DOWNTOWN SHOPPING DISTRICTS
AMBLER MAIN STREET
Butler Avenue businesses excel at personal service, something shoppers appreciate during the holiday rush. Special holiday promotions are available on Small Business Saturday (November 28) and on Shopping Weekend (December 10–12).
Anchoring the Philadelphia suburbs, Admore is home to some of the region's best shopping, including Suburban Square, noted as one of the country's first outdoor shopping centers, as well as streets lined with locally owned small businesses.
PIAZZA ON THE SQUARE
The convenience within this Jenkintown plaza puts an extremely large variety of merchandise within the distance of a few small footsteps. Rhinoceros, for example, is a toy store that prides itself in stocking unusual and thoughtful games and toys – many made by hand – to engage today’s kids.
Skippack Village decorates just about every nook and cranny at this time of year, welcoming shoppers to a ton of tinsel and a legion of lights. Its plentiful restaurants are great for a quick bite, providing yet more energy for carrying all those bags. The November 28 Small Business Saturday event has several enticements to shopping local.
SOUDERTON-TELFORD MAIN STREET
Shopping here brings back the days when opening the door of a store brought the friendly jingle of a bell and a hearty handshake from the proprietor. Among the stores along the central thoroughfare is Moyer Specialty Foods, which is certain to have those hard-to-find ingredients needed for holiday cooking and baking.
DESTINATION CHESTNUT HILL
Chestnut Hill is a Philadelphia neighborhood with a small town feel. More than 200 businesses line the streets with independently owned stores, boutiques, spas, restaurants and cafes. The destination is even more inviting in winter when parking is free every weekend and on Wednesday evenings.
Just across the Schuylkill River in Chester County is the town of Phoenixville. This inviting downtown offers shopping, restaurants,arts and culture, nightlife and more. Don't miss the Phoenixville Firebird Festival on December 5.
MALLS & OUTLETS
KING OF PRUSSIA MALL
This is the last holiday season shoppers will need to choose between the Court and the Plaza; by this time next year, the addition bridging the two footprints will be complete. The holidays aren’t slowing construction, nor are the builders affecting the jolly holiday feel that defines shopping season 2015.
PHILADELPHIA PREMIUM OUTLETS
Philadelphia Premium Outlets, Limerick, provides sought-after brands at deep daily discounts. Holiday specials will save savvy shoppers even more. The outlets are extending hours throughout the season, opening earlier and closing later. Check out our blogger's first-hand account of Black Friday at the Outlets.
For those closer to Montgomeryville, Pa. than King of Prussia- don’t worry, the Montgomery Mall is offering the same extended hours. The Mall will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 11:00 p.m. also beginning on December 11th. Get your holiday gifts and stop in to get a photo with Santa while you’re there!
PLYMOUTH MEETING MALL
Plymouth Meeting Mall will hold a merry marathon of shopping on December 22–23, for those shopping procrastinators, opening both days at 7 a.m. and remaining active until 11 p.m. If you’ve got the kids along for a Santa photo, they might also enjoy a double-decker carousel ride at the mall.
WILLOW GROVE PARK MALL
The prancing horses that decorate Willow Grove Park Mall are a tribute to its former site as a renowned amusement park. Those former merry-go-round animals are even glitterier when draped with holly and lights. The mall extends its hours closer to the big day, Christmas Eve.
SMALL BUSINESS SHOPPING
ACCENT ON THE ROCKS
Jewelry is a gift that should be as one-of-a-kind as the person who receives it. Accent on the Rocks, Skippack, offers just that kind of dazzle. Local artisans work with materials such as grey and bronze fresh water pearl, labradorite, moonstone, ruby, garnet with leather and sterling silver to produce fantastic accessories.
BARN FRESH VINTAGE MARKET
Bring a vintage look to your holiday decorations at Barn Fresh Vintage Market of Gilbertsville. One of its antiques vendors has Santas that go all the way back to the 1940s.
BAUMAN'S APPLE BUTTER
This Pennsylvania Dutch producer of home-cooked fruit butters may have made a name for itself with the apple variety, but this time of year, it’s all about the pumpkin. Surprise those around your holiday table with Bauman’s cranberry applesauce.
BOYD'S CARDINAL HOLLOW WINERY
To toast the holiday season, a fine bottle of wine is needed. Pick one up at Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery, Lansdale. Round out the gift-giving goodies with a shirt, wine bag, cheese sample, bottle of olive oil or serving of stuffed peppers.
There’s no shortage of gift ideas in Montgomery County for someone with a sweet tooth. Asher’s Chocolates in Souderton raises chocolate-covered pretzels to a delicacy. Looking for truffles? Try the candy-cane flavor at Bridge Street Chocolates in Phoenixville. Sweet Ashley’s in Royersford has a solid-chocolate nutcracker figure that any chocoholic would love to find tucked in a stocking.
EDWARDS-FREEMAN NUT COMPANY
The nutcracker has emerged as one of the most identifiable signs of the season. But a nutcracker needs nuts! The bins at Edwards-Freeman Nut Company are filled to the brim with almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pistachios and more. The retro candies can be given as unexpected and smile-inducing stocking-stuffers.
THE ENCAMPMENT STORE AT VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
The history buff on your list will salute you for your innovation with a gift from The Encampment Store at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Hand-painted tree ornaments will give any tree a distinctive style. Kid-centric items include one-of-a-kind gifts like tin whistles and a tricorne hats.
GREEN WOLF'S VILLAGE BARN SHOPPES
This Skippack collection of stores is one stop where six or seven people from the “to-buy” list can be crossed off. Original artwork, intricate woodwork, modern home décor and interesting fashions are only part of the treasures to be placed under the tree.
The holiday are a popular time to get engaged. If you’re ready to pop the question and need something dazzling to put on her finger, the experts at Milanj Diamonds in King of Prussia can “point” you in the right direction. Need help planning that 2016 wedding? Contact our wedding concierge.
UNIQUE GIFT IDEAS
CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES
Don’t give another tie or pair of slippers! Try something unique like a set of theater tickets. The theater-goer on your list will love the chance to experience Act II Playhouse, DCP Theatre, Steel River Playhouse or People’s Light and Theatre. For concerts and performances, shop The Valley Forge Casino Resort Music Fair, Ardmore Music Hall or the legendary Keswick Theatre.
INTERACTIVE GIFTS & CLASSES
For a nontraditional gift, don’t give an item, give an experience. Stone and Key Cellars, Montgomeryville, holds wine-making classes that couples or groups can take together. Sur La Table runs a full calendar of cooking classes, and for groups, Cooking Spotlight has a roster of entertaining culinary skill-builders. Steve’s Sewing and Vacuum teaches needle arts that generations can enjoy together.