In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
With more than 25 years of experience, Patio.com oversees a wicker- and wood-framed stockpile of rugged and refined game-room and outdoor furnishings to outfit open-air play spaces with tables, chairs, cushions, hammocks, barbecue grills, and billiard tables. Shoppers can peruse a variety of styles from teak and aluminum to adirondack, sling, strap, and nougat-centered.
An interior-furnishings emporium, Design Solutions houses a cache of wares that can embellish walls, floors, and ceilings with a fresh vibe. Cushion a spontaneous backflip with a solidly colored Fatboy ($284), a sleek update on the classic beanbag, or punch up a drab wall with the Dottlicious designs by Wallcandy ($59)⎯80 removable dots ranging from 1 inch to 10 inches in diameter and ideal for a game of antigravity Twister. Continue the colorific cacophony in the kitchen with melamine plates ($10), trays ($23), and salad bowls ($24) by French Bull. Design Solutions also campaigns against interior doldrums by purveying pottery, toys, and lamps, which, like rays of sunlight or a 15-foot-wide heap of glow sticks, can light up a room.
For 23 years, Heaven Hill Farm has opened its verdant doors to 100 acres of scenic countryside for their annual Pumpkin Land Festival. Nestled among the Appalachian Mountains, the fall sanctuary honors the season with hayrides, the Pigtucky Derby pig races, and pumpkin patches where jack-o'-lanterns-to-be can roam freely in their natural habitat. With a bevy of activities to choose from, fall fanatics can race through the hay maze, pet furry friends at the animal farm, and buy, nibble, or juggle fresh apple-cider donuts. During the weekend, guests can also have their faces painted with fall images, take jaunts atop a pony, or hop onto a carnival ride.