The green-thumbed staff at Salmon Creek Nursery raises acres of shrubs, trees, and other plants to supply customers with a wide selection of potted foliage. Spruce up a garden path or an indoor hedge maze with shrubs such as cypress, junipers, and hydrangeas ($15.99–$89.99), or stock up on perennials that return every year without re-seeding, much like in-laws at Thanksgiving ($9.99–$24.99). Alternatively, apple, peach, cherry, and other fruit trees ($29.99–$39.99) distill the sun’s angry glare into wrath-sweetened produce. On autumn weekends, the scent of free cider and donuts fills the weekend air as patrons browse an assortment of plump pumpkins, corn stalks, and hay bales shaped like Conrad Bain.
Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
Since 1903, Davis Florist & Greenhouse’s family of flora artists have crafted delicately designed bouquets and arrangements from fresh and blossoming flowers. A bounty of orange roses, hot pink and red carnations, and matsumoto asters overflow from a clear glass vase in the How Sweet It Is bouquet ($34.95+); a dozen red roses peak from an elongated glass house ($54.95) to help couples celebrate anniversaries with more grace and romanticism than a Gone with the Wind audio book narrated by Leonard Nimoy. Birthday festivities commence with the Fly Away Birthday Bouquet, which teems with a symphonic septet in the rainbow’s favorite colors ($52.95+). Reams of classic chicness populate the Simply Elegant spathiphyllum, which placates a warmongering wicker pot with a white peace lily emerging from dark leafy greens ($42.95).
As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. The trained staff of My Gym Children's Fitness Center imbue kids with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes incorporate physical exercises with social and developmental skills, while summer camps are also available seasonally. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet.
Stretching across five acres of farmland, this year’s Country Way Corn Maze layout is skulled and crossboned with a pirate theme and treats labyrinth lovers to fascinating trivia about notable piracy practitioners. Adding puzzles within puzzles to the curving corridors of cob are the rubbing stations that families must use to decode the maze’s secret word. Since the maze’s route can be as convoluted and nonsensical as the plots of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, numerous Maize-o-Vision stations give the hopelessly shipwrecked a crow's nest from which they can seek a path back to dry land. A separate mini-maze leads the youngest visitors to stations that teach about farm animals instead.