With the holidays right around the corner, many of my friends have begun their shopping online or have plans to hit the mall on Black Friday. Though I too can be guilty of turning towards convenience this time of year, I encourage you to take a trip to one of these small towns in Connecticut. Not only will you get your Christmas shopping done, but you will also support local business owners and have a fun and festive day out!
Olde Mistik Village
This is a unique shopping experience you won’t forget. The Olde Mistik Village has many cute and interesting shops to please each unique person on your list. Some of the stores include The Mystic Kite Supply, The Plant Boutique, Tiger Lily Tea and Bestemors, a Scandanavian gift shop. If you’re hungry, The BoardWalk features fair food such as fried dough and hot dogs. Be sure to bring your camera — the village is decorated for the holidays.
Perhaps the best part of visiting Westport this time of year is strolling down Main Street and looking at the pretty shop windows and Christmas decor. Westport has many of the retail shops you see at the mall, without the Black Friday crowds. Some of the stores include Madewell, Anthropologie, Gap and Paper Source. Terrain, a home and garden store always features elaborate Christmas displays. On your way out of town, stop at The Granola Bar for a cup of hot chocolate and a healthy treat. Be sure to drive by Conco Beach to take in the beautiful ocean views.
Not only known for the best scoop of ice cream during the summer, Newtown also has many small shops. Take a stroll down historic Main Street and stop at the General Store, which is already decorated for Christmas. Grab a hot sandwich and take a look at the array of vintage treasures for sale. You can also get unique candy, perfect for stocking stuffers or just an afternoon sweet treat! Before you head out of town, make a stop at Down on Main, Queen Street Gifts and The Toy Tree. Despite the name, this unique toy store has more than just dolls and games. They also sell scarves, jewelry and home decor.
This classic New England town was actually where the fictional town of Stars Hollow was based off in “Gilmore Girls.” Turn off your phone and take your time browsing in The Hickory Stick Bookstore. The shop features a large variety of reads as well as stationery and fun toys and games. A short walk from the bookstore leads to Marty’s Cafe, a great place to stop for a bowl of soup or a buttered bagel.
This might be my personal favorite place to go Christmas shopping. Main Street in Ridgefield during the holiday season is lit up at night with string lights. I could spend hours in Books on the Common, a cute shop with books and other gifts such as calendars and stationery. Some other great stops are Toy Chest and Main Street Florist and Gifts. Deborah Anne’s Sweet Shoppe has homemade fudge and ice cream, and hot chocolate if it’s too cold for a waffle cone.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and start to the holiday season wherever your travels take you!
Thumbnail courtesy of @MistickVillage from Twitter
Kate Luongo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.