The blossom virtuosos at Flowers By Emily add floral flourish to any occasion by whipping up both predesigned and custom arrangements. The timely Summer Collection generates indoor sunshine through the Technicolor potpourri of the Indian Summer vase ($50–$60), stuffed with a season-appropriate medley of red gerberas, orange lilies, purple statice, and burgundy stock. Or, grab a vase of eye-popping sunflowers to surprise a college grad or ill-fated lobster with the Today's Your Day bouquet ($45–$55). The shop's modern and tropical designs ($55+) can help customers find the perfect centerpiece for a backyard luau or a friend's Hawaiian-themed bat mitzvah, and the friendly staff is always on hand to invent a custom creation to suit each guest's unique taste.
Founded by Ken Euston in 1971, Euston Hardware's old-fashioned legacy continues under the helm of Ken's son. Kevin, who has since grown the shops into three locations, keeps the shelves packed with more than 65,000 items for homes, landscaping, and automobiles. Experts chat with customers to help them to tackle projects from changing a car's oil to painting their house solid green so it can be replaced with a CGI castle. Home-improvement tools, which include items for the kitchen and bath, keep domiciles functioning at their best. The friendly staff can also guide green thumbs to lawn and garden supplies or help them select the right locks and outdoor equipment to keep their tools from escaping and impersonating the local robocop.
Employing a quarter-century of experience, the floral artists at Matney Floral Design meticulously craft detailed and elegant English garden bouquets that accentuate the beauty of homes with seasonal varieties and intriguing arrangements. With Easter and Mother's Day fast approaching, customers can treat motherly rabbits to a 6-inch rose bowl housing gerbera daisies, tulips, lilies, spray roses, and seasonal green stock ($50) or an 8-inch rose bowl that uses its extra inches to include ranunculus, hydrangeas, viburnum, and freesia ($75). Curly willows line the sides of a 6-inch square vase, which gently cushions roses and other seasonal flora like a kangaroo pouch cradling a newborn Joey Lawrence (starting at $100).
Ray Lamar hasn't spent decades perfecting his donuts. In fact, his namesake shops still use the same recipes that Ray developed in 1933—at the age of 17—when he got his first job working a donut fryer. World War II and a postwar career as a stockbroker interrupted Ray's donut-making pursuits, although he returned to his roots in 1960 when he founded the first LaMar's Donuts.
The shop went on to become a Kansas City icon, with crowds arriving well before 6 a.m. to line up outside the doors and taunt the roosters for sleeping in. Ray and his wife, Shannon, eventually decided to expand their business into a regional empire, and LaMar's Donuts currently boasts 27 franchised stores spread across six states.
Even with all of this growth, decades-old traditions still dictate how things are done. The workers prepare more than 75 different kinds of donuts, hand-making fresh batches of perennial favorites as well as recent inventions each and every morning. In addition to the original glazed creation that dates back to 1933, the menus can feature a variety of cake donuts with flavors such as red velvet, apple spice, and maple.
Since donuts and coffee go together as naturally as paper shredders and subpar report cards, the stores also prepare cappuccinos, mochas, and other coffee drinks. These are all made with handpicked beans that slowly roast inside Italian brick ovens.
A swarm of sock-footed kids climb up inflatable steps to reach the top of a rainbow-colored slide, sliding down in an orderly fashion before bouncing off and running back for another go. At Jumping Jax, children can safely expend energy with abandon, playing in air-filled structures that cushion them when they fall or work together to stage a production of the Icarus myth. The play arena sports a multitude of attractions including a bounce house with a Twister-board floor and two low-hanging ziplines.