At Vail Meadows Equestrian Center, experienced trainers employ a holistic approach to horseback riding and instruction to help riders to develop life skills and live healthfully. Its 25-acre farm abuts the Maumee Bay State Park bridle trails, allowing riders to explore tree-laden mazes in addition to open pastures. Ducks, goats, and pot-bellied pigs roam the landscape, peeking into the historic 1893 barn while students improve concentration and problem-solving skills through therapeutic sessions. In another barn, beginners bond with new four-legged friends over the western riding techniques they have just mastered. Programming also includes riding opportunities for veterans, field trips for classes of students, and weekend horse camps for teens and adolescents. During camp sessions, young visitors participate in farming- and nature-related learning adventures before retiring to a warm indoor bunk, preventing them from having to rely on starlight to read copies of The Iliad written in hieroglyphics.
For 129 years, the farmhouse at Country Lane Tree Farm has looked out over acres of trees and crops as they bear fruit, change colors, and catch a light dusting of snow. The Bowlander family keeps the land bustling through the seasons by inviting families and school groups to come take part in farm activities. Craft barn events happen in the spring and summer, along with farm tours where children can see and interact with a variety of animals. Activities include, milking cows, holding chickens and ducks, and gazing profoundly into the deep eyes of Peaches the donkey. Animal feed is also included. During the fall, the Bowlanders make an enormous maze out of their cornfield, invite guests to pick pumpkins from their 10-acre patch, and enjoy a Haunted Hayride and the indoor Haunted "Carnevil" Barn.
School Matters helps students at Toledo Public Schools and Toledo charter schools assemble a new outfit or uniform from an inventory of decorous clothes for boys, girls, and 10-year-old headmasters. For gents, crisp Dickies pair nicely with polos and sweater vests, whereas girls can round out their own navy cardigans with brown plaid skirts or slacks. Jackets featuring characters such as Spongebob and Disney princesses add a touch of whimsy to the classic ensembles.
Ken's Flowers, a top-ranked Teleflora and FTD merchant, brims with an ambrosial array of bouquets, flanked by scented candles, fine wines, and a bevy of edible delights. A sun-drenched potted chrysanthemum beams photosynthetic love rays ($19.95), and delicate stargazer lilies nestle ethereally in a crystalline vase ($25). A dozen roses present an ideal means of identifying oneself to blind dates and showcasing powerful 12-rose-gripping jaw power ($25). The shop's blossom artists sculpt European-style, contemporary, and traditional bouquets, as well as dried and silk arrangements.
For almost 60 years, family-owned Black Diamond, Inc. has plucked a bouquet of well-versed horticulturists to grow and tend its vast glassed-in fields of flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs. Having known many of Black Diamond, Inc.’s plants since their tender, botanic infancy, its greenery gurus pride themselves on being able to go beyond cursory recommendations to in-depth discussions of plants and how each interacts with fertilizers, soil, insecticides, and their ilk. Take home the recurrent colors of perennial flowers ($2.99–$11.99) such as the bloomerang—a repeat-blooming lilac that makes for better lawn fixtures than repeat-capsizing lilacs—or other low-maintenance, color-exuding favorites such as the knockout shrub rose or endless summer hydrangea. Annuals ($1.19–$29.99) provide summer-long flowerage with such pedal-wielders as the rocket mix snapdragon or shade-loving impatiens in accent watermelon. Vegetables ($0.89–$11.99) fill hunger voids and double as props during choreographed food fights in the form of roma tomatoes or black beauty eggplants, and shrubs ($9.99–$79.99) and a huge inventory of trees ($69.99–$299.99) serve up too-large-for-serving-platters of shade and yard ornamentation.
Costume Holiday House's inventory of wigs, makeup, suits, and party supplies enables costume changes ranging from spooky to comical. Customers can dress themselves as everything from pop-culture icons to terrifying specters and macabre forms, and an ample supply of wigs and accessories form the basis of inventive costumes that don’t require full-body suits or rubber masks. In addition to wearable Halloween goods, the shop also sells fog machines and animated props that set the stage for monster mashes and haunted houses. Costume Holiday House accommodates dress-up even in the Halloween off-season, with theater costume rentals for schools and community plays, or Second Skin colored bodysuits for showing team spirit at a baseball game or camouflaging into the green-screen background at local commercial shoots.