As vibrant and diverse as its inventory is, the Fine Arts Company has an unbending commitment to three specific colors: red, white, and blue. An exclusive showcase for items made in the USA, the company hand selects each of its featured pieces from American-based designers and artists, helping local artisans spread their work beyond the borders of their own communities. The ever-growing stock of unique gifts and collectibles ranges from ceramics, pottery, and wall art to jewelry and home accents made of glass.
But the company doesn't just support existing artists—it also helps everyday folks tap into their own creative talents through painting parties. During these BYOB events, experienced instructors lead students step-by-step through the creation of a one-of-a-kind work of art, imparting essential painting and beret-wearing tips along the way.
In the world of athletic training, Robert Taylor, Jr.’s resume speaks for itself. In addition to stints as the head strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division I programs, his expertise also landed him gigs with professional baseball, football, and basketball franchises. Now, along with the other experienced coaches at SMARTER Team Training, Robert shepherds high school athletes toward their full potential at training camps and clinics. Whether they’re honing position-specific skills for football, basketball, field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, or other sports, or increasing overall athleticism during the school’s signature Speed, Agility, and Conditioning Camp, students always find a challenging itinerary designed to bring skills to a more advanced level. There's even a college prep training program, which gets high school players ready for the increased intensity at the college level.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
The state- and NRA-certified instructors at MMTA Firearms Training Academy put safety above all else. In accommodating students, they facilitate both mobile and onsite training in classes and private lessons. These gatherings take place at locales such as nearby ranges and hotel conference rooms, where the instructors lead courses such as the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation along with lessons in specialized topics such as rifle shooting, personal protection, and training to become a range safety officer.
During 60-minute private lessons, one of Tennis in Urbana’s certified pros helps racket wielders acquire and develop proficiency in every aspect of the game, including ball striking, serving, and winking at umpires. The pros will drive up to 30 minutes from the Tennis in Urbana facility to meet students at a court of their choice. Six-week clinics challenge a minimum of four individuals with intensive workouts that focus on a particular skill set or aspect of the game. Junior clinics are divvied up by age group: Tiny Tots clinics teach youngsters aged 4–7, Big Shots clinics focus on kids ages 7–10, and Academy clinics prepare 13- to 17-year-olds for competition with intense stroke drills, rigorous conditioning exercises, and trophy-kissing practice. Adult clinics offer men and women choices between clinics designed for their skill levels and clinics designed for cardiovascular exercise.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arena rockets socked striplings high above a pair of inflatable party arenas chock-full of kid-friendly bounce pads. For a quintet of fun-filled visits, young whippersnappers can skip down air-filled slides and defy gravity in gargantuan bounce houses with five pop-in play passes. Enjoying free entry, parents can observe their young's playtime—taking thorough notes on techniques that can use improvement—or opt for a Parents Night Out evening, relinquishing children 5 and older to Pump It Up’s dedicated supervision 6 p.m.–9 p.m. on select evenings.