During their annual Big Zoo Party, Potter Park Zoo’s team rolls out the red carpet in support of conservation and educational programs with fine food and drink, local music, and dazzling entertainment amid the zoo’s exotic animal habitats. Don snazzy duds and hit the red carpet as photographers snap pictures and offer an excuse to start a flash-strobe dance party. One hundred sixty species of animals, including blushing red pandas, cooler-than-thou snow leopards, and mischievous tamarin monkeys, strut their stuff in elaborate habitats as guests enjoy glasses of fine wine or Michigan microbrews from Short's Brewing Company. Sample fine food from local restaurants, including Mitchell's Fish Market, Enso, and munchables by chef Jesse Hahn of Lansing’s own Trailer Park'd. Entertainers dazzle animals and humans alike on the brightly lit grounds. Check out the blazing dance antics of the Detroit Fire Guild as they inspire oohs and aahs from humans and jealous comparisons to dragon ancestors from crocodiles. LED and laser lighting and performance art enliven a live and silent auction, spotlighting guests bidding on donated notions and experiences.
The slaps of hockey pucks and scrapes of carving ice skates constantly fill the cool air of Suburban Ice arena. These familiar sounds emanate from high school hockey practices, the rink's figure skating ice shows, or introductory Learn to Skate classes offered for beginners of all ages. Though the rink keeps a busy calendar, it still carves out time for private and small group lessons. Lessons are offered for figure skating as well as the hockey, which teach checking, shooting, and power skating—all skills that also translate well to surviving an unforeseen ice age.
The dining room at City Limits Sports Grill is a peaceful retreat from the bustling bowling center just outside, where pins clatter and leagues cheer beneath flat-screen TVs and a colorful wall mural. The grill's menu collects classic American comfort food, such as 13 kinds of grinders, St. Louis–style baby back ribs, and beer-battered fish sandwiches. Pints of beer or root-beer floats poured into frosty mugs help round out each meal. In addition to leagues, City Limits also hosts open bowling, birthday parties, and bowling fundraisers.
From art restoration to custom-made frames and gift-able artwork, the framing artisans at Framer's Edge and Gallery consider it all their expertise. Fabricating frames on-site, technicians draw from a collection of more than 5,000 mold samples to create fully customized dwellings for works of art and exceptional report cards. Additionally, the gallery hangs works from local artists and photographers available for purchase, as well as jewelry, pottery, and blown glass.
The talented chefs at Barley's American Grill pass on artificial flavors and fillers in favor of fresh ingredients used to fix up a menu of home-style American favorites. Preface a delicious meal with an appetizer of spinach-and-mozzarella bread served with a side of ranch dressing or pizza sauce ($8). Baby faces can don barbecue-sauce beards by taking big bites of the barbecue-bacon cheeseburger ($8.50) or matching their mandibles against the eatery's signature half-rack of baby back pork ribs with barbecue sauce ($13). Mouths take a pleasure trip to Italy with the pizza panini, stuffed with capocollo, pepperoni, mozzarella, and pizza sauce ($7.50), or plumb the depths of the sea with a platter of deep-fried cod and skewered shrimp ($14.50). A side of herb mashed potatoes ($2.50) sidles up alongside entrees to form a hunger-suppressing dynamic duo.
Solace Therapeutic Massage's experienced massage therapists soothe patrons with an arsenal of relaxing and clinical modalities. Like chemists at a soda fountain, clients can mix and match their own modalities or allow the therapist to tailor the treatment as they see fit with techniques such as polarity therapy or positional release. Swedish techniques apply gentle pressure and massage muscles in the same direction as blood returning to the heart from its circulatory sojourn, attempting to coax toxins out of their homes while better oxygenating the body. Clinical techniques delve into the musculature in search of the causes behind such persistent discomforts as back pain, tennis elbow, and chess wrist. Reflexology treatments target the feet with a specialized therapy that spends approximately 30 minutes attempting to rebalance the corporeal systems before finishing the hour with a full-body massage. The staff also prevents the need to rub the back on a telephone pole by performing prenatal and sports massages.