The artisans at Express Frames preserve photos, artwork, and mementos with more than 2,000 custom and archival frames by brands such as Larson-Juhl and Roma Moulding. They cut mats with a precise, computerized process, and offer more than 10 types of glass—including nonreflective glass, museum-quality glass, and Plexiglas. The art in the shop dances off framed mirrors by Uttermost, and staffers display signed Steiner Sports prints of athletes hitting homeruns or successfully untangling a whole bunch of Christmas lights.
Every winter, the professional ice carvers at Sculpted Ice Works whittle and chip away at large blocks of ice to create Crystal Cabin Fever, an indoor, interactive display of expertly formed frozen water. In the event’s infancy, the exhibit was limited to a life-size ice cabin, but it has since blossomed to include a unique annual theme, live carving demonstrations, and an ice slide—totaling more than 100 tons of ice in all. In the fall, Sculpted Ice Works hosts Night at the Ice Museum, with ice sculptures and fall fun, and factory tours and a museum on ice harvesting are open year-round.
Short of creating physical clouds to hold people aloft, Mattress Warehouse stocks almost every imaginable furnishing to help customers catch a few Z’s. Rows of name-brand mattresses from Sealy, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic entice customers to replace their worn pad for new bedding, such as a standard mattress, a fluffy pillowtop unit, or a memory foam piece that conforms to bodies. Beyond mattresses, the warehouse also carries an ample collection of box springs, full bed sets with rails and headboards, and even premium futon mattresses that revitalize foldable couches.
The family-owned Mountain Mattress sedates sleepers with a wonderland of relaxing surfaces, including many made by U.S. manufacturers. Nappers seeking body-hugging bedding can use their Groupon toward the Therapedic 8-inch memory foam queen-size bed ($999 for mattress, foundation, frame, and delivery), which lends comfort and support while sending herds of sheep to the unemployment line. Bad backs find relief on the Posture Support queen set ($499), delivering restful, pain-free sleep, or the Eclipse International Spinal Zone queen set ($699 for mattress, foundation, frame, and delivery), which protects rear stomachs from discomfort, stiffness, and mischievous night sprites. Free local delivery allows customers to receive beds at home instead of trekking down dark roads with a mattress strapped to their back.
The professional, knowledgeable staff at Vintner’s Circle share their love of the wine lifestyle with hands-on wine classes that teach guests, family, and friends how to bottle wines, distinguish between different varietals, or pair wine with cheese. The shop’s unique, all-inclusive winemaking program takes aspiring vintners through the accessible four-part process in store over the course of eight weeks, which begins with choosing wine juices from a selection of more than 50 internationally sourced varieties. Participants eventually bring home more than two dozen bottles with their own vintage for a total cost of less than $10 per bottle. They can emblazon these bottles with custom-designed labels and colorful tops. Vintner's Circle also stocks a variety of gifts for weddings, holidays, and other special occasions, as well as wine accessories and gifts for wine lovers to enjoy year-round. Wine-education classes, corporate events, and team-building events are also on offer.
A family-owned business of 11 years, Lockwood Farms blossoms with an ever-metamorphosing selection of plants and flowers. Owners Randi and Mark bustle around the garden center each day, overseeing the staff and offering assistance and gardening counsel to customers. Their gardens house more than 40 types of vegetables and herbs along with an eclectic mix of flowers, trees, and shrubs. An extensive selection of birdbaths, fountains, and pottery punctuates the grounds, and an onsite three-story gift shop stocks collectibles and decor from designers such as Jim Shore, Heritage Lace, and Willow Tree. The center's florists also snip fresh flowers into custom bouquets for a variety of occasions ranging from anniversary celebrations to birthdays.