For more than a century, Ring's End has put quality home improvement products in the hands of homeowners and contractors. A Stanley FatMax level ($30.99) ensures all paintings and ouija boards are hung correctly, and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Regal Classic paint ($40.19) creates a vibrant new hue on staid interior walls. Fiberon composite decking ($2.95+/ft.) helps to craft sturdy, colorful backyard-grilling platforms and arrives backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Handymen and women can keep tools easily accessible, organized, and ready to travel with a Veto Pro Pac tool bag ($144.99), which holds more than 100 hand tools and includes six zippered pockets to hide worksite snacks from Bob Vila.
Coastal Sewing Machines set sail nearly two decades ago, hopping between various locations on the Connecticut coast as it lured schools of quilters and seamstresses. Within the shop, needle aficionados guide guests through an inventory of cloth that stretches more than 10,000 yards, providing options for any project and the means of making a football stadium a nice dress shirt. Their selection of high-end sewing machines, embroidery machines, and sergers from Viking, Pfaff, and Baby Lock grants supreme stitching power to complement their supply of notions and bring customer creations to life. Coastal's textile techs also expand the sewing community through an ever-changing schedule of classes. Students can learn basics while making useful items such as luggage tags embroidered with their name. The shop also slings classes on more advanced topics, from designing tote bags to operating a serger.
The careful collectors at Haddam Family Consignments cull gems of gently used upscale apparel, vintage and modern jewelry, and furniture to resell in their cozy shop. Items rotate regularly, but recent collections have included a Ralph Lauren blouse ($13.75) and a J. Crew sweater ($9.75) to keep appendages warm more fashionably than a sleeve made of insulation foam. Juicy Couture faux-fur hoodies ($69.95) and sleek Unik black leather motorcycle jackets ($55) for men and women preserve torsos against whipping winter winds and cool spring breezes. The store also houses a vast selection of goods, ranging from handbags and home décor to children's toys, books, and DVDs, for a collection of items more diverse than the participants at a snowflake convention.
Voted Connecticut's Scariest Haunted House by the Norwich Bulletin, The Dark Manor fills visitors with terror and keeps hearts pounding throughout two floors of haunted rooms, a spooky cemetery, and a haunted village. Thrill seekers stalk through chambers teeming with haunting sights, shrieking at decrepit skeletons in electric chairs and hordes of giant, wall-clinging cockroaches. After surviving the manor's mind-bending set pieces and horrifyingly neglectful housekeeping, adventurers must wander through the cemetery and village. Amid the graveyard's tombstones roams a chainsaw-wielding freak offering free haircuts, and the denizens of the haunted village lurk amid shadows as masked horrors seek to startle the souls out of passersby.
Past window displays where paintings sidle up next to jewelry and pottery, patrons step into Waves of Creation's artistic haven. Lining the walls and shelves, wood pieces, photographs, and handmade candles represent the efforts of more than 50 Rhode artists and artisans. Artists also gather together under the roof, using Waves of Creation's boutique storefront as a base for artistic tutelage. They guide students toward expressive realization in mediums such as jewelry, teaching the know-how to wire-wrap a bird's nest necklace or a finger-braided bracelet. Paint-your-own pottery sessions vent built-up artistic aspirations as participants decorate serving platters with flowers or transform mugs into trophies for the World's Best Coffee-Drinking Cat, whereas candle-making classes allow pupils to create custom scents and styles.