Arts & Entertainment in Plano

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After years of working for others in corporate America, owner Karen Thompson enlisted the help of three other like-minded women to form the quartet of bead-savvy experts behind A Beadtiful Thing. With heaps of individual experience designing jewelry, staff help customers sort through the strands of beads that line the sunny shop's walls and wink in the light like an English teacher after an especially good pun. The ladies also angle visitors toward a large table in the store, where they can delve into their own projects or participate in classes in basic or more obscure techniques that incorporate leather or chainmaille in addition to shimmery baubles.

1649 Montgomery Rd
Aurora,
IL
US

Between Gorilla Games' bright yellow walls, knowledgeable gamers stock shelves with new, used, and retro video games and accessories. They help customers choose discs and cartridges to take home or accept trade-ins of old games to feed to an ever-changing selection spanning all generations of Nintendo, Sega, Xbox, and PlayStation. Along with merchandise, the store holds a collection of pay-to-play classic arcade games and a game room breathlessly referred to as the Cage. Inside the Cage, paying visitors find 42-inch HDTVs, reclining padded chairs, and PS3, XBox 360, and Wii systems, upon which they can test their skills in any game found at the store. To aid beleaguered gamers, store staffers also resurface scratched discs, mend broken consoles, and reveal which castle the princess is in.

256 Route 59
Naperville,
IL
US

Put Me In The Story connects parents and kids during bedtime reading rituals with one-of-a-kind storybooks personalized with children's names and photos. After choosing a best-selling children's book as a template, customers submit their child's name and upload a photograph and special message for their boy or girl. Within two weeks, parents and grandparents can snuggle with babies and toddlers, flipping through books filled with the child's own name and picture.

In addition to promoting literacy and family bonding through its selection of kids' books, Put Me In the Story creates heartwarming gifts with customized photo books that celebrate the link between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and grandparents.

1935 Brookdale Road
Naperville,
IL
US

When children go to piano lessons, they raise their guard and treat the gift of learning music like a trip to the dentist. The instructors at New Song Music are well aware of the old-fashioned traditional piano-teacher stigma, which is why they keep their pupils in their comfort zones by bringing their lessons to the student's homes. With years of experience, a surplus of patience, and computer software that tracks students' progress, New Song Music helps transform tots into Rachmaninoffs in fun lessons that sharpen skills and stir creative juices.

1230 North Main Street
Wheaton,
IL
US

The Genuine Article is a studio, a workshop, a gallery, a bead shop and a hands on classroom. You may be thinking this is a lot in one location, but we have something no one else has, Betty James Hoppensteadt a professional artist for over 30 years.

201 W Front St
Wheaton,
IL
US

The hardest part of the process at Glazed Expressions is probably picking a piece of pottery to paint. They have hundreds of ceramics available, from mugs and platters to decorative vases and trinket boxes. Once you've selected one, you can paint it however you like with a choice of glaze colors, and, for those who don't trust their freehand painting skills, stamps and stencils. Whether attending with friends, as part of an adult or kids' party, or on your own, the staff will fire your piece for you and have it ready for pickup within one week. Beyond readying pieces, the staff can also create custom ceramics, painting gifts for weddings, baby showers, or interventions for paper plate adicts per the customers' design requests.

5117 Main St
Downers Grove,
IL
US