In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Gordmans restocks bureaus and residential nooks with an expansive inventory of name-brand merchandise discounted below department store prices, including team apparel and seasonal decorations. Flaunt support for a collegiate club by sliding arm branches through an Illinois color-block polo ($24.99). Fans can also don a pair of Chicago Bears lounge pants ($19.99), ideal for relaxing while watching the game or ripping off to expose Mike Ditka knee tattoos. Artistic wall art festoons vacant environs in colorful creations, such as canvases coated in tones of still-life wine ($24.99) and scenic vistas ($29.99+). Alternatively, a harvest of men's and women's fragrances allows shoppers to uncork new scents for seasonal parties, class reunions, and heated negotiations with the shopping-mall Santa Claus.
Loomcraft’s textile experts guide home decorators through a show room of more than 200,000 yards of designer-brand fabrics, and resurrect furniture with their custom labor, reupholstery, and slipcover expertise. Lost shopping carts wander amidst a jungle of striped and floral cotton prints, and velvets and silks try to out-snuggle one another on tightly packed shelves ($10.99+/yd.). Stitch a variety of decorations to use all over the home with housebroken indoor fabrics or rugged outdoor materials strong enough to weather the elements. An array of trim and lining crisply define home-improvement projects, adding a professional edge to re-covered couches or modern tapestries depicting the shape of the Internet.
Ulta's licensed staff, which partakes in ongoing training to keep skills sharp, creates customized looks and expert image enhancement using acclaimed beauty products. Like a loaf of bread in a space shuttle with a broken sunroof, hairstyles can grow stale between salon visits. A 45-minute coif-cultivation session, in which the stylist takes into account face shape and lifestyle, energizes follicles and forges a salon-fresh look. In the one-hour Dermalogica facial, an aesthetic augur examines skin in order to customize a course of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing session with Dermalogica products. The treatment leaves skin impeccable, like a recently buffed and oiled slab of marble.
Vero's menu silences the chatters of sweet teeth with sugar-laced treats such as Venetian-style fried dough, decadent hot and cold specialty drinks, and more than 60 flavors of homemade gelato and sorbet. Dessert definitions are challenged with bowls of frosty spaghetti and meatballs ($4.99), which feature noodle-shaped vanilla gelato festooned with coconut shavings, a strawberry topping, and two spherical scoops of chocolate ice cream. Mouths can celebrate the union of divergent temperatures as they nibble through the warm fried-dough base and unwarm gelato ceiling of the hot-and-cold sundae dough ($5.99), or revel wholly in frozen flavors with a fresh-squeezed lemon shaky ($2.49), both refreshing and sweet, like a school teacher who dispenses discipline with a super soaker. Pep-deficient steps might opt for one of Vero’s coffee-based libations, such as a black eye ($2.49 for a single) that slugs exhaustion with a one-two punch of fresh coffee and two espresso shots.
The team at Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa Lounge pampers clients of both sexes with facials, massages, waxing, and nail services, which pair well with their line-up of signature drinks. While sipping glasses of wine or champagne-based cocktails, guests cloaked in white robes sink into plush purple benches as they dip their feet in soothing, whirlpool-free pedicure sinks during mani-pedis. Clients who opt for the Nuclear Fusion package relish in a mani-pedi, massage, and VM signature cocktail—champagne and a splash of peach, mango, and orange juice—and guys can down a beer as nail techs tend to their hands and feet with male-centric mani-pedis.
Beyond catering to their clients’ needs, the staff also focuses on sanitation. They sterilize all equipment in an autoclave after each service to meet the standards of hospitals and their moms’ chore wheel.