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.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
The PADI-certified instructors at Dixie Divers lead small scuba certification classes and ferry experienced divers to local dive sites aboard their boat, the Lady Go Diver. The vessel also shepherds snorkelers to the historic wreckage of the SS Copenhagen and through the Nursery Reef where they can get acquainted with playful wildlife through a series of secret handshakes.
During certification classes that progress to the level of master diver, small groups endeavor through classroom, pool, and open water training, and advanced diver certification includes adventure dives and trips down as deep as 100 feet. Divers stock up on all things aquatic at Dixie's full-service dive shop, which offers everything from equipment rental and repair to gear sales for activities such as scuba diving, lobstering, jellyfish racing, kayaking, and spearfishing.
It's another world underwater, populated with life almost alien. Making the exploration of that world accessible is why the founders of Scuba Network opened seven instructional scuba centers throughout New Jersey, New York, and southeast Florida. At all of the locations, certified divers lead Discover Scuba classes that allow first-timers to slip into scuba gear and see what it's like to breathe underwater and sprout their first gills. For those left entranced by the experience, Scuba Network offers an Open Water Scuba Certification course, during which learn a variety of scuba techniques in a pool before embarking on open dives. Scuba Network also sells all the necessary equipment from brands such as Mares and Aeris, and also organize dive travel packages to exotic locales such as the Galapagos and the Mayan Riviera in Cozumel, Mexico.
Ski Rixen USA, a watersports park located near Quiet Waters Park, is known for having the longest standing cable system in America. Those cables pull wakeboarders and water skiiers along the water’s surface, negating the need to be hauled by a boat or an accommodating whale. The park is also known for the amiable attitude of its staff. "After going to Rixen three times, I felt like I belonged,” remarked wakeboarding pro Jimmy LaRiche to TransWorld Wakeboarding in 2009.
While advanced athletes can hone their moves on the park’s equipment, so too can absolute beginners who are often surprised by the ease with which they pick up skills. In addition to instructional lessons, events such as barbecues and bonfires add to the park’s relaxed, inviting vibe.
The intoxicating scents of orchids, pink roses, and button spray chrysanthemums have filled Deerfield Florist’s gardens since 1953, when the family-owned company began crafting personalized floral arrangements with fresh flowers and gourmet fruit. Yellow and white petals burst from the bouquets and corsages that the company’s skilled florists design for weddings, holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions. When they aren’t sculpting blossoms into themed bouquets, the florists gladly share their secrets for maintaining healthy plants; a list of helpful tips on their website suggests keeping arrangements away from heating vents and dank, dark basements filled with pet squirrels.