The rich soil of Walnut Grove Farm—tilled throughout more than 150 years and four generations—sprouts with flowers, shrubs, and trees sold in an eponymous onsite nursery. Arched greenhouses plant their pillars in the grounds' northwest corner, where they shelter shrubs such as boxwoods and holly, annuals such as petunias, mums, and pansies, and more than 80 fragrant perennials. Mulches chipped from hardwoods and cypress join peat moss and compost to blanket exposed roots, and a Gardener's General Store stocks country essentials ranging from grass seed to locally laid eggs. Walnut Grove's green-thumbed experts also emerge beyond the nursery walls to beautify lawns with landscape designs and routine maintenance such as edging, weed control, and flamingo herding.
Willis Music’s staff of dedicated musicians taps into the shop's century in business to guide fellow melody makers of all levels among more than 3,000 instruments and a jungle of accessories. Though in-store stock may vary, patrons can peruse racks for catalog items such as a Planet Waves chromatic headstock tuner, which dials in string tension using vibration ($39.99), or they can pacify rampaging folk singers with strums on a ukulele ($37.50+). A Peavey bass amp ($99.99) gives modern and vintage voice to bass guitars, and metal-encased DigiTech effects pedals ($49.99) awaken drowsy ears with four roaring styles of distortion. Customers can beat out rhythms on the skin of a Toca street djembe ($49.90) or browse various other African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Irish hand drums captured, tamed, and refurbished by independent craftspeople.
Even if you think you know what you want going into Fuzziwig's Candy Factory, you might find yourself lingering over the store's other selections. Everywhere you look, round dispensers teem with Jelly Belly jellybeans, gummy candies, and M&M's. Tubs of Tootsie Rolls, and Pixy Stix fill the floors, and fresh-made fudge and gourmet caramel apples line display cases. There’s also old fashioned and one-of-a-kind sodas to quench thirsts, toy bubblegum machines to fill goody bags, and PEZ dispensers to teach children about intellectual-property licensing. All of these items, along with a selection of Hello Kitty, TY, and Ganz toys, make excellent holiday gifts, stocking stuffers, or snacks for shopping marathons.
The Uncommon Art Shop’s vast selection of eclectic art, household accouterments, jewelry, and novelty gift items enliven the walls, closets, and drawers of art-loving homes. Increase your chances of getting hitched by proposing to all of your dinner guests with Diamond Ring Napkin Holders ($22.50 for a set of 4), or use the cell-phone flask ($23) to cleverly hide spirits, such as the ghost of Alexander Graham Bell. Kids’ food-handling items such as the Air Fork One ($12) let kids man their first flight of food, and the U is for Unicorn ($55) painting help tots master the 23 letters of the alphabet. The Uncommon Art Shop is an equal-opportunity exposer of art and welcomes kids and dogs to roam the store with any adults they happen to bring along.
Intoxicated Chocolates founders Jeffery Rogers and Candace Mills created their business concept over evening drinks. The duo regularly attended social functions around town, and Candace, a dessert connoisseur, would pair their libations with a sweet dish that truly complimented the flavor. Before long, the two merged the two ideas, and began creating chocolates infused with a bevy of adult beverages. Their chocolatey creations bear such flavors as bourbon, scotch, amaretto, brandy, cognac, and a variety of beers. Chocolates come in small 6-count sizes, ideal for sharing during cozy weekday nights at home, and 24-count sizes, perfect for party hosts who forgot they don't own drink glasses.
Happy Hounds' firm no-leash policy lets dogs bound around play spaces unfettered, taking full advantage of the fully insured company's 3,000-square-foot facility. Dogs get exercise outdoors and indoors, climbing over and through agility obstacles as attentive staff members look on. Much like elementary-school students or new employees, dogs are separated into playgroups according to temperament, play style, and knowledge of multiplication tables. These like-minded dogs also bunk down together in slumber-party-style sleeping areas, where they snooze on fleece bedding, drift off to classical music, or stay up late playing truth or dare, their safety ensured by around-the-clock staff.