After spending years designing kitchens and handcrafting cabinets, John Barlowe opened Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts to celebrate and showcase great household art. A member of the Professional Picture Framers Association, he's won awards for his custom-frame designs, which pair his meticulous woodworking skills with elements such as football skin to accent displayed pieces. As a premier partner of Larson-Juhl, he has access to thousands of ornate American hardwood borders and gilded moldings crafted with more than 100 years of company expertise. Each artwork or photograph squeezes between Tru Vue glass and Bainbridge mats and backboard, a sandwich framers can often complete in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to displaying art, John and his team specialize in various photo services, from printing images to transforming ordinary snapshots into caricatures or watercolors with artistic photo treatments. They also prevent boxes of family photos from falling victim to age, disasters, and swamp monsters’ thumbprints by digitizing large collections.
The entry door slams shut, and you immediately plunge into a world of terror and macabre. Skeletons hang from a dungeon's walls, maniacal clowns run through a fun house, and a blood-spattered bathroom horrifyingly runs out of soap. This is Dimensions of Darkness, a haunted walk-through that takes brave souls across a maze of terrifying rooms with even more terrifying inhabitants. The fright fest has caught the attention of USA Today and the Toledo Free Press, which noted that "each room, hallway and prop is so well-crafted that if you’re not being stalked by one of the resident ghouls, your focus is on how real everything feels."
Thoroughly immersed in their roles, live actors pop out at guests, thus filling every room with an orchestra of screams. Meanwhile, fog creeps over the floors and creepy sounds build tension between every scare. But despite this terror, visitors are never trapped. Security officers, each thoroughly vaccinated against zombies, stand ready to lead guests to the nearest exit should they wish to depart early.
The roar of rushing of water echoes through the towering walls of Splash Bay Water Park, where slides, rivers, and pools stretch across a 35,000-square-foot indoor facility. Kiddie pools ripple with whippersnappers clambering upon play structures and tumbling off giant lily pads, and inner tubes careen down a lazy river. After snaking and weaving riders across the rafters, three lofty slides fire their passengers out into pools below, and adults can lounge under a warm waterfall pouring into the giant hot tub.
Red Cross–certified lifeguards survey the scene all the while, quick to blow whistles at horseplay or beluga whales that have snuck through the hot-tub jets. On the upper deck, a snack bar peddles snacks and drinks, and arcade games glimmer, hum, and dole out prizes. Dried off guests can take advantage of the park's onsite hotel, complete with family suites and a restaurant.
The Survival Race?s 5-kilometer track challenges racers to navigate a gauntlet of mud-laden terrain. Staggered waves of up to 300 runners each conquer military-style obstacles, wade through murky water, and slide through muddy trenches before reaching the finish line to celebrate at a shindig awash with delicious eats and smitten swamp monsters. Afterward, a Facebook album aids online nostalgia by showcasing dirt-caked athletes and their marshy feats.
The Butterfly House fills its lush indoor botanical garden with more than a thousand butterflies, creating a tranquil and meditative space for guests to relax and take in the wonderful natural variety present in a single order of organisms. Representing diverse species from the Americas and Asia, this well-traveled population of lepidopterans likes to flutter about, sipping nectar and basking in the sun, much like revelers at an international beach party. Since butterflies live for a fleeting two to three weeks, the facility brings in more creatures and new species regularly, making each visit unique. The knowledgeable staff helps patrons learn about every stage of this magnificent creature’s life cycle, from its awkward pupa days to the search for a mate and, in twilight, retirement from its professional nectar-collecting career to pursue a nectar-collecting hobby.
Whether visitors are arming themselves with knowledge or a bow and arrow, the experts at Cleland's Outdoor World equip them with the training, tools, and accessories they need to do so. Onsite archery instruction includes private lessons, as well as certified training aimed to condition young people for competition in the Junior Olympics. Other classes include knife sharpening and basic firearms lessons, and the shop also carries a variety of equipment with which visitors can exercise their new skills.