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 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.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Rolling hills and more than 1,000 pine trees cover the nearly 7,000-yard setup of White Pines Golf Course. The trees mostly stay out of the way of duffers' shots, but two waste bunkers and five ponds don't make the same promise. To help golfers avoid these hazards, White Pines offers a practice driving range, along with a practice green.
Course at a Glance:
Caring for oneself is a necessary part of caring for others, according to Joe Sparks, the former triathlete who helms Hot Yoga With Joe. To encourage others to devote more time to their health and loved ones, he and his staff of certified instructors fill fitness classes with both fun and restorative relaxation. Joe channels more than 10 years of teaching experience to lead hot-yoga workouts featuring gentle yet powerful poses that aim to forge cast-iron muscles capable of hurling a paper airplane into orbit. The 95- to 100-degree temperatures unspool tight ligaments and encourage sweat glands to flush toxins out of the nearest pore. New students prepare for their first sessions by completing a mandatory waiver and hydrating themselves thoroughly beforehand.