Next to New houses a continually growing collection of clothing and accessories for infants, adolescents, and moms-in-the-making. Owner Jennifer Hertzog and her staff pride themselves on handpicking only items that are in excellent condition. They fill the shop’s shelves with almost-new apparel for every season of the year, in addition to clothing and accessories for American Girl dolls, baby equipment, and toys. To up the convenience factor, Jennifer and staff even keep a “Wish Book” handy. In that, customers who can’t find what they’re looking for in the shop can list it down alongside their name.
After playing professional soccer in Germany, FC Revolution's Eric Puls turned down a spot on the Colorado Rapids to plant the seeds of high-level soccer in Reading. As members of the National Premier Soccer League, the Reading Revolution fills the field with some of the best amateur ball booters in the country. Head coach Mike Moyer calls on his experience with the Philadelphia Freedom and Reading Rage to bolster his team's professional style of play and impart on them an excellent remedy for shin-guard rash. These young footmen burn the turf at Albright College's Shirk Stadium, where soccer connoisseurs can root for their team or detect hints of blackberry and oak flavors in the sod.
When kids want to play Hot Lava Monster on a jungle gym, hone their athletic skills on shock-absorbent basketball courts, or swing for the sky on a backyard swingset, Superior Play Systems helps them on their way. The company creates play equipment crafted with safety in mind. Some of its trampolines, for example, come with safety enclosures to keep kids from accidentally jumping onto Pluto.
Swingsets are made from hardy California redwood and cedar; this durable craftsmanship is reflected in the company's warranties, which guard against everything from breakage to carpenter bees. And while the company's gear outfits backyards and playgrounds across the country, its staff also runs play centers, where kids can stop in for unstructured play or a birthday party.
Fashionably Ever After outfits children in both trendy, playful styles and traditional looks from its designer lines. Opening its doors in the center of south Philadelphia, the boutique welcomes boys and girls alike to try on clothing and accessories for newborns, infants, toddlers, and man-childs. Fashionably Ever After's expanded selection for girls runs up to youth size 16.
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.
Bellabeads 925 proffers stringable beauties ready for adorning appendages. Opt for one of the multi-chromatic Murano glass beads ($15 each), such as the pink- and white-swirled cherry lollipop or the deep purple Martha's Vineyard, or select a sterling-silver charm ($22 each) so shiny that it could double as the Silver Surfer's currency. DIY jewelers can decorate leather cords ($15 each) with a Venetian dazzle charm embedded with sparkling crystals ($30) to produce a sense of satisfaction that’s unmatched even by drafting an impressive fantasy curling team or finally realizing that you’re (spoiler alert) a ghost.