The outdoor enthusiasts at Play Hard Niagara outfit visitors for romps on the water, beach, and street. Gear rentals ranging from sit-on-top kayaks to bikes equip explorers for adventures throughout the Port Colborne area, including trips along the old canal and Lake Erie shoreline. For a small fee, Play Hard's staff delivers equipment to nearby locations for full-day rentals. Back in Crystal Beach, the shop displays a multitude of recreational equipment, ranging from land-bound scooters to surf gear that stands ready to skim over a cresting wave or through layers of the upper atmosphere.
Paws and Claws prides itself as a comprehensive stop for all furry friends. At each location, owners can bring along their creatures to find ample supplies to feed and entertain them, such as a large selection of toys and treats. Their knowledgeable staff includes professional groomers and retail specialists trained in the ways of pet nutrition and hygiene, as well as a consulting veterinarian who keeps the business up-to-date on animal-health trends. This commitment to enhancing the quality and longevity of pet lifespans is also apparent in Paws and Claws' donations to animal charities and adoption efforts.
At Superkix Martial Arts, professional trainers instill a passion for fitness and martial arts in students of all ages and fitness levels. Adults can take charge of their health and well-being with the centre’s extensive programs in mixed martial arts and muay thai. They also can learn the stances, kata, and sparring techniques of hapkido self-defense in the Superkix Adult program. Children as young as 3 can enroll in Lil Dragons or Superkix for Kids courses, where they develop discipline to accomplish their goals, respect and self-esteem to succeed at school, and board-breaking techniques to tackle wood-chopping chores with ease.
Founded by Stratford Chefs School graduate Ruth Nixon, The Whisk & Ladle is a full-service caterer, kitchen store, and cooking school dedicated to the use of high-quality ingredients and equipment. Busy epicureans can pick up hearty meals—including family-sized lasagna drenched in slow-cooked tomato sauce ($38)—from an extensive On-The-Go menu to enjoy gourmet eats at home without hours of intensive cooking or spell-casting. Otherwise, they can pause a moment to browse a wide selection of sturdy kitchenware from brands like Le Creuset and Cuisipro, whose winsome wares can double as musical instruments for toddlers, Muppets, or Muppet toddlers. The Whisk & Ladle is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Style Commission drapes fashion forward women in socially conscious frocks and casual cuts that have treaded runways from New York to Toronto. Earrings ($12–$20) allow onlookers to admire sparkling lobes without performing a lobotomy, and a pair of Foxy Jeans ($55), rivets legs with an electric indigo look. Tie a Pashmina scarf ($19) around a non-conformist ankle or remind winter of its weak, inevitable mortality in a seamless tank ($16). Other items include hair accessories ($2.99–$7.99), bandeaus ($8), and bicycle shorts ($10). The staff at Style Commission puts together looks appropriate for myriad occasions, such as luncheons, dates, and poetry duels.
Scrapping Nook supplies scrapbooking devotees with a large inventory of card making, paper patterning, and album building paraphernalia. Fashion homemade greeting cards or business cards for the family dachshund with some of Scrapping Nook's card stock ($0.75/12"x12" sheet), available in attractive colours such as African daisy, berry blush, and blackbird. Or keep scrapbooks and unruly phone books secure by taking home a bottle of Beacon 3-in-1 advanced craft glue ($6.49). Scrapping Nook's staff of friendly and knowledgeable designers makes sure their charmingly decorated store is always well-stocked with all the materials necessary to sustain the scrapbooking addict, including an artist edition mixed-media album ($17.29), ideal for snazzily storing memories, and 2-ounce bottles of Maya Road mists ($8.79+).