For almost 40 years, the instructors and staff of Dip 'N Dive have demystified the magic of breathing underwater. They instruct and outfit both scuba divers and snorkelers at their Buffalo location, and the facility's curriculum of PADI and NAUI courses help budding divers stay safe, maintain control of their equipment, and walk like Naomi Campbell while wearing fins. From beginning diving lessons to advanced instructor training, courses include classroom work, pool exercises, and real open-water-diving trips.
As any parent knows, shopping for sporting gear is a relaxing experience that always ends with a toasty mug of hot cocoa enjoyed in front of a cozy fireplace. At least, it does at WNY Skater's Paradise. Kids and adults shop for new and used skates and skate wear from such brands as Del Arbour, Chloe Noel, and Mondor while sipping complimentary beverages such as sodas, flavored coffees, and hot tea. While guests curl up on leather couches to watch a movie by the shop's fireplace, expert skate sharpeners better blades with a custom-sharpening process that begins with a multipoint inspection and includes multiple measurements to ensure each edge is sharpened to suit the skater's size, skating style, and penchant for slicing steak with their feet. Other custom services include crystal application for skating dresses and embroidering services, which emblazon gear with each future gold medalist's name.
A kaleidoscopic array of beads fills cubbyholes, jars, and drawers that line the walls at The Bead Gallery. Experienced staff members greet guests and guide them through a labyrinth of jewelry-making supplies available in a variety of colors and textures, such as Czech seed beads, vintage lucite beads, and marbles with inferiority complexes. In addition to helping visitors locate necessary provisions, they eagerly offer step-by-step advice for any DIY beading projects. Novice crafters can also join classes to learn techniques such as knotting pearls, crafting double-wrapped bracelets, and hand-making Swarovski crystal bead earrings. The Bead Gallery even hosts beading parties, which enable both kids and adults to soak up the expertise of a skilled staff member before creating glittering baubles to take home.
For more than two decades, American Beauties Florist has been hand-selecting arrangements of floral buds to decorate homes and bestow upon loved ones. The full-service florist includes a garden center and whips up thoughtful gifts for significant others, from Lovely Lilies, stargazer lilies in a glass cylinder vase ($45), to Sweet Moments, a white basket overflowing with white roses, purple alstroemeria, lavender waxflowers, and eucalyptus ($47.95). Those who prefer greener packages can have a staring contest with the Serene Retreat, a colorful amalgamation of white hypoestes, green dieffenbachia, spathiphyllum, ficus, and boston fern in a clay dish ($47.95).
Founded in 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee, by the eponymous Sam Ross, Fantastic Sams is a family-friendly salon geared toward quality. Today, the brand spans more than 1,200 locations, employing a legion of experienced stylists as they wage wars on bedhead and uneven bangs. Wielding shampoos and conditioners crafted with provitamins and soy proteins, the staff offers services such as haircuts, color treatments, and straightening treatments.
Bright Right 4 U is solely dedicated to whitening smiles with FDA-approved treatments that can be administered in the office or taken home in the form of whitening kits. Professional mouth maestros apply a specially formulated gel to teeth before an LED lamp works its magic, turning each molar as pristinely white as a baby marshmallow.