Visiting The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center is a lot like stepping into a nature documentary. Guests can take a self-guided journey to meet more than 200 creatures from across the world. They may stop by the habitats of the black and white ruffed lemur, the western bobcat, and the spotted leopard. Along the way, guests might learn a lot: for instance, that the Bennett's wallaby carries its young in a pouch, and that the critically-endangered cotton-top tamarin has lost more than 75% of its native habitat.
But in at least one way, the zoo accomplishes something that David Attenborough never could. Visitors can actually reach out and touch a creature during discovery programs. They can even adopt certain animals, perhaps helping provide tasty grasses and career guidance to a red kangaroo.
These programs exemplify the nonprofit zoo's dedication to wildlife education and awareness, something they hope to instill in their visitors from an early age. In the summer, educators spin "Animal Tales" for rapt young audiences and hold a Zoo Camp, where kids start to learn about diet and animal care. As kids' love of animals grows, the zoo invites them to volunteer as Crew in Training members. Once they hit college, students can become interns working on projects such as field studies of the patas monkey.
Inside a beautiful Victorian home, trained massage therapist Sheila Maleckas has created a soothing and tranquil space for her clients to unwind both mentally and physically as she performs a bevy of massage therapies. Massage sessions take place in a quiet, private, dimly lit room where Sheila will perform one of three styles of bodywork, including Swedish, deep tissue, and pregnancy massage. The Swedish massage uses an array of strokes to relieve general aches and pains, transforming tension-riddled body cots into soothed and snuggly sleeping bags. Deep tissue massage is recommended to alleviate chronic stress due to misalignment, past injuries, and daily bear attacks. Sheila is also a certified practitioner of pregnancy massage, which utilizes a variety of techniques to relieve joint pain due to postural imbalance and the weight of carrying an internal tiny person.
Experienced stylist and cosmetologist Kelly Holbrook founded Simply Divine Beauty Lounge in 2008. Since then, she has welcomed visitors into a world of haircare treatments, soothing massages, and stylish manicures. The women working behind the scissors draw from a wealth of experiences and training, from Kelly Holbrook's childhood trips to the salon with her mother and grandmother, to extensive practices in energy therapy, reiki, and hot-stone massage—with 100% of the hot stones reporting feeling less tense after their massages. These expertly trained technicians pour out products from Dermalogica, Goldwell, and Bioelements to transform a part of their clients' appearance. They render eye-catching updos, oxygenating facials, Swedish massages, and nail treatments.
The staff also welcomes guests to wait for their services in comfort. The lounge’s refined interior features black leather furnishing, cream-colored walls, and WiFi.
Belmont Laundry's garment gurus refresh fabrics and gently banish rogue stains with earth-friendly products. Skilled fabric attendants free shirts (up to $2.55/shirt), pants ($7.95), and sweaters ($7.95) of built-up dust pockets and abandoned condiments. As a courtesy, clothing tenders replace buttons lost through Oxford skirmishes and hang or fold shirts depending on their natural bedroom habitats. Free delivery service returns homesick clothes to the office or home twice a week.
Nestled within the charming environs of a stately Victorian neighborhood across the street from Forest Park, Lathrop House B&B offers respite from the taxing hustle and bustle of daily life. Approaching the columned front porch bedecked with white wicker furniture for old-timey relaxin’, visitors are greeted by Toesey the housecat and swept away to a bygone era of tea-sipping in rose gardens and coolly waving at the village inventor as he zips past on his steam-powered segway.
Felix's Family Ristorante owner Dolores Terriaca crafts meals lovingly from Abruzzan recipes inspired by her central Italian roots, In addition to the regular menu, there's also nightly specials, such as clams provencale over homemade pasta, and prime rib with seasoned potatoes. Though definitively Italian, some of the dishes are fused with international flavors, such as calamari dusted with Cajun spices or a curried vegetable soup. With any meal, guests enjoy bread baked fresh daily and the comfort of knowing they'll get to sit in a chair while they eat.