At Magic Lantern Theatres, darkened auditoriums with flickering screens draw audiences into magical worlds where fish can talk, motorcycles leap canyons, and love comes even for those who eat crackers in bed. The partnering multiplex theatres and cinemas show recently released blockbuster flicks at 15 locations spread across Canada, each of which retains its own unique personality and honours any historic roots. In Edmonton, the Princess Theatre’s original 1915 auditorium, complete with balcony, golden drapes, and red walls, accommodates moviegoers with babies or pet hyenas inside a soundproof cry room. In Saskatchewan, the circa-1930 Roxy Theatre preserves the ambience of a Spanish courtyard. As guests find their auditoriums at the Ontario locations, they can admire giant murals by local artist Fred Harrison.
Each voyage the MV Woodman takes with Scugog Island Cruises pays tribute to the rich maritime history of the area. The double-decker vessel carries the moniker of an 1850s-era steamship that cruised Lake Scugog for more than 70 years, and the crew recounts tales from bygone days of glamorous lake parties and the time that carp ran for mayor during each sightseeing excursion. Whether they are steering up to 100 passengers for a wedding, birthday shindig, or themed dinner-dance cruise, the trained personnel aim to dip each experience in the colours of the area's rich history.
At My Dive Center, divers can don fins, tanks, and suits and embark on a scuba diving trip—or acquire the skills to do so. The equipment and instructional center’s PADI classes range from the beginner-focused open-water certification course to sessions on more specialized arts, such as learning to take great underwater digital photos of a manatee’s good side.
A former top-10 junior player and college team captain, Carolynna Gabriel heads up a team of certified tennis professionals as the founder of Wilmington Tennis. Her merry band of coaches specializes in training adults and children through structured lessons instead of throwing old plums at them in the parking lot. Adults can register for instructional court time or book a hitting partner to hone technique; children are assembled according to age for their group classes. Young players between the ages of 4 and 10 learn on scaled-down equipment, using smaller nets and smaller racquets.
Originally founded in 1919 as a small petting zoo known as the Cream of Barley Park, Bowmanville Zoo has since evolved into one of the largest collections of animals on the continent. More than 300 creatures roam its 42 acres of parkland, including turtles, primates, and large felines seen in feature films and television shows such as Animorphs and Peter Benchley's Amazon. Throughout the week, visitors can ride camels or elephants, see trained critters perform in the 400-seat indoor Animatheatre, or watch as handlers feed the carnivores by throwing them meat to trade with monkeys for delicious twigs.
After climbing up to Imprint Pilates & Yoga's second-storey studio, clients remove their shoes before joining their classmates in group sessions of up to 75-minutes or teaming up with an experienced teacher for private instruction. Owner Anita Ivic oversees a cheerful staff with backgrounds that include kinesiology and dance, allowing students to stack a physiology treatment on top of a yoga or Pilates session. Students augment their mind- and muscle-bending workouts with in-house registered massage therapy or cosset their qi with traditional Chinese acupuncture, whose needles can help relieve bodily distresses and cause fugitive magnets to surrender their hiding spots.
Recipient of the Scugog Council for the Arts Business for the Arts Award in 2007, META4 Contemporary Craft Gallery's artistic oasis offers work by more than 100 Ontario artists, as well as classes and community events for art enthusiasts. Purchasable pieces include visual works, ceramics ($27 for a mug, $150 for a bowl), mixed media, fibre ($95 for a felted scarf), glass ($85 for a fused-glass platter), jewellery ($28 for dichroic glass earrings), wood, and sculpture. META4 focuses on regional artists within a 100-mile radius in order to support the local arts economy and minimize environmental impact. META4 is located in Port Perry, which boasts numerous restaurants, theatres, a winery, and the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino.