Snugly situated on a historic 1881 farm once known as the Schwabenlander Homestead, Mulberry Lane Farm takes its name from an ancient mulberry tree that once served as a favorite playplace for the Schwabenlander children. In those days, the 100-year-old tree was so esteemed that the children were not allowed to climb it while wearing shoes. Because of this rule, it wasn’t uncommon to find Lawrence, Harry, Norbert, and their nine other brothers and sisters swinging from its boughs, their shoes respectfully lined around its base.
Today, children still play in the shadow of that mulberry tree thanks to the founders of Green Meadows Farm, the Keyes family. Close friends of the last of the Schwabenlander boys, the Keyes adopted the farmstead and its original brick farmhouse into their petting farm empire in 2005 but gave it its own identity to honor the legacy of the original owners. Guided tours lead groups around the farm on foot and by hayride, where kids and adults are encouraged to interact and swap salad recipes with the goats, chickens, sheep, and rabbits that call the farm home. Along the way, visitors can learn how to milk cows and ride ponies or practice catching a chicken, then swing by the barn to snuggle kittens and Otis, the 900-pound boar. Before departing, visitors each receive a free souvenir in the spring and summer, and those who come in the fall have the chance to pick their own pumpkins from the 6-acre pumpkin patch.
The instructors at Bricks 4 Kidz translate a curriculum molded around science, technology, engineering, and math into kid-friendly language using Legos. They encourage creativity at hands-on classes and parties, where they oversee youngsters in designing and erecting machines, catapults, buildings, and other colorful formations with architecture and physics in mind. By giving their labs whimsical themes, including outer space and roller coasters, they put the kids in an environment where they can work together to master tricky concepts such as friction and scale. Central theories and activities are tailored to groups based on age, ability, and which side of the “Does gravity exist?” debate they support.
Shenanigans? jovial name stands in contrast to its serious culinary ethic of cooking succulent tenderloin steaks and sundry seafood and chicken entrees made from scratch. House-made soups accompany each main dish, and a full salad bar doles out lettuce like wizards hand out instructional beard-growing videos. In a cozy private room with a bar, six bowling lanes compound the excitement of kicking back brews and noshing on pub appetizer classics such as chicken wings and mozzarella sticks.
Though Terri Watson specializes in dog grooming, her expertise extends to daycare, overnight boarding, and industry-grade belly rubs. She allows visiting pups to do as they please, whether it’s jumping on couches, fetching toys, or napping in a comfy bed. In addition to providing a safe, clean place for dogs to hang out while they wait for their masters to return, Terri strives to help her canine boarders burn off excess energy and socialize with other dogs.
A medley of aromas fills BubbleFresh Laundry Center?s cheerful interior: the detergent churning inside washing machines, the sweet aura of fabric softener around piles of freshly folded shirts, the earthy scent of complimentary coffee. Partnered with Donaldson?s Cleaners?a mainstay of clean duds since 1972?BubbleFresh makes laundry less of a chore thanks to services such as quick drop-off and pick-up and their wash-and-fold service, freeing up time for busy parents and college students currently using their dorm washers as margarita mixers. For customers who prefer to handle loads of laundry on their own, the center features a battery of energy-efficient washes and dryers and helps pass the time with free WiFi.
Pagoni's Pizza lines its Sicilian-style, deep-dish, and thin-crust pies with more than 25 toppings, including meats imported from Chicago. Its from-scratch dough also includes a gluten-free option. Cooks also sling classic pastas such as meat or cheese ravioli and chicken parmigiana, and they fill breadsticks with cheddar, jalape?os, and dreams of growing up into a baguette.