By Liz Johnson
Nov.30th is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting locally-owned shops, restaurants and businesses. And Hunterdon County has plenty to choose from. 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, the 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 on Small Business Saturday and beyond:
On Friday, Nov. 29th, Clinton kicks off the holiday season with its annual Dickens Days and Red Mill Winter Village that includes a German-style craft market. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, Father Christmas and other characters strolling the town. The event kicks off with the Christmas tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. It ends on Sunday at 4 p.m. Can’t make the event? Then pencil in the annual Christmas parade that will be held Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. No matter your schedule, Clinton offers an array of shops and restaurants in an idyllic setting, making holiday shopping a fun adventure. Check out Hunterdon Happening List winners such as Charlie’s Bootery, Dickens Jeweler and Clinton Bagel Co.
Shop Basil Bandwagon, our Hunterdon Happening List winner for grocery store to keep yourself and loved ones healthy with affordable supplements, organic produce, and allergen-friendly grocery items. Need a holiday gift? Mix and match fair trade goodies, luxurious beauty care, and more. Running around and need to eat on-the-go? Basil‘s Farm to Market Cafe has everything from hot soup, sandwiches, juices, and more. Basil Bandwagon also has locations in Flemington and (opening soon) Lambertville.
Lambertville, at the southern end of the county along the Delaware River, is a haven of antique shops, art galleries and curiosity shops. Stop in to the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum on Sunday, Dec. 1 from noon – 4 p.m. for a visit from Santa Claus and to view the decorated 1711 house, view blacksmith demonstrations, craft vendors or listen to holiday music. On Sunday, Dec. 8th, Hunterdon Happening List winner Artist’s Gallery celebrates its silver anniversary with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Zanya Spa Salon (a Happening List Finalist in multiple categories) will be offering Black Friday specials from Friday, Nov. 29th through Sunday, Dec. 1st. (See the image here for details.) And on Dec. 11th, Zanya Spa Salon will host their Holiday Open House. Visit between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to be celebrated and pampered! Consult with brand ambassadors and receive complimentary experiences at over a dozen beauty kiosks throughout the salon and spa. There will also be raffle baskets with drawings on the hour and plenty of product and sample giveaways.
If you’re new to the area, hook up with Hunterdon Happening List winner Sister Cities Tour, which will arrange a customized shopping spree that will likely include other Hunterdon Happening List winners such as Green Street Consignment, Foxy Reds, A Mano Gallery and Smith & Scott Boutique. On Wednesdays and weekends, the Golden Nugget Flea Market, another Hunterdon Happening List winner, just outside of town offers additional treasures and vintage gems. End the day with a stop at the Hunterdon Happening List favorite Lambertville Station for a warm meal or quick drink to keep up your strength.
Frenchtown is a treasure trove of artisan shops such as Hunterdon Happening List favorites Junto Emporium, Dalla Terra, the Book Garden, Modern Love, Lord and Ivy, River Gypsy, Country Chic, and Schmidtberger Fine Art Gallery. 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 Hunterdon Happening List winner The National Hotel. On Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. Frenchtown will host Santa on the River along with a tree lighting at Sunbeam Lenape Park. On Saturday, Dec. 14 Hunterdon Happening List finalist ArtYard will host a Holiday Lantern Walk with Pop-Up Choir beginning at 4 p.m.
On Friday, Dec. 13 at from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.,the Milford Merchant’s Association will host Christmas in Milford. It’s a good time to check out Hunterdon Happening List favorites such as Allen’s Antiques, Riverside Treasures (save 10% on jewelry on Black Friday and clothing during Small Business Saturday) and the Purrfect Pet. Stop for refreshments at Hunterdon Happening List winners or finalists such as the Bridge Street Bagels & Deli, Chocolate in the Oven, the Ship Inn or the Milford House. Or check out Milford’s newest culinary additions El Charro Del Rio or the Canal House Station located in the former train station.
Flemington, best known for its outlet shops such as Hunterdon Happening List favorites Joseph A Bank, Nautica Outlet, Michael Kors Outlet and Izod Outlet in Liberty Village, has also become a haven for unique gift shops and antique stores. E’njoy Yourself, 39 Mine Boutique, Then & Again consignment store, Barkely’s Gourmet Marketplace pet store and Ken Von Holt art gallery are all Hunterdon Happening List winners or finalists worth checking out. Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 30 Chirp Workshop will host visits with Santa. 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.
Take a stroll down Main Street in nearby High Bridge where you’ll find the Inside/Out Gift Shop and Hunterdon Happening List favorites such as Scout’s Coffee Bar and Mercantile. Get a second wind at Hunterdon Happening List favorites Mrs. Riley’s Publik House or Gronsky’s Milk House. For more information, visit www.hbbusiness.org.