Off the Wagon 2

Kayla Sellers and her son, Lennon, 6 months, shop inside the Off the Wagon toy section in downtown Kent on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Sellers is from Rootstown.

Winner: Off the Wagon

Off the Wagon is a popular, quirky and unique store that’s drawn the community in for its vibrant energy beaming off the shiny packages, toys and gag gifts found in the store. Ranging from 50 cents to a little over $100, Off the Wagon is equipped with everything needed to make gifts fun.

From crazy designed socks, to dozens of board games, the selection appears to never end.

Meg Sahr, an employee from Off the Wagon, is a fan of its simpler, classic pieces.

“We have a ton of classic practical jokes, and you just don’t see that anymore.”

A popular best seller from the store is its chewing gum. Each piece is wrapped in quirky sayings or jokes. No matter what or who you’re looking for, Off the Wagon has something for everyone.

Second: Last Exit Books

Last Exit Books is a fully independent used bookstore in the city of Kent. For over 14 years, the bookstore has carried all types of books for at least half price. Popular sellers include science fiction, classic literature and new age spirituality books.

The shop also has a fully functioning cafe as well as an event space. The events hosted range from knitting workshops to poetry readings and gives people a chance to come together and enjoy a variety of activities.

Last Exit Books located in downtown Kent.

Last Exit Books in downtown Kent. FILE.

Mila Jaroniec, the event coordinator for Last Exit Books, thinks the store is a haven for culture and relaxation. “It’s a breath of fresh air. People need a space to come and unwind,” she said. “It’s a place for culture to come alive and expand."

 Third: Red Letter Days

Located on East Main Street, Red Letter Days is an aesthetically pleasing dream. The store is home to dozens of pens, stationary, notebooks and all the tools needed to bullet journal. Red Letter Days is the perfect spot to pick a gift for someone who’s creative in your life. The vibrant colors and patterns make it a fun environment to be in.

You can even book a party at the store. But it doesn’t stop there. Red Letter Days is home to classes and events and is currently running Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. From art to parties to writing and game night fun, Red Letter Days is making a name for itself.

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