Award-winning Reiman Gardens—a public enclave nearing its centennial—blankets 14 acres in lush flora and fauna. Equipped with a supporter membership, families consisting of two cohabitating adults, children under 17 years of age, and wisecracking imaginary friends can frolic amongst well-manicured natural resources for a full calendar year and commemorate their jaunts with discounted souvenirs and educational programs. The sprawling facilities encompass numerous courtyards and flower patches, dotting the verdant landscape with a breathtaking glass conservatory and a butterfly house packed with up to 800 colorful winged arthropods. With enough space to accommodate a new botanical adventure each visit, members can spend one sojourn observing the serenity of Lake Helen and another admiring the garden's collection of vintage Rose Parade floats during a saunter through the rose garden.
The blossom specialists at Coe’s Floral and Gifts arrange flowers for spontaneous gestures and a host of special occasions. A 12-stemmed pink-rose bouquet nests in a shapely vase with ample greens, and a dozen roses in assorted colors keep semioticians guessing. Tulips slap smiles on faces with 15 cheerful stems, and any buds in the store may be combined to create hypnotic palettes or floral supergroups. The store, which has been in business since 1932, hosts floral-design workshops on a variety of topics each month, including seasonal decorations and how to conceal a trebuchet in a bed of roses during a siege.
Altoona's cookie bouquets add a touch of sweetness to already special occasions by bundling 14 colorful, individually wrapped cookies into one scrumptious bundle. Each baked bunch arrives on the recipient's doorstep bursting with a rainbow of eye-catching hues, complete with a chic bow, basket, and a heartfelt note from its birth oven. Hands unwrap the candy-colored rounds to reveal the dessert staples in a single flavor such as sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, or ginger. For an additional cost (not covered by today's Groupon), buyers can further accessorize their cookie cluster with mylar balloons, stuffed animals, or clumps of broccoli to render them Santa-proof.
With thousands of frame and mat combinations, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (diploma framing starts at around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Sticks sprung from humble origins when, in 1992, Sarah Grant began carving ornaments and candlesticks from birch, poplar, and driftwood in a small studio in Des Moines. As her work began to attract national interest and demand for it grew, Sarah enlisted the aid of other local artists and expanded her inventory to include handcrafted heirloom-quality furniture, whimsical sculptures, and intricate keepsakes.
Today, the artists’ work is showcased in more than 100 galleries across the country. Their installation projects have even decorated the walls of Blank Children’s Hospital, the Animal Rescue League of Central Iowa, and the student center at Iowa State University.
Sticks artists can often be spotted by the shores of local rivers, gathering driftwood for their work. They assemble the wood into custom-designed tables, beds, and armoires within their spacious, light-filled studio before painting them with colorful, whimsical designs, from smiling suns and moons to lush landscapes. The versatile artists even take their tools and paintbrushes to homes, businesses, and underground mad-scientist labs to craft custom art installations and interiors.
Farm & City Supply's friendly staff dedicates itself to stocking empty garages and bathroom cabinets with name-brand tools, pet supplies, housewares, and farm equipment. Do-it-yourselfers can wrap their opposable thumbs around a vast array of hardware, such as a window shrink/seal kit to guard households against winter blasts or a new hammer to finally pound that unsightly tree stump back into the ground. Armor All cleaner ($3.59) brings out cars' shiny personalities and Purina-wild-bird chow ($18.95) keeps feathered-kitchen invaders at bay. A vast array of automotive supplies keep horseless carriages galloping smoothly. While perusing the aisles, patrons can feel free to consult Farm & City's staffers, who can locate items throughout the store using high-tech divining rods as well as answer any questions and dole out expert advice.