Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.
Southerland Station has always nurtured budding creativity. Founded in 1958 as a blueprint- and drafting-supply store, the shop has since grown in size and scope, gearing its inventory of imagination fuel—which now numbers 40,000 different items—toward a younger audience. Oil paints and canvases offer outlets for artistic talents, which can also be honed in one of the shop’s art classes. Lego sets and model trains appeal to both the imaginative and the literal-minded, replicating reality through brightly colored bricks or 1:220 scale trains that are accurate down to their Union Pacific livery. And, though it now represents a smaller portion of the business, the drafting-supplies section is still there, giving mechanically inclined kids materials for blueprinting their next treehouse or battery of anti-cooties missiles.
Ron Hogan Stained Glass Design Center preserves Old-World artistry and educates students on contemporary processes in classes devoted to the craft of building custom stained-glass pieces. During each three-hour sun-catcher class, the studio's dedicated professionals unveil tips for selecting, cutting, and soldering glass. Students wield the provided tools to assemble colorful pieces of glass into light-capturing traps capable of plunging the Earth into darkness.
H&H Home and Truck Accessory Centers decks out trucks with attractive parts for both maintenance and flair, while luxuriating homes in leisure-inducing add-ons. Brand-name truck products include sun subduing window visors (from $49.99) as well as bed mats for pick-ups (from $79.99). Make a modest auto out of an underdressed Chevy or Ford with a protective tonneau cover (from $299.99). A selection of truck toolboxes from brands like Weather Guard and United Welding Supply grants tool slingers extra space to stuff favorite construction components. Inside the home, games of billiards improve after guests replace fire pokers and bent-wire hangers with name-brand cue sticks and racks (from $19.99).
Thousands of dragons glitter and glimmer within the Dragon Dreams Museum. So many, in fact, that the museum owner is working on her entry in the Guinness Word Records book for—you guessed it—the biggest collection of dragons on earth. One-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted figurines made from silver, jade, and ivory highlight the expansive collection. The on-site gift shop can help you start your own collection as well as purchase other items such as jewelry, magnets, ornaments, and posters.
At The Book Gallery's two Nashville-area locations, savvy staff members point readers toward fiction, comics, and nonfiction titles available in hardcover and paperback at discounted prices. Thousands of kids' and young-adult fiction selections provide more educational entertainment for moppets than playing video games or rearranging PB&J sandwiches into alphabetical order.