A childhood charm bracelet. A necklace for prom. A pair of earrings to wear on your wedding day. Since 1968, the accessorizing experts at Beads ‘N Things have been crafting inimitable jewelry to model during life’s many occasions. When taking over the full-service bead shop in 1984, the current owners began cementing their reputation as a reliable source for beading advice. They regularly unveil the tricks of the trade to visitors during private lessons, group classes, and casual conversations at the counter.
At Beads ‘N Things, arts-and-crafters can find all the supplies needed to string together their own unique accessories. The shop's display cases and racks brim with pendants, freshwater pearls, and beads carved out of almost every material imaginable, including metals, bone, semiprecious stones, and hand-cut Czech glass. Fully equipped kits and learning materials inspire amateur and experienced artisans alike to pursue various beading projects. Finished pieces of jewelry hang on display, and guests hoping for more personalized trimmings can commission custom items. The staff also repairs cherished possessions, carefully restringing tattered strands and replacing missing parts.
The Ravioli Shop's founder, Bill Kenney, feels so much pride in his store’s fresh-made products that if he notices a customer holding an odd pairing of ravioli and sauce, he’ll tactfully and enthusiastically suggest a swap. The rest of the team demonstrates the same dedication to furnishing excellent meals, guiding patrons through a dozen ravioli varieties and five regular sauces with personal advice, a handy online chart, and the ability to decipher the true desires of growling stomachs.
Staffers might recommend pairing their seasonal pumpkin ravioli with a sage and brown-butter sauce or perhaps their decadent lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce made with slow-pasteurized cream from a local dairy. In addition to pasta, the staff also bakes fresh bread daily, crafting semolina loaves, baguettes, and six varieties of focaccia early each morning. All ravioli, sauces, and breads are made from scratch, with 100% durum flour and fresh eggs infusing each sheet of pasta and roasted veggies and fresh-ground cheeses providing soft pockets of filling.
The staff at Valenti Sports emblazons the uniforms and off-court garb of more than 400 local teams with their respective logos, names, and numbers. They also help guests to navigate a 9,000-square-foot haven loaded with sports gear from big names such as Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas. Their shelves boast more shoes than an octopus's swim-in closet with more than 600 styles of footwear, including 130 types of cleats, turf shoes, and flats.
Beyond stocking goods for baseball, football, basketball, and soccer players, the shop also celebrates the lesser-known sport of pickleball. The wiffle-ball-and-paddle-fueled pastime gets spotlight treatment inside and outside the store, with an onsite court available for test-driving products or testing hand-eye coordination for upcoming Whac-A-Mole championships.
Drawing on Hallmark's deep well of cards, inscribed with charming well wishes and humorous missives, Lisa's Hallmark's three shops assist customers with enveloped correspondences. Sorted by occasion, Lisa’s extensive selection of cards covers a wide range of expression, such as condolences for a loved one, congratulations for a graduate, and gratitude for a fellow bank robber. The shops also feature a range of gifts, including candles, picture frames, and plush animals, to sweeten the card-giving experience.
Stretching across five acres of farmland, this year’s Country Way Corn Maze layout is skulled and crossboned with a pirate theme and treats labyrinth lovers to fascinating trivia about notable piracy practitioners. Adding puzzles within puzzles to the curving corridors of cob are the rubbing stations that families must use to decode the maze’s secret word. Since the maze’s route can be as convoluted and nonsensical as the plots of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, numerous Maize-o-Vision stations give the hopelessly shipwrecked a crow's nest from which they can seek a path back to dry land. A separate mini-maze leads the youngest visitors to stations that teach about farm animals instead.
A multifaceted three-floor retail emporium, Williamson Hardware boasts an array of tools, fuels, décor, and accessories to help customers achieve maximum home and yard enjoyment. The selection of hardware includes light bulbs ($1.99–$24.99), hammers ($4.99–$36.99), tape rulers ($4.99–$24.99), and other gadgetry useful for everyday projects from building Rube Goldberg devices to constructing life-sized statues of Rube Goldberg. Williamson Hardware also features an extensive heating and stove department stocked with stove parts and fireplace accessories, as well as a country cellar trimmed with all the tents, grills, hammocks, and outdoor gear necessary for cooking out, camping, or napping under the watchful gaze of kindly elm trees.