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.
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.
Chocolatier Bobbi-Joan transforms Belgian and Swiss chocolate into an ever-changing parade of sumptuous treats. Hundreds of molds churn out chocolate shapes for every conceivable celebration, from a baby's first birthday to a landscaper's final wheelbarrow race. Divvy up a fanciful feast of chocolate pizza ($15.99), or indulge in a sonnet-inspiring classic chocolate bar ($1.99) or morsel-laden chocolate bark ($5.99). Offering a sweet alternative to generic greeting cards or off-brand kisses, Sweet Thoughts will happily craft one-of-a-kind orders to suit special needs.
Golf Stuff equips golfers and tennis players with the clothes, equipment, and accessories needed to conquer the course or court. Along with new clubs and putters from brands including Callaway, Titleist, and Odyssey, Golf Stuff maintains an inventory of used equipment to help golfers to enjoy the game without dipping into their sand wedge's college fund. Racquet wielders can peruse the store's collection of tennis and badminton equipment, which includes the Babolat Pure Drive racquet series and gear from Adidas, New Balance, and Prince. Golf Stuff's technicians also perform repairs and regripping services for racquets, clubs, and curious spoons.
With five locations posted around the Niagara region and 33 years of experience, Buckner's Source For Sports has outfitted and equipped athletes of all ages with gear and apparel for lacrosse, running, football, hockey, baseball, and soccer. Adult-sized pads, sticks, and skates from brands such as Easton and Reebok prepare players for pickup games and semipro matches, whereas youth-sized hockey gear helps wee ones learn valuable lessons in teamwork and zamboni-herding. Men's and women's shoes and cross trainers support arches and pad heels as runners race down country roads, and baseball, football, and lacrosse pads and helmets protect players from tackles and fastballs.