Avoid messy mall parking and that faceless (and getting dangerous) big-box MaulMart syndrome. And get yourself some real service without resorting to pepper spray! Pick from hundreds of handmade, original items from any number of gift shops and galleries on the Main Streets of Northwest New Jersey.
Or how about a gift certificate at a special destination in our area?
Decoys and Wildlife Gallery contains an extensive
collection of original paintings by some of the
most renowned artists as well as the
largest selection of hand
carved decoys, representing
carvers across the US. Choose from a world-class
collection for the most discerning art-lover or
55 Bridge St., Frenchtown; 908/996-6501.
Made To Order,
the distinctive jewelry and gift shop in Clinton, offers
exclusive access to the popular line of Pandora
There is also a wide selection of gold and platinum
jewelry, fine art glass and crystal, Peggy
photos and beaded jewelry made
by Dan Bacon.
44 Main St., Clinton; 908/735-4244.
A selection from any of the Vintage North Jersey wineries will go well on your holiday table or under the tree. There are several Holiday Trails that you can follow, and combine your winery trip with antique and crafts shops, Christmas tree farms, and restaurants. For example, here's a trip through the lower Musconetcong valley. Here's a map and directions to each winery. Or check for offers and order by phone or online:
Blairstown for personalized holiday shopping featuring unique gifts
and art, including a huge inventory of paintings, photographs,
jewelry, fine woodworking, wooden toys, pottery, stain glass,
quilting, handmade ornaments, cards and more—all
by local artists.
23 Main Street, Blairstown, 908/362-6865.
A wolf-watch at the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia makes an outstanding gift. From an observation area in the center of four packs of wolves, visitors learn about the social structure of wolf packs, their eating habits, their interaction with man and many other interesting facts. You will be able to watch the wolves play, interact with each other and maybe even hear them howl! This award-winning attraction, loved by thousands, presents wolf watches twice daily all year (closed Monday).
Lakota also offers private, guided photography sessions that focus on each group, even separate individuals. Through portal openings in the fencing, you can take unobstructed pictures of the wolves as they go about their business, roaming deep in the woods or almost close enough to touch (please don’t!). You’ll get to know each personality and each pack’s dynamic. Sessions are available at any time during the year. Late fall and winter are special though, when the wolves' fur bulks up and they are most energetic.
Photographers range from serious amateurs and
professionals to point-and-shooters who just want
to be as close as possible to the wolves. All
come away with pictures that make them proud,
delighted with the additions to their personal
portfolios and the one-on-one experience with
their subjects. A perfect gift for the photographer
in your life!
Located at Camp Taylor Campground, 85 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Columbia, 07832
Call toll free for gift certificates or more information: 1-877-SEE-WOLF. go to Lakota Wolf website.
this time of year, the Well-Sweep Herb Farm garden fairies
transform the shop into a Christmas wonderland. Featuring
an ever expanding collection of handcrafted gifts and
quality decorations; ornaments, wreaths, arrangements,
Santas, and angels overflow the shelves. The greenhouse
is also stocked with a selection of attractive windowsill
herbs, unusual tender perennials in bloom and unique
topiary’s -- all to help with your shopping list
of special gift giving needs.
205 Mt. Bethel Rd.. 908/852-5390.
Christmas tree farmers plan years in advance, provide year-round care, and invest time, labor, and love into a crop which takes 7-15 years from planting to harvest. Opting for a real Christmas tree for your holiday decor helps the local environment, local economy, even rural landscapes. Cutting your own Christmas tree can be a day-long and memorable event for your family. Remember to wear boots and bring a warm jacket as the conditions could be muddy and it is always chilly. Here's a good list and a map.
Evergreen Valley Tree Farm is open from 9 am to 4 pm Tuesday thru Sunday (closed Monday) until December 23rd. 10,000 trees stand at attention, awaiting your review. Walk through the fields, breathe the fresh air, choose and cut! The farm is located at 71 Jackson Valley Road in Washington Township, just off of Route 31 (map)