At Calamari's Sushi & More, chefs craft delicious rolls from fresh ingredients and special sauces. Dishes range from the Princess Roll with avocado, tuna, and lump crabmeat to the Ventura Roll, which combines bacon, shrimp, and avocado over an ocean salad. Chefs also craft inventive plates such as the Nightmare Plate, which challenges the definition of the word “nightmare” with a dreamy concoction of red snapper, salmon, crab stick tempura, scallions, cucumbers, and carrots served over rice with specialty sauces. The menu also includes party trays with crowd-pleasing portions of the menu's signature items.
Country Boy's Garden Center, equipping green thumbs with gardening supplies for more than 25 years, commemorates the fall season with an autumnal collection of outdoor and indoor foliage, largely sourced from local growers within a 60-mile radius. Gardeners can complement gushing lawn fountains and pools filled with pirate treasure by planting 8-inch ($6.59–$6.99) and 12-inch ($17.99–$19.99) chrysanthemums, which bloom for six to eight weeks during both fall and spring and infuse flower beds with seasonal colors such as red, pink, and lavender. Eyes comb through more than 70 varieties of pansies, including pansy packs ($2.59) and the aptly named Plentifall pansies ($2.99) that spread up to 18 inches. Meanwhile, the orange hue of pumpkins ($0.49/lb.) sparks memories of jack-o'-lantern carving, and a year-round Christmas shop unveils luminous holiday trees, nativity scenes, and poinsettias. Knowledgeable staffers sprout out of their pots to help visitors navigate through all the greenhouse's shelves and colorful hanging baskets. Before visiting the store, customers can browse the garden center's online plant-care guide for tips on picking colors and prepping soil for its new tenants.
The flittering notes of flutes pipe through the doors of Musical Innovations, followed by the deep plucking of a string bass as novice musicians studiously master their instrument of choice. Students can try their hands at woodwinds, horns, percussion, and stringed instruments, renting music-making equipment from the shop if necessary. Led by accomplished musician and educational advocate Tracy Leenman, each one of the shop's employees holds a degree in music, and thus can yodel Beethoven's Ninth Symphony while leading shoppers through an inventory of sheet music and instruments that range from beginner models to professional quality, including custom flutes and specialty strings. Home-school programs take musical instruction on the road, and in-shop summer camp programs keep youngsters from practicing archery with violin bows.
HandPicked's bauble boutiques brandish original, elegant adornments and sterling-silver jewelry handcrafted by artisans from around the world. HandPicked originals such as the Tiny Twinklers studs ($12) grant wishes for lonely lobes, and bare wrists find themselves encased in the turquoise globes of the For The Nurturing Center bracelet ($32), which pleases its parents by donating a percentage of proceeds to its namesake, a local therapeutic treatment center for child abuse.
Let's Dance's dedicated team of instructors boasts a remarkable breadth of professional-dance accolades, including being voted Best Dance Studio by The Greenville News in 2010 and 2011. From a finalist appearance on So You Think You Can Dance to years of Broadway touring, the team shares a wealth of experience in a wide range of disciplines—ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern, to name a few. At their spacious studio, they call upon shared wisdom and passion to develop pint-sized dancers into stars like themselves. Each of their studio’s dance rooms is outfitted with a one-way glass observation window, which gives parents the chance to watch their budding performers spin, twirl, or interrogate uncooperative tap shoes. Costumes and music lend an air of age-appropriate elegance or whimsy to the proceedings, and raised Marley dance surfaces reduce the chance of slippage or injury.