At each of Ace Hardware’s 4,600 locations around the world, attentive and knowledgeable associates oversee well-stocked shelves bearing domestic tools ranging from nuts and bolts to home goods and automotive supplies. As shoppers search for the right supplies to help with common projects such as finishing a basement or turning a mailbox into a working beehive, the shop’s hardware experts stand ready to dispense professional advice whenever it’s needed. They also deliver professional services—such as mower-blade sharpening, key cutting, and propane-tank refilling—that require more than just DIY oomph.
Roberts tends a stylish stable of furnishings from brand names such as Ashley Furniture and Crown Mark to staff living rooms, dining dens, and bedchambers. A tasteful array of cheval floor mirrors ($99+) and table lamps ($49+) distract visitors from the fact that your coasters are made out of overdue library books. Living-room and bedroom sets (both $699+) are well matched by Roberts' empire of ottomans. For a fee, same-day delivery can expedite your laptop's metamorphosis into the desktop PC it was always meant to be.
Patrick's Hardware has stocked toolbelts and tool boxes with a variety of hardware needs since 1895, drawing from a stock of more than 65,000 items. A variety of handsaws ($6.27–$23.90) cut through wooden planks and frozen turkeys, which can be carved into presidential silhouettes with a Mintcraft chisel with a safety grip ($14.65). Lawn-care and outdoor-living tools make wilderness maintenance easier, and farm supplies keep cows and crops happy. Prepare a room for a new family addition with an emotional heart-to-heart or a panoply of paints, such as Valspar flat wall latex paint ($12.59/qt.). A plethora of nails, screws, and bolts await purchase in the shop's bulk inventory, allowing buyers to select the exact size and quantity they need. Patrick's Hardware also hosts a full-service glass shop, which supplies mirrors, tabletops, insulated glass, and more for residential or commercial remodeling.
HomeBrew USA sets soon-to-be brewmasters on a path to filling up kegs and bottles with homemade concoctions, outfitting frothy-art aficionados with all the necessary apparatuses to get started. An ideal Father's Day gift for craft-brew-crazy dads, a comprehensive homebrewing equipment kit should contain all the necessary hardware for fermenting, bottling, and capping, including buckets, siphon, airlock, hydrometer, and a security system that loudly plays "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" to ward off intruders. For a simple-yet-effective setup, the Bare Bones kit employs single-stage fermentation, in which brewing and bottling are done in the same vessel ($49.99), and the Basic bundle boosts brewers to the next level with an extra bottling vessel for clearer beer and easier carbonation, plus a bottle filter, brush, and cleaner ($96.99). More proactive beer-makers can pick up the Plus package, which sports a complete dual-fermentation system, using two buckets and a five-gallon glass carboy for a multi-stage process that reduces yeast sediment and creates clearer beer ($160).
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $2.2 million to charitable organizations.
Every fall, as the leaves turn orange and the air becomes crisp, owners David and Patricia Hand open up a portion of their operating farm to the general public. Aptly named the Green Hand Farm Park, the agricultural attraction features an 8-acre corn maze that challenges families, students, and office groups to work together to find their way out. The labyrinth takes on a new theme each year?such as a salute to the American soldier?and incorporates facts and clues. As maze participants interrogate corn stalks for directions, hayrides journey to a pumpkin patch and young visitors leap and bound over bales of hay. At night, campfires spring to life for cooking hot dogs and s'mores. Aside from these attractions, there is a farm market to lure visitors.