As Akron/Canton’s only PADI 5-star instructor-development center, Atlantis Outfitters offers the highest quality of support, equipment, and training for scuba divers during its four-hour Discover Scuba Diving class. The shop’s skilled staff of veteran divers will begin with a short academic session and demonstration before securely strapping their aquatic apprentices into fins, a mask, and a snorkel. Once you plunge into the safe, typically shark-free confines of a local indoor pool, you’ll practice techniques for exploring a watery world of fish that got away, singing whales, cartoon octopi playing rib bones like marimbas, and glacier sweat. The diving class can also be applied toward your diver’s certification; speak with your instructor if you’re interested in mastering the art of scuba.
Beads'N More's bright, cheerful shop is bursting with beads and baubles of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Sparkling batches of crystals, gemstones, and imported, glass-worked beads invite an artistic eye to adopt them and set them loose upon a string that's set upon wrist or collarbone, catching the eyes of passersby and arousing the envy of dully colored mollusks. Single loose beads start as low as a penny and slide up to $10; finer items, such as elegant focal beads, range from $7 to $45. For the less bulky beading projects on your strung-along list, Beads'N More also carries vintage Czech seed beads sold by the hank for as little as $2.75. An array of tools and instructional books is also available.
According to a profile on IndeOnline.com, Cherry Street Creamery owner Lea Jackson practically has ice cream flowing through her veins. Born into a family of ice-cream entrepreneurs, Lea opened up shop in Canal Fulton in 1999 and customers have been flocking to her stand for their regular summer “kustard" fixes ever since. Made onsite from a secret family recipe, her kustard comes in four flavors, such as raspberry pomegranate and chocolate almond. Her friendly staff also scoops out 23 types of ice cream and serves up Chicago dogs, Coney dogs, hamburgers, nachos, and paninis to their hungry clientele. Cherry Street Creamery shuts its green shutters during the winter and is open from approximately March through the end of October, just like amusement parks and the sun.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
Sprawling across an indoor arena, Pump It Up's giant inflatables beckon kids to slide and bounce during private parties and open play. Technicolor bouncy castles send their inhabitants soaring, obstacle courses foster good-spirited competition, and ceiling-to-floor slides let sock-clad kiddies pretend they're escaping a giant gumball machine. Occasionally, Pump It Up's staff dims the lights and turns up the music to transform their facility into a glow-in-the-dark party catered to tweens and teens.
Pump It Up's staff supervises the arena during parties, giving parents time to relax and play patty-cake uninterrupted. They can also help customers design personalized parties inside a private room with options such as pizza, drinks, goodie bags, balloons, and ice cream.