Since 1950, Gale’s Garden Center has spruced up local gardens with a variety of greenery, garden tools, and lawn décor. Every spring, their nursery overflows with locally grown yellow forsythia shrubs and pale pink weeping cherry trees. After entering, you can find helpful staff members scattered among the hydrangeas and fruit trees; they're ready to answer any questions about spring gardening for cool-weather plants. The store strives to stay up to date with the latest gardening wares. Organic lawn-care products keep lawns lush without using harsh toxins, and native plants become low-maintenance housing for birds, butterflies, and migratory lawn gnomes.
For more than 60 years, Bloom Bros. Supply has helped patrons tackle a slew of refurbishment projects with its expansive inventory of home-improvement supplies. For a better salsa-dance partner, fixer-uppers can utilize the inventory of power tools ($21+) and nails ($2+/lb.) to attach wooden limbs to a new broom or mop ($5–$15). Customers can treat thirsty friends to a half-full glass of water from a brand-new faucet ($12+) and thirsty enemies to a painting of a faucet brushed onto a wall with the store’s large collection of paints ($11+/gal.). The knowledgeable staff at Bloom Bros. Supply can also repair windows and screens, custom fit pipes, and re-key locks.
Since 1983, families have spent their holidays around the television, watching A Christmas Story and joining in the triumphs and failures of 9-year-old Ralphie as he struggles to secure a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa's bag. Although the cult-classic film showed Ralphie living in Indiana, the house in which the movie took place rests in Cleveland—and is now a museum. When MSNBC interviewed lifelong fan and A Christmas Story House & Museum owner Brian Jones, they profiled the story of how he found the house on eBay and jumped at the chance to own it. Today, he’s turned it into a year-round place of pilgrimage for fans and the site of an occasionally-held convention for Ralphies.
Jones’s restoration has returned rooms to exactly how they were in the film, letting guests gaze at the tinsel-strewn tree with its star falling off and explore the bathroom where Ralphie’s mouth was washed out with soap—a time-tested method for cavity prevention. Visitors can even attempt to hide like little Randy in the cabinet under the sink. After seeing the backyard that still houses the original shed, where Ralphie defended his family against Black Bart, fans head across the street to the A Christmas Story House & Museum. Here, original props such as the toys from the Higbee’s department-store window, Randy’s snowsuit, and Miss Shields’s classroom chalkboard join other memorabilia and hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos. Before leaving, guests drop into the gift shop to pick up a leg lamp just like the one Ralphie's old man cherished so dearly.
Robert N. Foster started WonderGro, Inc. with the sole mission of feeding hungry lawns, but thanks to client demand, he quickly expanded his horticultural buffet to include meals for trees, shrubs, and impoverished wood nymphs. WonderGro now offers a full selection of lawn-care and landscaping services, from weekly grass cutting to retaining-wall installation, irrigation systems, and other outdoor-design tasks. His permanent crew of experienced landscapers embraces the use of organic fertilizer products and helps homeowners maintain their yards' vitality throughout the seasons and whenever deer take over the world.