Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
The hobby pros at Gamingetc Tournament Center help visitors to shuffle through an arsenal of specialty cards, board games, and miniature figurines for games such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering. Wield newfound power with Pokémon items such as a Black & White Noble Victories booster pack, filled with 10 specialty pasteboards ($3.99 each), or single cards such as a Venusaur that, like an artificial candy cane, comes in near-mint condition ($6.99). A gray dragon Dungeons & Dragons mini ($12.99) helps its owner to wage mythical battles, and a Han Solo Star Wars mini ($2.20) depicts the film icon in Stormtrooper attire. Board gamers devise battle strategies with Warhammer Necrons Sets ($33) or Dominion Hinterlands ($40). Visitors can also upgrade their decks with a selection of Magic: The Gathering booster packs ($3.99). Once equipped with gaming gear, customers can return for weekly tournaments, during which players make friends, hone skills, and swap more cards than quintuplets at their own birthday party.
A diverse collection of mature trees populates Oronoque Country Club's 18-hole course, their sturdy trunks imbuing the 6,575-yard layout with the venerable feel that only comes with age. However, the trees are far from just a cosmetic asset. Whether casting their shadows over straight fairways or using their knotty arms to block corner-cutting drives on the course's five dog-leg holes, the trees play a major role in making the mid-length course both challenging to golfers and attractive to retirement-age squirrels. The course also features two ponds that come into play, including one that creates a forced-carry tee shot on the par 3 third hole. Elsewhere, the club boasts a driving range, a practice green, and a trio of golf instructors that help correct swings and teach visitors to ride bareback on golf carts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,575 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.7 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 131 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
Though a lot has changed since Hearst Corporation's humble beginnings in 1887 as a single newspaper, one thing has remained the same: a mission to inform, entertain, and inspire. Hearst Media Services of Connecticut carries out that mission by publishing the four major daily newspapers in Fairfield County.
In southwestern Connecticut, the Connecticut Post keeps readers turning pages with stories such as "Full Disclosure," a tale about toxic waste in Stratford that earned one of the New England Newspaper & Press Association's 2012 Publick Occurrences awards. The News-Times mixes national and international news stories with stories about the Greater Danbury area. The Advocate does the same with Stamford, as does its sister paper, the Greenwich Time, with Greenwich.
Combined with seven weekly newspapers, the four dailies reach more than half a million adults every week. Online, the in-depth investigative reporting of the Connecticut newsgathering team sees an average of 15 million page views per month. They also save people money with the coupons in Savings Source, and they give HealthyLife magazine readers the inside scoop on topics such as fitness, gardening, and how to train dogs to paint white picket fences.
Stampin' & Scrappin' Time stuffs its store with neat rows of vibrant paper, stamps, craft supplies, and more while helping shoppers craft memorably charming handmade cards and scrapbooks. Peruse the vast inventory of colored and patterned paper ($.50–$1.99/sheet) to begin crafting tableaus of past family vacations, first days of school, and victorious backyard chinchilla races. Hero Arts wood and cling rubber stamps ($7.35–$15.35) and Memory Box wood stamps ($6.35–$11.35) sport letters, filigrees, shapes, and more, allowing crafty customers to dip them in colorful inks ($4.35–$9.35) and add instant flair to pencil sketches of Parisian pigeon parades. Decorate a newly purchased white Ferrari with pens, markers, and watercolor pencils ($3.35–$8.85) and garnish the resulting creation with a selection of stickers ($2.35–$5.35) to finally impress blasé preschoolers. The creative and amenable staff stays on hand to offer advice, suggestions, and tips and tricks.
A fragrant array of bouquets that burst with purple tulips and sun-yellow daisies tugs at olfactory heartstrings, and a selection of gourmet gift baskets presents a bounty of tastefully arranged treats to distinguished taste buds. Flowers are arranged in bestselling combinations such as the Beautiful in Blue ($62.95), a mix of hydrangea, roses, white lilies and more in a cobalt blue vase. Love on the rocks is best served with a creative and contemporary design such as the Pretty Please arrangement ($44.95), a mélange of blooms in soft rose and lavender shades whose elegant pink bow provides a romantic antidote to a recently penned Dear John letter.