Westport Picture Framing's meticulous frame experts specialize in safeguarding art, photos, and prints and can frame almost any item or size to fit personal tastes and special occasions. With an impressive selection of high-quality materials to choose from, customers can match their boutique artwork or prized Calvin Coolidge trading card with the surrounding décor of the frame's impending wall space. Skilled artisans can also mount and display glass sculptures, lithographs, and serigraphs. Acid-free products and museum-quality, UV-free glass help to ensure the longevity and preservation of framed photos, keepsakes, and important receipts.
At Art on Fire, a large selection of unfired pottery awaits. Customers—either there for a party or a walk-in—can browse a variety of pieces, ranging from ornaments, to jars, to mugs, before selecting one to make their own. Then, they'll adorn the piece with myriad colors, adding life with painted hues. In addition to birthday parties and events for children, the studio also offers adult-appropriate events such as ladies' night, with catering available and a BYOB policy.
Since 1997, ice skaters have gracefully glided beneath clear skies atop the shiny surface of the outdoor Westport PAL Rink at Longshore. Every night when the sun goes down, overhead lights flicker on around the boards to accommodate late-night triple axels and hockey games delayed by puck strikes. The rink’s instructors are each certified by the United States Figure Skating Association and offer group and private instruction in figure skating, hockey, or basic technique.
Dancing and parties go hand in hand, and at Studio 44 Dance and Fitness, that’s especially true. Inside the 2,100-square-foot downtown Westport studio, artistic director Sue Benton and her team of instructors, many of whom are professional dancers, lead students of all fitness levels through easy-to-follow dance and strength-training classes. During Dance 44 sessions, students move to swing, rock-n-roll, and R&B. Unique classes include Grooveology, which gets bodies moving and shaking during easy-to-follow routines that blend techniques from street jazz, hip-hop, modern, and lyrical dance.
And while Sue heads up the dance side of Studio 44, owner Candace McCarthy helms the events side, which transforms the modern studio into an elegant space for birthdays, weddings, and creative endeavors such as photo shoots and fashion shows. With years of event-planning experience under her party hat, Candace is on hand to assist with event preparations including coordinating floral arrangements, developing creative themes, and scheduling catering services. During these soirees, guests can take advantage of Studio 44’s 1,500-square-foot common area, as well as the spacious studio’s stereo system and dance floor.
The chief yoga instructors on a staff of dozens, Gina Norman and Stan Woodman aren’t your average couple—or even your average yoga studio owners. A world traveler with a longtime interest in mind-body work, Gina followed her path to Thailand, where she learned the local yoga practice, and then to India, where she studied up on vipassana meditation. Prior to opening Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Center, Stan was a snowboarding addict and decades-long yoga practitioner living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Today, the two strive to offer “a yoga for everyone,” with a lineup that includes smooth Vinyasa practice, disciplined Ashtanga poses, hot yoga in a 95-degree studio, and family-friendly fitness classes. After working up a sweat exercising or reciting Ulysses in one of the studio’s classes, students can take the heat off with soothing, natural spa services such as massages, body scrubs, and energy healing. With a long menu of pampering therapies, no aspect of the body leaves Kaia wanting for its own treatment, and the onsite vegetarian café’s baked goods, wraps, juices, and smoothies help guests with the other kind of bodily nourishment.
Each year, the banks of the Saugatuck River transform from a serene New England retreat to a raucous Southern street fair during the annual two-day Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. The syncopated chords of live blues performers waft through the air as visitors nosh on barbecue, jerk chicken, and other down-home favorites supplied by local eateries. Visitors can showcase their own culinary skills by helming grills during barbecue competitions, or highlight their stomachs’ capacity without undergoing embarrassing public x-rays during pie- and rib-eating contests. Carnival-style entertainment rounds out the festivities, ranging from a mechanical bull to inflatables for tots.