Traditionally, families gather around the Christmas tree to open presents––but at the American Cancer Society Christmas Fantasy House, individual traditions are magnified. The 2009 house, for example, featured not one but five Christmas trees, each draped in ribbons and white lights. Other years' open houses have featured a jolly Santa Claus, dining room chairs hung with pinecone wreaths, and flower-festooned light fixtures. Visitors not only peruse the Christmas-themed home for charity, they can also shop for sweets or enter holiday-themed raffles.
Proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society, a volunteer-based program that reaches 3,400 communities nationwide. The ACS supports research, education, advocacy for all types of cancer, and helps a large number of cancer patients, offering phone counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
East Town Spa?s aesthetic teams regularly trek around the country to hone their beautifying expertise and study with experienced Bumble and Bumble and Aveda educators. They then tote their refreshed skills back to Milwaukee, where they set to work inside a historic mansion painted in classic rose tones. The team's hair services range from simple trims for beards and mustaches all the way to smoothing treatments for 4-D strand textures. Facials improve complexions with Aveda techniques, and natural baking-soda crystals provide gentle microdermabrasion. A tangerine-tinged pedicure lounge features a cushioned chaise and footbaths, and waxing sessions leave skin surfaces smooth from head to toe.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Spread out in organized clusters across an expansive 17,000-square-foot show room, unfinished wooden furniture lies teeming with potential. Unlike traditional pieces, which must be carefully selected to match one's home décor, Naked Furniture's mostly American-made products can be customized with the stain or paint color of one's choosing. The collection includes pieces for every room of the house, including bedroom furniture such as nightstands, kitchen adornments such as cabinets, and living-room pieces such as television consoles or Victorian-style entertainment centers, also known as "bookshelves." Each item is crafted from solid wood or plywood and is particleboard- and MDF-free.
Since 1851, the Wisconsin State Fair has annually showcased the state's finest resources, stuffed fairgoers with an aromatic selection of world-class foods, and entertained guests with live bands and terrifying tractor flyovers. In between hot-stepping to the Steve Meisner Polka Band on August 9 and singing along to "Cracklin' Rosie" with Eric Ebert's Tribute to Neil Diamond on August 11, fair browsers will get their choice of day to frolic manfully among a ton of food stalls, games, thrill rides, outdoor events, interactive activities, and competitions. If your trio of the fair's famous cream puffs—whose airy creaminess is just as legendary in this reality as it is in alternate realities where Wisconsin won the Civil War—doesn't fill you up completely, test your gut's maximum occupancy with August 9's brat-eating contest (4 p.m.), which is best washed down beforehand with the root-beer-float-drinking contest (3 p.m.). Kids, meanwhile, can plummet down the fair's 200-foot giant slide, take splatter-art to messy new places at the Kohl's Color Wheel, or watch the state's fastest pigs race for the coveted frosted oatmeal cookie.
Bedecking bedrooms, living rooms, and home offices for almost a century, the furniture fiends at Rubin's seek out the finest in formal, casual, classic, and chic furniture design and manufacturing. Peruse the haute hoard of home furnishings, which range from area rugs, futons, chairs, and patio furniture to accent pieces such as trunks, coat racks, and cocoa-flavored candelabras.