After studying genetics at UW–Madison’s College of Agriculture, Gwen Condon opened a garden and landscaping center in the hopes of making local exteriors more beautiful and fashionable. Gwen began traveling to shows in Germany, England, and Italy in search of gifts and garden accessories. Her shop quickly grew into an inspirational garden, where customers wander paths lined with seasonal plants, from spring flowers to fall mums to winter killer tomatoes. The knowledgeable staff makes sure to clearly label each plant with lighting and water requirements.
Additionally, customers can show photography of their yards to Garden Gate Nursery staff to get tips on plants, shrubs, or trees that would thrive there. The garden tamers’ most popular service is what they call the “Please Come Stand in My Yard” consultation, a house call in which they scope yards and inspect any problem areas before sharing their ideas and recommendations.
At Underwater Connection, southeast Wisconsin’s only PADI five-star instructor-training center, an award-winning course director and a team of skilled instructors educate both undersea novices and emergency-service professionals in the art of scuba diving. Following safe, low-stress basic diving courses in a pool, teachers and students move to the open water to cover techniques that include rebreathing, underwater videography, and recovering toy-boat wrecks from flooded bathtubs. Underwater Connection provides all equipment for classes, relying on its factory-trained equipment mechanics and Aqualung Master Technician, who refill tanks and do in-house repairs on gear from brands such as Dive Rite, Poseidon, Oceanic, Aqua Lung, and Scubapro.
The act of picking up a paint brush, dabbling it in a little paint, and guiding it across a blank canvas has long been an adventure in self-expression—and a soothing one at that. At Arte Wine and Painting Studio, they add a little wine into the mix, and lead artists of all experience levels through easy to follow steps to complete a work of their own. During each class, experienced artists provide tips and tricks for bringing paintings of a variety of subject matters to life, from start to finish. The airy studio hosts two- and three-hour painting classes, where wine and beer is available for purchase, while all supplies, canvases, smocks, and high fives are at the disposal of each visitor.
Chic youngsters fulfill trend-setting cravings at Tadpole’s storefront, which blossoms with a colorful array of name-brand attire. The house of habiliments stocks such fashionable garb for gals as the Charlie Rocket owl thermal tee ($35) and the Florence Eiseman multi-patterned sweater dress ($94). Parents can outfit lads for fall with the Charlie Rocket endzone thermal ($36) and swaddle pocket-sized progeny in a dress and tights by Hartstrings ($50). The Tadpoles staff also corrals a selection of accessories for moms as well as lovable, self-unaware stuffed animals ($13.95–$32.95) for kids.
The proprietors of Performance Running Outfitters, Trae and Jessica Hoepner, bring 25 years of running experience to their business and understand how best to outfit the feet of competitive and casual runners alike. The paw honchos at Performance Running Outfitters perform a thorough foot analysis to find the right fit for all training needs. After assaying arch type and width, shoes are treadmill tested for proper gait and stability, insuring that everybody leaves bounding in step with their sole-mate. Performance Running Outfitters proffers brand name apparel from respected athletic designers, including Nike running socks ($12 per pair), Zensah arm sleeves ($29.99) and high-quality kicks from Mizuno, Asics, New Balance, and more. Although most running shoes cost more than $50, this Groupon is good for sale items. Scurrying feet can also pick up sustenance by way of nutritional PowerBars, Sports Beans, and Gatorade, or stock up on accessories such as a travel massage stick ($27.49) or sunglasses ($39.99+) to avoid making eye contact with baiting roadrunners.