Every box on HobbyTown's shelf?from model airplanes to a paint-by-numbers set?contains hours of do-it-yourself entertainment, promoting a fruitful use of free time. Kids study the magic of chemistry with science kits, and adults engineer model railroads complete with tunnels, engines, and delays. The selection of art supplies facilitate creative endeavors, such as painting, sculpting, and scrapbooking. The mix of collectible and active items?including remote-controlled cars, planes, boats, and helicopters?delights adults and children alike, inspires awe in neighbors, and incites envious glares from neglected televisions.
Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.
At The Paint Event, guests sip on wine as they follow along with an expert artist, recreating beautiful landscapes of autumn trees, quirky portraits of rain boots, and other predetermined themes. The upcoming calendar displays what the class will be painting, and students only need show up with a creative curiosity and any chosen beverages and snacks. Alternatively, students would rather paint an image of their own design, they can show up to one of the two-hour open studio sessions held twice a month.
Rounded archways and chandeliers decorate the interior of Wink Couture, a multicultural salon staffed by friendly stylists. Those stylists beautify all types of skin and hair with custom-tailored services. They purify skin with spa facials, apply flattering makeup, and update hairstyles with color or texture-altering treatments. Eyelash extensions are another specialty.
Pig-N-Whistle slathers savory barbecue sauce onto every slice of pork, chicken, and turkey on its menu and hickory-smokes them inside an on-site smoker. Cheer up lonely taste buds with a chopped barbecue-shoulder sandwich nestled in a toasted bun, topped with barbecue sauce, and holding hands with cole slaw ($3.99). The full slab of ribs for one ($16.99) silences the stomach's growls and snarky TV recaps and is served with two sides, such as fried okra or barbecue baked beans. Finish the feast with Pig-N-Whistle's signature hot cobbler with ice cream, whose mingling of gooey warmth and freezing cold creates a mist thick enough to hide its eater from the searching eyes of implacable mall survey-takers.