With more than one million book titles to choose from, Barnes & Noble stocks one of the retail world's largest selections of bound pages, along with a huge assortment of educational toys and games. Keep sprightly scribes from using walls, furniture, and siblings as writing surfaces with the help of LeapFrog’s Scribble & Write ($24.95 online), or indulge kids’ natural passions for outer space and solid detective work with a LEGO Space Police Smash ’n’ Grab set ($19.95 online).
Among mirrored columns and blue and green walls, children scurry from bookshelf to bookshelf grabbing both classic and brand new tales to dive into with their imaginations on at full speed. At Hide and Go Read, they believe that getting kids to read early gives them a head start on all future learning skills. Shelves stay flush with princesses, dinosaurs, award-winners, and more to give children the tools they need to get started. In addition to a world of books, the store also encourages the donning of thinking caps with puzzles, games, and toys.
In 2007, Elisabeth Gevelber dubbed her newly opened gift store Simply Charming ~ Bijoux, Baubles & Bibelots—or, put more simply, jewelry, trinkets, and treasures—in tribute to the kaleidoscopic range of unique finds and finery she handpicks for her shelves. Whimsical handbags, fragrant candles, and Anokhi scarves hand-printed in India fill racks and open cabinets that stand against a lilac wall to frame an ever-changing inventory that refreshes every few weeks or with the moon's finicky fashion tastes. Gevelber also collects unique greeting cards from brands such as Koco and Mik Wright, whose colorful designs and occasionally snarky quips she relishes as mementos in an age of fleeting digital communication.
• For $10, you get $20 toward instrument repairs. • For $12, you get one music lesson (a $25 value). The musicians at Warren Henry Music, helmed by titular owner and former guitar manufacturer, combine their love and knowledge of instruments to refurbish musical machinery with a slew of services and teach the art of note producing. After a free evaluation and estimate, skilled hands restring ($15 plus the price of strings), adjust and align guitars ($35–$45), patch cracks, or upgrade hardware, rehabilitating rock-star accessories smashed onstage or trampled in savage-beast-soothing incidents gone awry.