At TG Farms Pumpkin Patch, autumn’s shifting breezes not only herald a fresh crop of gourds, but also the start of the farm’s annual festivities. From morning until nightfall, families traipse through the patch in search of a pumpkin that will transform into their dream jack-o’-lantern or a car for their children to take to college, and navigate the twists and turns of a massive corn maze. On a calm pond, ducks await generous handfuls of feed, and a petting zoo lets wee ones commune with calves and goats. Back under a roof, the gift shop hosts decorative gourds, straw bales, and other fall decor.
Although autumn is the season when activity reaches a fever pitch, TG Farms is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. In spring, visitors learn how crops grow in the fields and flowers bloom in greenhouses. When the sun strengthens into summer, farmers peddle homegrown tomatoes and juicy watermelon. And in winter, when the last leaves have frozen over, families can pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree or collect a jar of fresh snowman tears.
Learn To Brew was created by a professional brewer in an effort to provide patrons with a one-stop-shop for supplies, hands-on classes, and how-to videos for crafting beer and wine. In addition to taps and kegerators for homes or businesses, staff members stock ingredients such as hops, malts, and yeasts. In their classes, they cover everything from balancing acids for wine to fermenting honey for mead.
Classes at L & B are fun and friendly get-togethers that take place on Saturdays, either from 10 a.m. to noon or from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. They're announced every few weeks (check online or call ahead to learn about class availability) and include techniques for creating everything from a felted spectacle case to a linen-stitch scarf. Hobnob with like-minded stitchianados and feel like part of a special secret knitting society whose black robes are perfectly even around the edges and mostly made with stockinette stitch. If purls keep tangling your needles into a series of incomprehensible sigils, the kind and steady hands of L & B's staff will help sort out the mess and teach you how to avoid it in the future.
One of the country’s largest independent paint dealers, Spectrum Paint furnishes contractors, Fortune 500 companies, and homeowners with a vast variety of paints, stains, and specialty wall coatings from respected brands. A gallon of pastel PPG Pittsburgh Paints WallHide Ceramic ($24.28) decks nursery walls in stain-resistant hues, and 1-inch FrogTape ($7.97) protects windowsills with the music of hundreds of croaking amphibians. A wistful 2.5-inch AllPro Mako poly/nylon paintbrush ($7.97) dreams of the day it will dip its bristles into the nearby PPG Pittsburgh Paints sample quarts ($6.79). The absorbent AllPro 3/4-inch Gold Pro roller cover ($5.69) ensures the even, universal application of paint to walls, cabinets, or reprints of the Mona Lisa. The shop's staff provides excellent service, aiding customers in product selection and answering questions.
Sage Premium Denim Bar's fashion-forward staff helps visitors to conceal their bareness with a unique collection of trendy, everyday boutique wear from brand-name manufacturers such as Miss Me, Twisted X, and LA Idol. Sage's wide selection of boots presents kicks for both men and women and rotates often––like the Mona Lisa's facial expression. Slip into a pair of Lane Boots ($125–$500) that stylishly fortify feet and support the company's philanthropic mission to benefit schools. Boots by Corral pride themselves on their durability ($175–$250), and boots by Ariat are designed for competitive horseback riders and mechanical-bull wranglers ($145¬–$219 for men's).
There are no cookie-cutter tables or dressers at 405 Imports. The husband-and-wife team that runs it specializes in finding distinctive pieces of furniture, art, and pottery. Many of the pieces bear the signature look of reclaimed items, which can imbue rooms with vintage charm or convince the neighbors that the time machine in the garage actually works. Other items feature repurposed wood and leather. With a main showroom as well as a fully stocked warehouse that opens to the public on the weekends, shoppers can always find an ever-changing selection of credenzas, end tables, armchairs, cabinets, dressers, and lamps.