Boasting a lineup of more than 80 vendors and featuring fresh fare from fruits and vegetables to coffee, meats, and baked treats, Parkland's Farmer's Market, sponsored by Mercantil Comercebank offers up local goods and family entertainment twice a month. Visitors can chow on Chef's mini cider donuts⎯made from a three-generations-old secret family recipe⎯available in a walk-around cone ($5) or immobile baker's dozen ($7) while exploring the market's booths. Load up on fresh, heart-shaped carbohydrates from Pasta Amore or cured, meat-shaped protein with 2-ounce bags of 100% natural, top-round steak jerky ($5) from Just Another Jerky Vendor. Visitors can meander at their leisure through an extensive selection ranging from cupcakes and spices to specialty teas and fresh-cut flowers. At the opening-day market on November 6, parents and their miniatures will be privy to activities such as free pony rides, jumps in the bounce house, crafts for kids, and live cooking demos for baby sous chefs.
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $2.2 million to charitable organizations.
Children in goggles and swim caps emblazoned with United States Swim Academy's patriotic logo kick and glide through an indoor pool heated to a comfortable 91 degrees. Instructors help them practice proper body and head positions, as well as efficient arm strokes and kicks, following a curriculum developed specifically for children by founder Karen King, the former national director of SwimAmerica. Besides these courses for children, the academy's team of competitive swimmers and rescue professionals also leads classes for adults that emphasize safe aquatic habits, such as never swimming alone or chewing on pool noodles 30 minutes before going into the water.
It took the owners of Vino DeSantis six months to find the right setting to host their vino emporium. Their diligence paid off. Today, their Coral Springs location houses more than 1,200 different varieties in a combination shop and tasting room lit by a warm, incandescent glow. The shop is also home to an Enomatic wine system, a space-age wine-delivery device that can hold 72 bottles of wine and automatically dispense 1-, 2-, or 4-ounce servings of that day’s offerings. With no more machines to install or fixtures to set up, the staff is now free to build the community’s knowledge of wine during tastings augmented by complimentary cheeses, breads, and compliments.
Paintballs and airsoft ammo whiz through the air across East Coast Extreme Inc.'s 8 acres of simulated battlegrounds. On wooded fields, forest canopies cast shadows over paintball players as they weave through tree trunks, duck into ditches, and launch more acrylic salvos than a frustrated cartoonist. Elsewhere, splatterless ammo fires across 2 acres of airsoft fields. East Coast Extreme Inc.'s pro shop helps players stock up for these friendly battles. Its rich blue walls enclose a sea of airsoft and paintball gear, including guns with flashlights and laser scopes as well as safety gear.
Inside Learning Express Toys, children of all ages can find a host of entertaining and educational toys designed by brands such as Lego and Scientific Explorer. Seven days a week, staff members share their enthusiastic attitudes as they help children and parents peruse dolls and accessories, brain-stimulating word games, or science kits that fuel interactive learning. The store frequently holds special events for festive occasions, such as Father's Day and Lego Day, hosting such costumed characters as Santa Claus and welcoming royal delegates from the King of Legoland.