the outdoor farm petting area, and oversees younger visitors as they build bonds with animals through education programs such as basic pet care for 3–5 year-olds. The Future Vets program teaches aspiring veterinarians in fifth–eighth grades how to conduct basic exams and begin working toward careers in animal care or pig-to-horse translation services. Summer farm camps also provide a hands-on experience as young visitors have fun feeding animals and caring for their own designated camp pets.
At Adventure Landing, children frolic through six completely interactive indoor and outdoor attractions. The WOW! Factory surrounds visitors with more than 9,000 foam balls, which they load into cannons to blast at moving targets or into foam geysers to knock down hard-to-reach birthday balloons. They time each other in races down a three-story slide or while traversing webbed nets and bridges. Aerial antics continue at a ropes course suspended 18 feet about the ground, but guests can channel their energy into creative activities instead as they build stuffed animals at the Teddy Bear Factory. Outside, they compete through three themed mini golf courses, where shots and curse words shouted by lawn gnomes traverse 18 holes of tunnels, waterfalls, and small mountains. Adventure Land's staff regularly coordinates kid-friendly events such as a playground-wide Easter egg hunt, charity raffles, and fundraising events, or organize fully catered and decorated birthday parties.
Elected to the PGA as an instructor in 1977, Gary Tatar has spent more than three decades helping students find the middle of the fairway and the bottom of the cup. Gary draws his greenside manner from World Golf Hall of Fame coach Harvey Penick, who taught him the importance of simple and direct communication and practical training devices rather than imparting swing advice via sand-trap hieroglyphs.
During private lessons, Gary often enlists the help of 3-D video analysis so players can view their own swing and better understand his feedback. Gary also imparts his pin-hunting panache in playing lessons at Deerfield Country Club, where he gives advice in real time and fields course management questions, such as what club to hit off of the tee and how to overcome a fear of being abandoned by one's golf ball.
At Taylor Rental, a knowledgeable staff of handypeople and do-it-yourselfers rents out the tools and machinery necessary to complete a honey-do list of home-improvement endeavors. For interior projects, the shop's floor sanders make exceptional tools for smoothing hardwood surfaces and rendering statue faces anonymous, and its carpet cleaners swiftly rid floor toupees of dirt and grime. Green thumbs wishing to plant lush, emerald lawns can make great use of Taylor's aerators, overseeders, and sod-cutting machines. A collection of tents shelters picnicking revelers and their fine china from stormy showers, and balloon inflators, disco balls, and fog machines make house parties feel less like penitentiary visits. Taylor Rental's parking lot also plays host to a fleet of RVs and U-Haul trucks for movers and vacationers.
The Little Theatre brings a roster of reel wonders to Rochester, with a slate of films running the gamut from quirkily mainstream to accessibly indie. Cinephiles can nab tickets (evening showings: $8, weekend matinees: $6, seniors: $5, children 5–12: $5, and students on Sun.–Thurs.: $5) to any number of upcoming features appearing on The Little's five flickering screens, such as the risqué Ewan McGregor dramedy Beginners or the sardonic sojourn documented in acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom's The Trip. A slew of other silver-screen selections are sure to satisfy moviegoers from all walks of taste. The Little's 70-seat, jazz-infused café pitches in to delight the less movie-centric senses of taste, spidey, and smell, with its eye-fetching collection of local artwork and appetizing menu of rich quiches ($8) and grilled paninis ($9). A fluid fleet of specialty coffees ($1.50–$3.75), globetrotting vinos ($6/glass, $18.50/bottle), and sudsy brews ($3.50–$4.50) lithely impart an impressive cineaste vocabulary sure to impress neighboring critics and wide-eyed ushers.