Nothing can match the quaintness of strolling one of New Jersey’s downtowns. Whether you are perusing the one in which you live, or another of the Garden State’s hot towns, there is much to see and do. This weekend kicks off the NJ holiday shopping season and here are great reasons to shop local.
Support small businesses. Launched in 2010, this year’s Small Business Saturday will continue the tradition with NJ small businesses participating in this nationwide initiative by offering special promotions and sales to encourage local commerce.
Discounts, freebies and fun. There will be NJ discounts galore, activities for the kids and entertainment. For instance, in Haddonfield, the festivities go all weekend. The community is kicking off events with candlelight shopping—stores stay open until 9 pm—a tree lighting and lots of live music.
Some towns, such as Summit, use a “passport” program. Get your promotional passport stamped in every shop you visit, and when you get eight stamps, you’re eligible to win a grand-prize basket with gift certificates from local businesses.
Newton is transforming one of its main drags into Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Visit Spring Street for the parade and lots of magical shopping.
In Montclair, more than 25 businesses are participating. Promotions include 20 to 30 percent off selected items at Johari; 15 percent off your entire purchase at Just Kidding Around; 20 percent off clothing at Dem Two Hands; and at Amanti Vino, there’ll be free tastings, plus 10 percent off six bottles of wine and 15 percent off a case. (Need help with wine pairings for your turkey feast? Here are 7 wines to consider.)
The Tenth Muse in Maplewood is hosting a trunk show for artist K Mita. Meet the artist and enjoy special pricing.
In Atlantic City, a marketplace of handmade items at the Noyes Garage will include ornaments, jewelry, prints and home décor.
Long Branch’s Pier Village is offering giveaways like tote bags and buttons. Discounts on DIY art kits are also on tap.
Red Bank’s retro Silverball Museum Arcade is offering buy-one-get-one cards gift cards (online too!) throughout the weekend.
Check out the Facebook and Chamber of Commerce page for info on participation and specifics for the town you want to visit.
Move Your Feet. As Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Shopping is my cardio.” Let’s assume you’ll eat your fill on Thanksgiving Day, and unless you are one of the admirable runner types who ran in a Turkey Trot, a walk around town will help burn off that extra slice of pie.
Free Parking. Lots of towns cover their meters and offer free parking during the holiday rush. Even with the nifty credit-card parking meters, the perk of parking gratis is a boon.
Eat out. By now you’ve had enough turkey, so enjoy a no-leftovers meal at a local eatery—lots are offering discounts. Cubacan in Asbury Park presents a $33 prix fixe for three courses.Click here to leave a comment