Rice's Nursery has been sprucing up area gardens with expert intervention since 1941, often by giving them a whimsical personality by adding a whimsical fairy garden, complete with tiny props and plants perfectly sized for imaginary flying friends. Rice Nursery's collection of fairy gardening products includes miniature shrubbery and flowering plants, itty-bitty statues of fairies ($14.99), houses, furniture ($5.49-$29.99), and accessories like holiday wreaths ($1.99-$2.99) and watering cans ($1.79). Rice's garden center centers on model gardens that give would-be fairy gardeners a chance to scope clever set-up ideas.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months?3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1?3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
The traditional farmers' market at Trax Farms, owned and operated by the Trax family since 1865, teems with an eclectic array of produce grown onsite, freshly baked goods, deli fare, and gifts amid 325 acres of fields and orchards. The owners eschew imported produce for farm-grown, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and furnish their shelves with local and international specialty foodstuffs, Sarris and Wagner’s chocolates, and the farm’s own brand of flavored coffee. The aroma of freshly baked seasonal pies, homemade breads, and made-from-scratch cookies tantalizes noses as the deli rolls out soups, salads, and sandwiches assembled from premium meats and cheeses. In addition to a selection of quilts, clothing, and jewelry, the shop boasts wines, including award-winning Arrowhead Wine Cellar varietals. Furthering its homey, community-centered approach, the farm hosts flea markets, festivals, and special events, such as its autumnal hayride, which entices young visitors and scarecrows with thinning scalps.
Levin Furniture has been passed down through generations of Levins since 1920, when Jessie Levin persuaded her husband to start a business to help their daughters' prospects. Since then, the business has grown, expanded, and gained a reputation for procuring and selling quality furniture. Levin Furniture's stock includes leather reclining sofas, beautifully carved dining tables, and sleigh beds from Daniel's Amish using hardwood materials from Ohio.
The berry experts at Triple B Farms invite Pittsburgh-area crop gatherers to fill farm-supplied baskets with fresh-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. After arriving to the Strawberry Festival and donning the stylish all-day-access wristband, guests are free to roam the verdant rows of leafy berry-bursting plants in search of the perfect pound of flavorful mouth-pleasers (a $1.99/lb. value; prices may vary). The delicious fruit’s devotees turn out en masse every year for the annual festival, which is a celebration of all things strawberry and more, including a visit from the Pennsylvania Honey Queen, an inflatable all-ages obstacle course, a rock shaped like baseball great Darryl Strawberry, and a strawberry-themed pancake breakfast and lunch (not included in the value of the Groupon). Triple B Farms’ Strawberry Fest also entertains children with a playground, farm animals, tube slides, and rope mazes; parents can peruse the farm's expansive selection of fresh-grown produce, baked goods, jams, and rustic lifestyle guides.
Sometimes, a greener world is hard to visualize. For the technicians at Green Thumb Lawn Care, though, it’s as easy as the click of a shutter. Before each project, the lawn-care professionals snap photos of the homeowner’s property and create 3-D images of what the yard would look like after their landscapers finish the job. They also help beautify and maintain customers' current views by trimming hedges, mowing grass, fertilizing lawns, and installing new stone walkways over backyard lava pits.