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.
"Torture chambers"—that's what Bikram Yoga's founder Bikram Choudhury calls his yoga studios. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures as Bikram shouts: "Lock the knee!" "Lock the knee!" at someone who isn't quite into the desired position.It might sound unpleasant, but Choudhury believes that if you follow his instructions, which are passed on to each Bikram yoga teacher at the various franchises located around the world, you'll "live a better, healthier and more peaceful life.”The yoga guru, who was born in 1946, has strived to live such a life since he was a little boy in India. At the age of 4, after giving up dreams of being a robot, he started practicing yoga with India's most renowned physical culturalist at the time. At the age of 13, he won the National India Yoga Championship and went undefeated for the next three years before retiring as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.However, when Choudhury was 17, his life took a terrible turn. He severely injured his knee during a weight-lifting accident and was told he would never walk again. Ignoring the doctors, he turned to his old yoga teacher, and within six months, his knee was totally recovered. That's when he realized how effectively yoga could heal the body, and he decided to develop his Bikram method.Bikram is a form of Hatha yoga that is taught in specialized studios throughout the world. The studios are always set at 105 degrees, which helps the body flow through the 26 Bikram postures effectively. The studios can be found everywhere from the United States to South Africa to Antarctica's vast polar bear caves.
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.