After playing professional soccer in Germany, FC Revolution's Eric Puls turned down a spot on the Colorado Rapids to plant the seeds of high-level soccer in Reading. As members of the National Premier Soccer League, the Reading Revolution fills the field with some of the best amateur ball booters in the country. Head coach Mike Moyer calls on his experience with the Philadelphia Freedom and Reading Rage to bolster his team's professional style of play and impart on them an excellent remedy for shin-guard rash. These young footmen burn the turf at Albright College's Shirk Stadium, where soccer connoisseurs can root for their team or detect hints of blackberry and oak flavors in the sod.
Next to New houses a continually growing collection of clothing and accessories for infants, adolescents, and moms-in-the-making. Owner Jennifer Hertzog and her staff pride themselves on handpicking only items that are in excellent condition. They fill the shop’s shelves with almost-new apparel for every season of the year, in addition to clothing and accessories for American Girl dolls, baby equipment, and toys. To up the convenience factor, Jennifer and staff even keep a “Wish Book” handy. In that, customers who can’t find what they’re looking for in the shop can list it down alongside their name.
When kids want to play Hot Lava Monster on a jungle gym, hone their athletic skills on shock-absorbent basketball courts, or swing for the sky on a backyard swingset, Superior Play Systems helps them on their way. The company creates play equipment crafted with safety in mind. Some of its trampolines, for example, come with safety enclosures to keep kids from accidentally jumping onto Pluto.
Swingsets are made from hardy California redwood and cedar; this durable craftsmanship is reflected in the company's warranties, which guard against everything from breakage to carpenter bees. And while the company's gear outfits backyards and playgrounds across the country, its staff also runs play centers, where kids can stop in for unstructured play or a birthday party.
eToys.com makes it easy to find gifts for kids big and small. Search by age group to find name-brand items for babies. For older tykes, opt for action figures and video games, or get hearts pumping with trampolines, bikes, and outdoor play sets. Shoppers can also peruse the online toy shop's goods by theme to find the perfect birthday or holiday present.
Bellabeads 925 proffers stringable beauties ready for adorning appendages. Opt for one of the multi-chromatic Murano glass beads ($15 each), such as the pink- and white-swirled cherry lollipop or the deep purple Martha's Vineyard, or select a sterling-silver charm ($22 each) so shiny that it could double as the Silver Surfer's currency. DIY jewelers can decorate leather cords ($15 each) with a Venetian dazzle charm embedded with sparkling crystals ($30) to produce a sense of satisfaction that’s unmatched even by drafting an impressive fantasy curling team or finally realizing that you’re (spoiler alert) a ghost.