This time of year brings out the kid in me. The one who knows school is out and I can sleep late and ride my bike down the street to a friend’s house. This all works well if you’re 10. Not so much when you’re an adult and gainfully employed. Somebody usually expects you to show up for work. On time.
Still, the feeling persists, especially when I go into certain retailers. Five Below in Fairview Heights really makes me want to pack up the car and head to the beach. The store is waterlogged with games to play on the sand and in the water, mini umbrellas to attach to your chair by the surf, flip-flops, towels, roll-up beach mats and so much more. Kids will like the Throw ’N Stick set of paddles, shaped like penguins, starfish, turtles and more, that comes with a soft ball for $5. Treasure hunters/castle creators can dig the down-sized wood-handled shovels for $3.
Down the way at Marshall’s, aim for a picnic table in the shade and some grass to play with the vintage sets of games sold there. You’ll need to be good and dry to play with a set of giant playing cards ($9.99) and dominoes ($15.99), but wet bathing suits are allowed for ring-toss ($14.99) and bocce ball in it’s own carrying case ($59.99).
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Blinded by the light
Up the road at Charming Charlie in The Shoppes at St. Clair in Fairview Heights, you’ll need sunglasses to admire all the wedding “ice” being sold there. Head down the aisle of the boutique to a large selection of glittering necklaces, bracelets, tiaras, earrings and headbands just waiting for the bride. This is some big bling, but if you look you’ll find more demure styles as well, with remarkable prices starting at $14 for necklaces.
It’s a sign
Is your garden not colorful enough? I gave just the thing for you: At Home Goods in Fairview Heights I spied “Garden” signs with connected cutout metal letters, each a different color. The sign is about 5 feet long. Cost: $49.99.
A quick run through St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights resulted in these sales or specials:
At Charlotte Russe, all dresses and shoes are buy one at the regular price and get a second for $12.50. The offer is good through Sunday.
At Payless Shoes, all sandals are on sale, up to 50 percent off through June 13.
The Limited has half off just about everything in the store through Sunday.
Victoria’s Secret has select bras in different styles and sizes on sale for $20 through Sunday.
Anyone who is a fan of Yankee Candle knows how expensive the merchandise can be. But during the mall store’s semi-annual sale, you’ll find select items up to 75 percent off through Sunday.
It’s a toss-up
At Menard’s in O’Fallon, you can pick up one of my favorite summer games, bag toss. This set by Triumph Sports USA has two three-hole foldable game boards with nets to catch the bags and six bean bags: three black and three orange. The set also comes with a convenient carrying bag with handles. Cost: $26.99. Plus, if you need extra bags, Menard’s sells them in sets of four ($12.99) in red or blue.
Sweet summer learning
School may be out but that doesn’t mean learning stops. While I may write a shopping column weekly, I also am the food editor at the News-Democrat and enjoy finding culinary adventures for young learners. Michaels Crafts in Shiloh has decorating kits for “adults” that easily apply to preteens and teens. I especially like the kit called I Taught Myself to Decorate Cookies Decorating Book Set for $14.99. Learn how to decorate cookies with royal icing. This 18-piece set has all the required tools (bags, tips, cookie cutters, scraper, decorating brush) and an instruction guide featuring fun projects with easy step-by-step instructions with pictures. You will get 24/7 access to the I Taught Myself video library for project tutorials and tips. You can try out all six decorating projects.