By Liz Johnson
This Saturday, November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting locally owned shops, restaurants and businesses in your community. But showing local businesses your support shouldn’t be limited to just one day! If you’re looking to entertain out-of-town guests while juggling holiday shopping, Hunterdon County offers sprees that will make everyone happy. With a variety of antique shops, art galleries and unique gift shops, there’s plenty of holiday spirit to go around.
Here are a few places to add to your shopping list this Saturday and beyond:
The weekend after Thanksgiving, the Victorian town of Clinton transforms itself into a storybook setting for A Christmas Carol with its Dickens Days festivities, featuring horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, Father Christmas and other characters strolling the town. The event kicks off on Friday, November 23 with the Christmas tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Red Mill hosts a Winter Village extravaganza with additional vendors. The event ends on Sunday at 4 p.m. Can’t make the event? Clinton still offers an array of shops and restaurants in an idyllic setting, making holiday shopping a fun adventure rather than a chore.
Take a stroll down Main Street in nearby High Bridge where you’ll find the Inside/Out Gift Shop and Scout’s Coffee Bar and Mercantile. Get a second wind at Mrs. Riley’s Publik House. For more information, visit www.hbbusiness.org.
Lambertville, located along the Delaware River, is a haven of antique shops, art galleries and curiosity shops. Find unique, designer home products at Preservation Fine Goods. The retail showroom exclusively represents the Edgewood Made furniture line and a well-curated complimentary, collection of finely crafted, American-made home goods. Stop in to Erik and Mike’s on Bridge Street, which offers museum quality gifts or pop into the People’s Store on Union Street and Funk N Junk on Franklin Street. On Wednesdays and weekends, the Golden Nugget Flea Market just outside of town offers additional treasures and gems. End the day with a stop at the Lambertville Station for a warm meal or quick drink to keep up your strength.
Further north along the Delaware River is Frenchtown, another treasure trove of artisan shops such as Gypsy Horse or Alchemy for the latest fashions, Thistle for unique gifts or the Book Garden for the readers in your family. Warm up with a cup of coffee from Early Bird Espresso or the Bridge Café. Or stay for an early dinner at the Frenchtown Inn or National Hotel. Festivities will be held on weekends throughout the holiday shopping season, starting with the Christmas tree lighting on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
A little further north along the Delaware River is Milford, which is hosting Santa and his workshop each weekend in December. Peruse gift stores such as Allen’s Antiques, Riverside Treasures or the Purfect Pet. Stop for refreshments at the Ship Inn or the Milford Oyster House.
Flemington, best known for its outlet shops, has become a haven for unique gift shops and antique stores. From Kissimmee River Pottery on Mine Street to Ye Old Antique and Curiosity Shop – one of several antique stores on Main Street, there’s something that will strike every fancy. Small Joys Studio on Main Street will host a holiday boutique from Nov. 29th through Dec. 9th. Looking to create your own masterpiece to gift? Gone Paintin’ is the only all inclusive, walk-in DIY Art Studio in Hunterdon County! They offer a relaxed atmosphere for you to create personalized gifts, tap into your own creativity or add some new decor to your home. Cap off a day’s shopping with dinner at the Blue Fish Grill, 55 Main or Max’s Red Rooster Grill. Or pop into Lone Eagle Brewery for a pint of ale.