All 11 acres of Wintergreen Tree Farm smell like Christmas. Noble, Fraser, and Nordmann firs—along with eight other species—stretch across its Christmas tree field, giving off a sweet scent that evokes the holiday season. Trees range from 5 to 15 feet. A trip to the farm should always culminate in a steaming mug of apple cider by the gift shop's fireplace, where you can also peruse Christmas ornaments, fresh wreaths, garlands, and boughs. And if you purchase a photo package, kids can also take turns sitting on Santa's lap, whisper their gift list, and walk away with antlers, ornaments, and candy canes.
Periwinkle Rose, an online boutique founded by a former costume designer, is filled with quality handmade garments and eco-friendly home goods from Big Dipper Wax Works and Forever New. Change up nighttime clothing routines with a pair of print pajama pants ($30), or impress fellow insomniacs in your clinical sleep study with psychedelic pajama pants ($30). Customers wishing to keep their new sleepwear in tiptop condition can peruse a variety of all-natural fabric-care products, from La Bouquetiere fabric softener ($18.50) to Forever New granular wash ($3.50–$15), a nontoxic, organic, and biodegradable formula designed to safely clean and prolong the life of clothing.
The neighborhood wine shop's cellar-like interior surrounds guests with stacked bottles of world-class wines, waiting to grace café tables during leisurely tasting tours. Approachable staff decants jewel-toned potables while patrons send each of six selections gliding across tongues like a competitive ballroom dancer in banana-peel slippers. Depending on the tasting, guests pair their favorite varietal with a selection of cheeses such as brie or swiss, specialty meats, or nonedible, but still enjoyable crystal. Those opting for an at-home tasting wow guests with a 12-bottle cellar pack of Robert Mondavi wines, enough for a generous 15-person tasting or a raucous 30-person gargling tournament.
At Hoglund’s, expert installers revamp cars, trucks, and even RVs and boats with a full line of electronics, custom upholstery, and other accessories. The team of techs can update interiors with the newest technology, ranging from heated seats and remote starters to back-up cameras and brand new audio and video systems. The shop specializes in custom-made convertible tops that are carefully tested for fit and seamless appearance. The techs can outfit seats with new upholstery in leather, suede, or bubble-wrap. Beyond the interior, Hoglund’s staff is also skilled in glass and windows, and they can install sunroofs or use SolarGard tints to block UV rays.
The design team at Lila's Scrapbooking conjures up artful strategies for preserving memorabilia, and transmits their techniques unto aspiring artists. Students burn creative fuels to produce eight cards using store-provided materials while learning a variety of decorative skills. Help homely pulp blossom into blooming paper flowers, or add impish sparkle to a card with a misting of pixie dust. Wet and dry embossing are sure to impress, and stamping allows artists to leave their mark without making incriminating fingerprints. Alcohol inks are on hand to imbue paper with the look of stained glass, and other techniques in Lila's arsenal include cutting and paper piecing. Class sizes are capped at 12 students, so each artisan can peep the step-by-step instructions and receive personalized feedback.
Wind-up toys and plastic vehicles overflow from toy displays inside Wishes, where shelves full of books, puzzles, and tabletop games entertain visitors. Small groups play games such as Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan at tables inside, and the staff helps guests find games well-suited for a family gathering or Nobel Prize award ceremony.