Step aside, bozo. On June 16, Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey opened a clown college for children 3 to 14 at Wannado City, an indoor amusement park in Sunrise, Fla., where kids can simulate professions such as pizza baker or crime investigator. Would-be clowns now can participate in activities ranging from stilt walking and juggling to slapstick and pantomime, included in the $7.95-$29.95 admission price to Wannado. In-depth clown lessons are saved for five-day camps starting on July 10 and July 24 ($300, www.wannadocity.com). Wannado opened in 2004 and has since seen at least 1.2 million visitors, says Rene Aziz, the chief executive. Aziz plans to open a similar park with a clown college in East Rutherford, N.J.
These new classical music products may strike a chord with fans. Fortuna Classical Music of San Diego has compiled 5,000 classical recordings into one digital catalog called the Cornerstone Collection. Fortuna co-founder Ross Stensrud was inspired after he saw how his father struggled to get information about classical works into his music player. Stensrud's solution? Music lovers send Fortuna their collection to be digitized and catalogued onto Fortuna's Maestro digital music player. The Cornerstone Collection and Maestro (including the digital transfer) can be bought together for $4,995 at fortunaclassical.com.
Music editor and critic Ted Libbey has compiled the NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music, with 1,500 entries on all things classical from Marian Anderson and Richard Wagner to an enlightening description of the glockenspiel. The price -- $19.95 in paperback and $29.95 for hardcover -- grants access to a companion Web site featuring more than 500 musical selections highlighted throughout the text. You can read about your favorite composer as you listen to the work.
With the debut of two spas in the Northeast, some people may be tempted to stay off the beach this summer. The Lodge at Woodloch, which opened June 26 in Hawley, Pa., on 75 wooded acres with a private lake, is the first new luxury destination spa in the region since Canyon Ranch came to Lenox, Mass., in 1989. Rates start at $575 per night (thelodgeatwoodloch.com). The other spa is an addition to the Mayflower Inn, a super-luxe hotel in Washington, Conn. A five-night spa stay starts at $6,700 per person (mayflowerinn.com).
This July 4 weekend will be wild indeed at the opening of the Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks in Tupper Lake, N.Y. The $25 million center features a river, populated by live animals such as otters and turtles, that runs through its 12,000-square-foot main hall. The July 4 WildFest will feature an outdoor pond stocking, tree plantings, and an interactive children's theater (wildcenter.org).