Inside the brightly-lit confines of Fat Cat Art Cafe, shelves brim with bare-bisque pieces in the form of plates, mugs, and bowls. Visitors wield non-toxic, lead-free glazes and paints, embellishing items with designs such as flowers, abstract squiggles, or a squirrel's handprint before accommodating staff members fire the pieces, readying them for everyday use. Not just a paint-your-own pottery studio, Fat Cat Art Cafe offers specialty sessions such as Clay Day, where participants learn to make their own pottery pieces, and summer camps, where campers delve into daylong or weeklong projects such as creating a mosaic plaque, building flower pots out of clay coils, and making clay jars to store one?s nosehairs.
Lakeland Yard and Garden boasts more than 30 years of botanical know-how, maintaining plants, fountains, garden accessories, and soil on its 17-acre spread of agricultural amusement. Knowledgeable green gurus can assist patrons in finding their ideal plant pals, perusing a selection of rose plants one might secretly plant in a loved one's pillow ($13.99+). Habitat dwellers can breeze through the selection of hanging ferns to fill baskets and insert green into the colorless air ($19.99+). Thumbs turn green in the presence of topsoil, mulch, trees, and sand, imported from prestigious growers across the country. The horticultural amassment extends beyond plants, blooming with decorative patio accessories, clay pottery, and birdbaths, which can be used to lure the neighborhood’s elusive rainbow-afro-haired finch.
Trained by physical therapists, the streetwise staff at StinkyFeet Athletics use gait analysis for shoe fitting and years of sartorial experience to recommend the best gear for athletes of all levels and goals. High-tech clothing from Brooks, K-Swiss, and ASICS ($22+) keep sportspeople warm on cold days, cool on hot days, and just right when smothered in honey and fleeing an irritated bear family. Toes can avoid swampy shoe caves with Swiftwick socks ($11.99+), and encumbered runners can avoid sweaty-palm cell-phone drops with a lightweight Spibelt ($20). To prevent exercise-induced chest pain without downing chemical capsules, strap on a Moving Comfort sports bra ($35–$45), or, to support arches without an intervention by Brunelleschi, lace up sneaks from the likes of Newton, Brooks, and ASICS ($100+).
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
Originally a clearinghouse for the glamorous Saks 5th Avenue department store, Saks 5th Avenue OFF FIFTH has blossomed into a universally respected retailer of high-end clothing and accessories for women and men. Like the fact that neckties can work in a pinch in a ribbon-dancing competition, Saks 5th Avenue OFF FIFTH is one of the fashion world's best-kept secrets with its deep discounts on apparel and accessories from more than 800 different top brands and respected designers, such as Rag & Bone, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Balmain, and Halston Heritage. Guests shop in-person or online for faux or real fur pieces, timeless cropped leather jackets, luxurious handbags, slim-fit suits, and on-trend shoes.
Havana Cigars and Gifts' display cases brim over with more than 100 different boxes of premium hand-rolled cigars from esteemed manufacturers such as Alec Bradley, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Macanudo, Cohiba, Padron, Acid, and Perdomo. Humidors, cutters, lighters, carrying cases, and maintenance products are on hand in addition to the quality puffs, while the Humidor Cigar Club invites patrons into a filtered smoking room, equipped with private humidified lockers to stock their smoldering indulgences. Five LCD flat screens beam down upon the lounge's oversize ottomans and pool tables, and complimentary Internet access allows patrons to shop online for bulk boxes of Michael Bolton wigs.