For more than 45 years, Koyman Galleries’ custom-framing team has corralled fine art, photos, diplomas, and other keepsakes within the confines of custom-made frames. The subjects of 8”x10” ($60), 11”x14” ($95), or 16”x20” ($110) family portraits beam proudly from inside a sturdy wood frame and enjoy protection from the sun's moustache doodles with an upgrade to nonglare glass ($77+). Premium frames ($119+) treat art pieces to meticulously applied matting and enlarge dimensions up to 22”x26”. Art consultants stand by to offer framing suggestions and spot-on impressions of the Mona Lisa smile.
McMaze was established more than a decade ago by Sandy McDonald, who designed the family’s first 3.5-acre corn maze when he was just 14 years old. Over the next 10 years, Sandy and his family watched their endeavour blossom into a year-round family-friendly business that hosts seasonal activities year-round. Fall is the family’s busiest season, when visitors flock to find spooks in their haunted walks and wagon rides, and explore the pumpkin patch to search out a perfect specimen to be turned into a pie, jack-o’-lantern, or organic football helmet. The original hand-carved corn maze has since multiplied into five separate mazes, including a “haze maze,” which mystifies wanderers by sending them on a seemingly endless journey through fog and lights, and a door maze that presents 52 possible exits.
Winter snowfalls fail to stop the McDonalds’ love of celebrating, and so they invite families back to the 120-acre farm for old-fashioned sleigh rides through the woods, made all the more festive with hot chocolate and homemade cinnamon buns. Once the ground thaws in the spring, the farm comes alive again as guests descend upon the fields to help plant the first pumpkin seeds and welcome the arrival of baby farm animals as they parachute down from passing blimps. Homemade ice cream keeps things cool throughout the summer as pig and duck races entertain spectators of all ages, and parents stock up on corn on the cob and other farm-fresh produce.
The meticulous frame fashioners at Framing & Art Centre construct high-quality homes for treasured artwork, awards, and memorabilia. After perusing the surplus of frame and mat samples, customers can choose the design that best complements their masterpiece. College graduates and traffic-school alumni will appreciate Framing & Art Centre's diploma-framing services (around $100+); personalized sports-jersey framing (around $400+) glorifies retired professional players. Fast, on-site service ensures collectible movie posters (many 24"x36" pieces typically cost under $100) will be framed and back on the wall before their owners can reenact all six Rocky movies. Beyond providing an elegant display, professional framing ensures that collectables will be protected and properly preserved. The staff at Framing & Art Centre gives owners peace of mind with protective products and services such as security hardware for safe hanging, acid-free matting, UV glazing, and shark-bite proofing.
Sundance Balloons' vibrant hot-air balloons float adventurous passengers over scenic landscapes at sunrise and sunset. Each one-hour journey commences as sojourners greet their flight crew at a pre-determined location, receive a briefing on what to expect during the excursion, and observe their balloon as it swells to more than 10 storeys in height. Morning flight teams convene 30 minutes before sunrise.
The woven gondolas glide 1,000 feet above the ground but can sometimes gently skim treetops or cornfields when wandering over the countryside. Since balloons drift with prevailing winds, there is no wind chill and travellers feel only a slight sensation of movement. As is tradition for ballooning, explorers of the appropriate age end their flight with a champagne toast to tranquility, beauty, and neighbourhoods that appear as giant smiley faces only visible from the air.
Little Ray's Reptile Zoo is a grand hotel for cold-blooded critters overseen by animal enthusiasts Paul "Little Ray" Goulet and his wife Sheri Goulet. At their new location in Hamilton, they host the largest sanctuary in eastern Ontario for unwanted reptiles. Meanwhile, the renovated Ottawa location features 25 permanent exhibits, a nature centre, and a hands-on room. Born from the joy Little Ray experienced sharing his personal collection of reptiles with school children, the zoo now encompasses a variety of exhibits and daily feeding demonstrations showcasing more than 150 animals. The expert staff—which has trained keepers at other animal facilities on proper husbandry and correct presentation—safely introduces visitors to the animals which include 300-pound alligators, giant snakes, tarantulas, and more. The zoo is open daily for corporate groups, birthday parties, and everyday animal lovers tour the reptile environs and educational displays. The reptile zoo hosts large private-party and function rooms and a jungle spa where pythons receive hydrating wraps to combat scaly skin.
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