Voted Connecticut's Scariest Haunted House by the Norwich Bulletin, The Dark Manor fills visitors with terror and keeps hearts pounding throughout two floors of haunted rooms, a spooky cemetery, and a haunted village. Thrill seekers stalk through chambers teeming with haunting sights, shrieking at decrepit skeletons in electric chairs and hordes of giant, wall-clinging cockroaches. After surviving the manor's mind-bending set pieces and horrifyingly neglectful housekeeping, adventurers must wander through the cemetery and village. Amid the graveyard's tombstones roams a chainsaw-wielding freak offering free haircuts, and the denizens of the haunted village lurk amid shadows as masked horrors seek to startle the souls out of passersby.
Paint Your Life’s crafty paintbrush pushers translate photographs into personalized paintings using a variety of artistic mediums such as oil, charcoal, and pastel. Customers begin the process by uploading a photo with one figure they wish to have interpreted, such as a family scene, a landscape, or a particularly appetizing burrito. To customize their portraits, subjects can mix and match elements from different photographs or assign a specific artist to the project if one of the examples in the gallery particularly catches your eye. Once you’ve approved an editor-designed mockup, the painters—who are assigned based on your preferred medium—set to work composing a work of art suitable for hanging in the home or in the office next to other prized tokens indicating success, such as your Congressional Medal of +5 Dexterity and the former boss you had stuffed and mounted. Once the painting is complete, a photograph of the work is uploaded to Paint Your Life’s website, where you’ll give it a final review and request any final modifications before it is shipped to your doorstep in a specially-suited art tube.
For three generations, Christmas trees perfumed the grounds at Leyden Farm & Winery. In 2010, though, the Leyden family became interested in fruit-essence wines and planted strawberries, blueberries, and grapevines amidst the trees, becoming partners with a love for farming and wine. The fruit from the trees they grew eventually became red wines such as Romeo's Red and Samson's Merlot, white wines such as Cleo's Blanc and Sunny's Grigio, or fruit varieties such as Apple Jack Russell or Samson's Wild Berry. Today, visitors to the sixty-acre family farm can enjoy bites of fruit and cheese complemented by tastes of smooth, complex merlot; crisp white wine laced with green apple; or a blush wine infused with fresh-watermelon essence.
The passionate instructors at Centerspace Wellness Studio cultivate creative energy through art and wellness classes, including several styles of yoga. Students concentrate on bodily alignment and breath control as they flow through a flurry of asanas during energizing Hatha yoga classes, while Spaaah yoga classes help overworked students release their choke hold on stress and frightened office interns by moving through a series of restorative postures set to a relaxing pace. Svaroopa techniques gradually release deep layers of tension with primary spinal openers—fundamental poses designed to limber up the tiers of muscles encircling the spine. Greenhorns shuffle through modified and prop-based poses during 60-minute sessions of beginner yoga, which strive to enhance body awareness and reveal thoughtful gift ideas for the toes. The welcoming studio supplies all necessary mats, blocks, props, and blankets, and recommends that all students arrive for class 5 minutes early free of perfumes or scented oils.
Owners Carolyn and Stan Giliberto of Over the Rainbow Toys, one of CBS Connecticut's Best Toy Stores of Hartford, regale youngsters with specialty toys from trusted U.S. manufacturers and importers, as well as one of the largest selections of toys from Playmobil. A cheery sales staff stands by to help parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles discover age-appropriate gifts, while warning customers against common child-gifting flubs, such as presenting second graders harboring tightrope-walking aspirations with wire and a balancing pole. Arts-and-crafts projects, science and learning kits, and both kid and adult jigsaw puzzles fill the bright store. Young ones can sputter airplane impersonations with a Playmobil Click and Go jet ($11.99) or hone pin-toppling skills with the sunny colors of a Happy Giddy bowling set. A set of frog-shaped baseball mitts ($12.99) enables kids to impersonate their favorite major leaguer in the backyard and prevents calamities in china shops. The shop also offers creative, free gift-wrapping, sparing parents the inconvenience of hiding toys by putting them inside of other toys.
Norwich Ice Rink maintains its ice year-round for athletes and casual skaters alike. In order to keep the community from slathering the streets in butter, the rink opens up every week for several public skating sessions, including most Friday evenings. When it's not entertaining public sessions, the facility plays host to adult and youth hockey leagues and organizes several different learn-to-skate programs.
The staff at TiddlyWinks Toys, a mom-owned-and-operated shop, handpicks a colorful collection of toys from Melissa & Doug, Little Adventures, and other whimsical brands. Scratch Art sets await a burgeoning artist's touch, and Groovy Girls dolls from Manhattan Toy flaunt colorful outfits and plush bodies, which dole out better hugs than dolls forged from hard plastic or sticky molasses. The staff assembles birthday-favor packages to match the guest of honor's favorite theme, and customers can even book soirees in the store. As their parents peruse the aisles, tykes tuckered from shopping expeditions can retreat to the store's polka-dotted play area.