C & D Hardware, a member of the Houston Heights community since 1951, equips home improvers and to-do listers with provisions for projects large and small. Conquer domestic disrepair with supplies spanning 26 different categories, from lawn and garden wares and paint gear to a vast reservoir of plumbing equipment and special gifts. Purify your home's lungs with air-conditioning filters ($1.39–$27.99), or whittle a moving box into a mini cardboard replica of the Taj Mahal with a box knife ($0.59–$11.89). Metal garden bugs ($18.49–$79.99) spruce up lackluster lawns, while patio chairs ($25.99–$149.99) provide an ideal perch for competitive lounging. The helpful cast of C & D employees assists customers with an array of services, including rekeying locks, computer color matching, and blade sharpening.
Tiny legs scamper across Lone Star Bounce Town's 9,000-square-foot floor, bounding from one cushy inflatable to the next and pausing before a gallery of kid-friendly toys and games. Disney-inspired bounce houses populate the open space, including new plush slides and domiciles that pay homage to the bubbly heroes of Toy Story 3, Winnie the Pooh, and Dante's Inferno. Tykes hone their hand-eye coordination by shooting hoops on the inflatable basketball court, cracking plastic balls off baseball tees, or threading straws into juice boxes in the Lone Star Cafe. A special subsection designed for toddlers, Lone Star's Tiny Town, features scaled-down playhouses, toy cars, and colorful, bouncy balls.
The clatter of foosball and air-hockey tables makes a steady drumbeat, over which drifts the sounds of an arcade—the happy digital babble of a modem dreaming. Ten leather couches with a full view of the children accommodate parents as they surf free WiFi and enjoy coffee from the café.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.