Since 1993, the family-owned EyeMart Optical Outlet's goal has been to furnish central Iowans with affordable eyewear. The eye boutique spans nine locations and its inventory of basic and designer frames presents stylish options for all face structures. Optometrists at each location furnish their patients with prescriptions that can be quickly traded for single-vision or progressive lenses with protective coatings and lasers.
Optica's expert personnel draw upon more than two decades in the business while helping determine which frames best fit a customer's sense of style. They draw from a stock crafted by brands including Giorgio Armani and Liz Claiborne. In addition to nestling vision-correcting lenses, some of the shop's frames are fitted with accessories including magnetic sunglasses clips and lenses that darken when you join a classic-rock band.
Launched in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, Pearle Vision now caters to eyeballs from nearly 800 company and franchise locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well trained in assisting all bespectacled beings, from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames (starting at $69.95) or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Basic Poly (starting at $109) or Versace (starting at $239.95). Specialty PearleThin Complete lenses ($159) are lightweight heavyweights, gently bear-hugging your face with see-through style.
After an eye exam, knowledgeable sales staffers guide patients through the boutique's collection of frames from Coach, Ray-Ban, Prada, and Gucci, searching for lens pairings that make driving, computer work, and games of Operation easier. Technicians can then have prescriptions ready in as little as one hour.
Linda and Tom Gardner founded 20/20 Vision Wear, where Tom harnesses his 35 years of experience and position as the president of the Opticians Association of Iowa to help fit faces with an array of lenses and stylish, brand-name frames. The clinic boasts speedy fittings and more than 1,000 frames ($30–$250) on display from brands such as Guess, Nike, and Kate Spade, ensuring customers can find a spiffy pair of sight improvers that sit snugly and fashionably on noses. Single-vision lenses start at $59, and 20/20 Vision Wear's specialty—no-line bifocals—are also available, as well as prescription sunglasses, which customers can wear indoors at all times to prove their hipness or to chicly conceal the treasure maps sketched on their eyelids.
Featuring a menagerie of handcrafted fantasy animals, Coral Ridge’s turn-of-the-century reproduction carousel glitters at the heart of this shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. A team of mall-housed elves put 100 hours into hand finishing each animal, chariot, and paddy wagon atop the rotating platform. Ride mammal-saddle aboard a racing cheetah, stately horse, or friendly elephant. A charming light show emanates from the ride’s mirrored panels and hundreds of pinpoint ceiling lights, and a lighted ribbon rests atop the carousel’s crown, acting as a beacon to hordes of children and friendly manticores. Nestled among department stores, an edible food court, the Iowa Children’s Museum, and much more, the 10-ride carousel punch card stands ready to punctuate days of happy diversion.