Straightline Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance, Ltd. designs and maintains lawns for both homes and businesses. The company’s uniformed technicians clip lawns in weekly sessions, perform spring and fall cleanups, and stave off weeds, crabgrass, fungi, and people who gargle with soil. The company is a member of both the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and PLANET, an international network of environmentally responsible landscapers.
Voted "Best Pumpkin Fest" by viewers of Fox News Chicago, Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm captivates visitors with the autumn-themed fun of four new attractions, pig races, a 3-acre corn maze fit for all ages, and the Kids Village complete with a jail and a fire station. Swine speed toward the finish line 10 times daily, spurred on by the cheers of bleacher-seated audiences, and human competitors race playmates or sentient scarecrows through the giant Crazy Corn Maizey's swaying stalks. The Pumpkin Chucker launches gourds skyward, and pint-size patrons mirror mid-air trajectories on kiddy rides such as the new 90-foot Mega Fun Slide and Flying Frogs (free through October 30, excluding pony rides). Ghoulish chefs and mad scientists cook up screams in the Haunted Barn before sending the spooked off to enjoy the soothing effects and bleated lullabies of goats, zebras, kangaroos, and other critters at the petting zoo.
Stocked with traditional and contemporary furniture styles for every space, Darvin Furniture's 130,000-square-foot showroom contains an expansive selection of sofas, beds, desks, and tables. Outfit your living room with a recliner by Lane Furniture ($299) and a 99-inch casual contemporary sofa ($749), or beautify your dining room with a five-piece casual dining room set ($499+), ideal for your family's annual watermelon-eating contest. Other items include a 100% leather sofa ($899) and a multi-faceted Broyhill queen platform bed ($499). Meanwhile, bed frames can be accessorized and blanket forts can be strengthened with mattresses from top-quality brands including Simmons, Serta, and Sealy.
The Center has welcomed kids onto its farm since 1936. It probably wasn't as much of a novelty back then, when Illinois was home to more than 220,000 farms and the U.S. government issued everyone a farmer's hat at birth. But that number has decreased steadily with each decade, dropping to just 76,000 by 2010, per the USDA. Which means that today, The Children's Farm at The Center gives kids and their families something increasingly special: the chance to experience life on an independent rural farm. Here, chickens lay eggs, goats give milk, and horses eat hay harvested right on the farm. The staff also leads tours of these grounds and explains how each animal fits into farm life. They even let kids pet some of the livestock before finishing up tours with a hayride.
For a completely immersive experience, The Children's Farm hosts summer camps for ages 3–17. During each camp session, campers live on the farm for days or weeks at a time, spending their days riding horses and caring for the animals.
The floral-arrangement specialists at The Enchanted Florist aim to create tangible expressions for their customers' affections through thoughtfully designed bouquets and gift baskets. Well-versed in the language of flowers, they compose arrangements brimming with fresh-cut snapdragons, lilies, and roses for celebrating the birth of a new baby, expressing sympathy, or retrieving a safe combination from someone with allergies. For birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, the florists fill wicker baskets with Ghirardelli chocolates, Columbus salami, and fresh fruit. In addition to bouquets and gourmet baskets, they craft table arrangements, boutonnieres, and other floral creations for upcoming weddings, using the couple’s budget and taste as a guideline.