Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.
World Discoveries amplifies the imaginations of little ones with a selection of classic and eclectic board games, science kits, dolls, and other interactive distractions. Its junior versions of Monopoly and Scrabble prepare tykes for the cutthroat world of spelling bees and elementary-school property disputes, and its Jenga Max tower tests the patience of wee players with perpetual rebuilding projects. A set of Blendy pens encourages kids to mix and match colors, and Scientific Explorer kits demonstrate modern science in action with chemistry sets, mock volcanoes, and baking-soda-fueled rockets.
Named after the colorful bracelets that jangle on the wrists of many Indian women, Ruby’s Bangles gives its patrons an opportunity to partake in ancient Eastern beauty rituals. In the spa, aestheticians use eyebrow threading techniques inspired by Egyptian beauty rituals to remove unwanted hair. Skilled henna artists can transform hands and feet with dramatic plant-ink designs. The store's boutique boasts a wide selection of Indian-inspired jewelry, including bindis, necklaces, bangles, and hip chains for belly dancing or keeping prank-prone jeans from running away.
Upon first entering Porcelynne's Fabric Boutique, the array of supplies immediately inspires new sewing projects. Rolls of patterned fabrics conjure images of eye-catching dresses. Spindles of colorful ribbon and lace accentuate plans for baby clothes. Mannequins demand quick draping work to cover their scandalous bareness. These inspirations can also be found in a library of pattern books, along with manuals detailing the intricacies of running a small clothing business. Inspired clothiers can enroll in classes that range from the basics of operating a sewing machine to drafting one's own patterns. Kids are welcomed to join the fun with a host of art and sewing classes designed just for them.
The work done by We-B-Poppin Kettle Corn’s husband-and-wife owners goes beyond the kitchen: they funnel proceeds from their snacks into a non-profit corporation, which works to raise money for children’s charities, local law enforcement agencies, and veterans’ charities. They pop batches of mushroom-style corn—extra-large kernels that makes extra-large popcorn—and top it with all-natural ingredients to create flavors such as white cheddar, bacon and cheese, and pizza. Of course, they still serve traditional kettle corn, which is prepared with both salt and a sweetener for a savory-yet-sugary taste.