Owners Nancy Renick and Ellen Durand escort whippersnappers of all ages through Village Toy Company's trove of specialty diversion tools, including stuffed toys, do-it-yourself craft and science kits, sports equipment, and board games. Kids gussy up a plush dog in a spa mask, a tutu, and a rhinestone collar with the Creativity For Kids puppy spa before coloring in the included stickers and interviewing the pageant-ready pooch on trending political issues ($20.99). Youngsters can safely hone spirals with soft Poof footballs ($8.99–$12.99) or string together homemade jewelry with a Melissa & Doug Create-A-Craft bead kit ($4.99). The award-winning board game Bananagrams ($14.99) pits wordsmiths against each other and the clock as they build a grid of intersecting text tidbits, which invariably spells out the entire script of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. Village Toy Company's staff happily advises guests on personalized gift ideas and can etch containers with custom names and drawings on-site.
Founded by two wilderness guides in 1992, Moosejaw has merged an Everest-sized variety of top-flight outdoor goods with thoughtful, friendly service, leading CityVoters to name the retailer the Best Outdoor Apparel store for two years running. Beloved brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hard Wear, Marmot, and Arc'teryx decorate the walls, and Moosejaw's own product line has fanatics worldwide. Outfit a summer surfing trip with some funky boardshorts ($19.99–$59) and some Hyperflex Mesh gloves ($23.95) to ensure maximum tread when open-face slapping disorderly waves. There's an extensive array of footwear to pacify and protect your lower paws. Lace haters and hip Dutch tulip farmers can slip on the snug Merrell clogs ($70). Moosejaw's glut of gear covers a wide range of activities, from snowboarding and rock climbing to indoor sunglassing and extreme strollering.
Village Wine Shop, in business for more than 60 years, culls together hundreds of varietals from around the globe, augmented by sundry liquors and craft beers. Wines of all hues and tastes await aficionados along the venue’s walls and in aisles of crates that line the oblong, wood-floored shop. Every other Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., patrons file into the store for a free tasting and a chance to get a bottle of wine’s signature on a copy of The Grapes of Wrath.
For more than 25 years, Windsor Pure & Clean H2O to Go has furnished homes with water that is more than 99 per cent free of contaminants. Each staff member is certified by the Water Quality Association, which holds them to an esteemed level of water knowledge, ethics, and goldfish vocabulary. Dispensers loaded with delivered 5-gallon bottles fill glasses from any location; under-sink systems keep kitchens flowing with clean, tasty water for sipping and cooking alike. For a full house of impeccable agua, ceramic filters—created in partnership with 3M—protect home plumbing systems from iron deposits and toothbrush escapees.
With two locations spanning 8,500 square feet of floor space, there's no telling how many gems are hidden within Second Glance's consignment stores. Staff stock each shop's shelves with lightly used men's, women's, and kids' clothing, furniture, baby necessities, electronics, and household items to curate an affordable selection of goods, with hundreds of new items arriving each day. And, because they specialize in children's items, the shop will gladly pay cash for freshly laundered and gently used kids' stuff, including toys, provided they have working batteries and aren't haunted.
Whether you're wrapping a rectangle around your favorite still-shot or hunting for a specific tool or tint, Rainy Day's friendly, enthusiastic staff will happily assist in your artistic endeavors. The shop carries anything from Fun with Rock Painting kits ($9.95) to the Unemployed Philosophers Guild's Obamarama magnetic dress-up playsets ($12.99), as well as essentials for the established or aspiring artist, such as Prismacolor pencils ($19.31 for set of 12) and Crayola Ultimate Art Supplies sets ($21.19). On the custom framing side, the resident framesperts are equipped with a bounty of beautiful and inventive frames for a wide range of sizes. Though the pricing for elements varies just as much as their framed-in contents, framing averages around $15 to $25 per foot and around $145 total, depending on the glass, matting, and other options.