At Wendy's Tree House, experienced stylists combine the delicate craft of hair sculpting with the art of entertaining children. Rather than whiling away time in a drab lobby thumbing through back issues of the Economist for Kids, children await their turn amid nifty chairs and an arsenal of toys. Soothing shampoos and conditioning treatments clean and soften hair once kids are perched in the proper styling chair, ready to brighten up their school-picture days and surprise their teachers with modish new 'dos.
The fashionable staff members at Must Stash fill shelves and racks with collegiate apparel, designer duds, and accessories for men, women, kids, and babies. Labels include True Religion, French Connection, and Cocobelle, as well as some made out of cardstock. Slip on a simple black-and-white color-block dress ($38) before adding texture with a Cocobelle beaded belt ($28) and matching wooden buckle bracelet ($28). Students can show team support on game day with cozy collegiate T-shirts, hoodies, and hats for men and women, or update the appearance of fandom with a ruffled red-and-white Oklahoma University dress ($68), featuring an asymmetrical, single-strap design to flirtatiously grant peeks at shoulder pads. To prepare for the winter chill and going unrecognized at family-holiday gatherings, shoppers can cover chins with a knit hat that extends to a full yarn beard ($38).
Camp Loughridge's 200 wooded, lake-studded acres invite children and adults out of the city for hours of rousing activities and refreshment for the soul (there's an onsite chapel, though camp activities extend to those not religiously oriented). Parties get underway in a climate-controlled cabin where up to 15 guests can exchange gifts, nibble cake, and chew wrapping paper for two hours. Next, outdoor adventurers can choose one of two one-hour thrills. The popular big swing secures its rider in a rope harness attached to a 30-foot rock wall as fellow partiers on the ground control height and trajectory. People also have the option to scale the heights of a vertical climbing wall, scrabbling for handholds and stimulating the heart. Merry adventurers inhale birthday cake, cheat gravity, and exhale delighted giggles in the midst of more than 200 acres of wooded terrain, crystalline lakes, and free-roving packs of oxygen.
Nationally certified massage therapist Jamey specializes in Swedish and deep-tissue techniques, but prefers to focus on pain relief rather than relaxation in each massage. He uses a technique called trigger point therapy to hone in on knots embedded deep within muscles or surrounding tissues. These knots often cause referred pain, and can be felt by distant areas of the body and close family members. Treating them helps alleviate localized as well as chronic discomfort.
The Great Clips empire spans more than 3,000 salons across North America, where a collective of over 30,000 stylists wait, ready to tend to hairstyles. At these salons, no appointments are necessary—though an online check-in system aids those who wish to skip any potential lines by adding their names directly to the haircut queue. And to aid their new hairstyles, customers can peruse a line of gels, conditioners, pomades, and tea-tree oil shampoos and body washes.
At Valencia Salon & Spa, aesthetician Gretchen Edwards rebalances skin during custom facials, peels, and microdermabrasion treatments. She massages faces with Dermalogica products, which are free of common irritants—including lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil, and witchcraft—and which are only available from skin therapists trained at The International Dermal Institute. To complement newly refreshed faces, Gretchen waxes away unwanted body hair.