Playthings Etc. displays a huge selection of more than 3,000 toys, games, and hobby items inside a futuristic store shaped like a life-size stealth bomber. Playful staffers aboard the ship demonstrate pogo sticks ($40+), rockets, and unicycles as customers explore shelf after shelf of games and goodies. The Dance Charades game ($19.99) by Milliwik challenges players to turn their clues into dance moves set to music. Kids take down arch nemeses with the ZX Crossbow ($29.99) by Zing Toys, with suction-cupped arrows that can carry love notes to the exterior of an upstairs bedroom window. Perplexus Puzzles ($19.99–$29.99) by PlaSmart prepare children for the real-life challenge of finding a spot in a parking garage by maneuvering a small metal ball through a 3-D maze. The store also carries an assortment of frisbee golf disks ($7–$20).
Formerly a private course for more than 50 years, Oakview Golf Club now welcomes the public to take on its lengthy, 6,098-yard layout. The course nestled in Butler County features immaculate bentgrass fairways that veer through tree lines of a dense forest. The golf course demands that golfers not only demonstrate distance and control but also the ability to look both ways when crossing the street in search of a wayward tee shot or a pet headcover that has run away. The club's strong membership base keeps greens buzzing with local loyalists well into the season.
Course at a Glance:
While vacationing in Ocean City, Maryland, the future founders of The Board discovered standup paddleboarding. Inspired by this easy means of exploring watery avenues, they took the idea and ran with it, setting up shop in the inland town of Beaver Falls in 2010. It was there that they sculpted and sanded their own brand of wooden paddleboards and made them available for buyers and renters. They also stock epoxy and inflatable boards that customers can use to skim western Pennsylvania's flat-water rivers or paddle the Great Lakes. Customers can also procure wakeboards, kneeboards, and kayaks to propel themselves down waterways or Paul Bunyan-sized bathtubs. In addition, on-land travelers can ogle new and used skateboards, which dangle from the shop walls and a variety of wheels and hardware filling its display cases.
In the distance, the thump of discharged weapons can be heard. Spires of a castle loom over the tree tops, and as the platoon approaches, a hail of fire fells three of them. As those hit trudge off the field and wipe the paint from their goggles, the rest of their team makes a hasty retreat only to assault the position from a different angle. These tense moments occur daily at Three Rivers Paintball. More than 70 acres of wooded battlefield sports crashed airplanes, broken down tanks, and large-scale fortresses. The staff also hosts airsoft battles, with scenarios reenacting battles from history such as World War II or Napoleon's thumb wars. A full-service pro shop carries traditional paintball equipment needed to wage nonlethal war.
The knowledgeable luminaries at Platinum Lighting Concepts help visitors navigate a wealth of lamps, chandeliers, mirrors, and home accessories. The lighting boutique carries creations by a range of designers that include Hinkley, Kichler, and Kenroy Home. Lamps by Meyda Tiffany ($37.50+) or a bronze table light by Kenroy International ($85) brighten rooms more elegantly than a lightning-bug butler. Chandeliers ($52.50+) range from Hinkley's five-light bronze up chandelier ($437.80) to the graceful lines of a three-light chrome fixture with a satin platinum finish ($174.38). Pendant lights ($17.60+) hang over bars or illuminate bow-tie collections, and sconces ($13.75+) cling to walls. A range of ceiling fans, clocks, and mirrors allows homeowners to add a unique flourish to domiciles.
G&G Fitness caters to both bodybuilding buffs and amateurs wishing to enhance their earthly edifices at home with a range of premium equipment, including such notable brands as Life Fitness, Octane Fitness, and Precor. As trained physique formers, G&G's friendly staff members easily hunt and lasso the ideal muscle-molding or heart-strengthening apparatus for each individual customer's specific needs. Avoid outdoor biking's headaches of potholes and projectile burritos by staying indoors on an immobile Vision Fitness E1500 ($499), an upright exercise bike that offers a comfort arc seat, contact heart-rate sensors, and easy-to-adjust pedal straps. Elliptical machines ($799+) and treadmills ($1,495+), offer great ways to calibrate cardiovascular chronometers any time of the day or night. For muscle-sculpting, home-gym systems (starting at $1,299)—which combine benches, pulley systems, and weight stacks in one space-saving package—give exercisers a way to bolster biceps and strengthen solar plexuses without having to traverse crowded gym floors.