Shop Talk : Tips for shopping for the small ones in your life
Photo by Ralph Stewart
The Holiday season is upon us, and many people having already started their early shopping. If you are still stumped as to what to get the child in your life, here are some on-Island suggestions.
Vineyard Haven has many options for toys, from the Toy Box at the Tisbury Market Place to Brickman's on Main Street, from Sports Haven on Beach Road across from the west end of Main Street to BiBi's Baby & Kids on Main Street.
The Toy Box (508-693-1838) is dedicated to "providing toys and games to children that have a long playing value that are classic in nature, as exemplified by such items as dolls or arts and craft items," according to owner BeeBee Horowitz. The store is designed for all ages, from the toddler to the 100-year-old who loves jigsaw puzzles, of which they have a very large selection.
"We really try to offer toys and games that are worthwhile, whether they are educational toys for young ones or games that span generations, such as the retro Risk game," Ms. Horowitz says. "We continue to try to entice children of all ages to continue to play, versus growing up to quickly. Our display of the European Playmobil exemplifies this as even 12-year-old children, whom you think would find this toy too young for them, find themselves riveted by it." Playmobil's signature toy is a 7.5cm tall human figure that is produced in themed series of sets, as well as individual special figures and play sets.
As for the current popularity of games, Ms. Horowitz suggests, "Settlers of Catan is a really fun strategy game that is made for ages 10 to 14, though high school students to young adults seem to play it often. Keep in mind that it is a 4-person game, though you can make a 6-player game by purchasing an extension for the game. Another extremely popular game is Apples to Apples, a four to ten person game that is generally played in 30 to 60 minutes and allows for ages 12 and up." I personally would second this vote, as it is a regular at holidays and on game nights in our home.
Brickman's (508-693-0047) is known best as a clothing, shoe, and accessory store for the whole family, but there's an ample toy and sporting goods section too. In the back room that leads to the parking lot is a space dedicated to toys and games for the whole family. Whether you are looking for a board game or a kite to fly on Christmas, you will find it here, and you will be able to cross of many other items off your list in the department store area.
Sports Haven, a specialty sports shop for athletic apparel and equipment, is geared up for the holidays. According to owner Bill Miner, "Our most popular holiday line is the Vineyard Apparel for soccer, hockey, basketball, football etc. in both tee-shirts and sweatshirts," he says. "We have already seen an even larger run than usual on these items since we took over the MV Arena's pro shop this fall, so I recommend getting yours early." The Pro Shop, which is open seven days a week, starting at 3:30 pm weekdays and all day on the weekends, offers apparel, skates of all types, and hockey gear. The original store on Beach Road is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, though you may arrange through the Pro Shop or via the Internet contact form at www.mvsportshaven.com, to have the store open or items dropped off for pickup at the Pro Shop. "Other popular items, after sporting equipment, is our Under Armour line, both branded and plain, along with some of our less expensive lines which include fleece zips," Mr. Miner says. "We also carry the continually popular Butterfly Ping Pong table and accessories." You may also contact Mr. Miner and his staff by phone at either the Pro Shop 508-693-8003 or at the store 508-696-0456.
If you are looking for some holiday clothes or perhaps it is time for your little one to upgrade from the crib to a toddler bed, BiBi's Baby & Kids is open to assist you. Here is a dream of room décor, bedding, accessories and some of the most beautiful clothes for babies to toddlers that you will ever find. For questions and current hours, call the shop directly at 508-696-7500 and speak with owner Kimberly Biggs.
Other great shopping venues for kids are The Boneyard Surfshop on Main Street in Edgartown, The Green Room on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, or The Lazy Frog on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, along with Granite Hardware at the Triangle in Edgartown.
The Boneyard Surfshop is well known for their surf and skate boards, along with the freshest coordinating gear, including their very own, highly sought after, logo'd items. The Green Room is also well known for its surf and skate equipment and clothing by such greats as Surf Tech and Element. The Lazy Frog, a store dedicated to leisure, is fully stocked with toys, to board games and many unique, popular items that kids are craving this holiday season. With items designed for toddlers to adults, you might find yourself spending a lot more time perusing the store than you thought. Finally Granite Ace Hardware has a large section of their first floor dedicated to kids. From a wall covered with boxed games, to racks filled with little tidbits and collectables, this is a tough area to get kids to leave when they visit, which means it is a place you want to shop.
Remember, there are many, many more Island stores that offer a wide variety of gifts guaranteed to bring happiness to the kids in your life.
A thought to keep in mind while you are out shopping for kids, you might want to purchase some toys or clothing for the children that are being sponsored this year by the Red Stocking Fund, the Island's not-for-profit group that provides meals, toys, and clothing to families in need. This year they are planning on making the Christmas wishes come true for 475 kids, from newborns to 8th graders. To learn more about this well-run, much-needed program, call organizers Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324 or Lorraine Clark at 508-693-0725. Not only are they in need of gifts, but also monetary donations to buy food and clothing. And they need volunteers to help wrap presents.