I visited Peter's Flowers and Gifts during my seemingly endless hunt for a wedding florist. Peter's is located off of Franklin Turnpike, which is a busy street--so be aware when you pull in and out of their driveway.
When I entered, I immediately noticed the fresh smell of plants and flowers. The staff is friendly and there are eye-catching gifts arranged around the store, such as picture frames and photo albums. I liked their gourmet sweets and gifts as well--it's great to visit a florist that has lovely flowers AND unique gifts for you to purchase on site.
I moved to the back of the store to speak with the events coordinator. This is a cubicle-style area big enough to seat you and your guest as you discuss possible arrangement ideas. The florist was very helpful and educated me about different sorts of plants that would work together. In fact, after visiting several other area florists, Peter's was the only one that actually brought out the live flowers for me to see and then gave them to me as a gift when I left the store. Very classy!
The price for event flowers was comparable to other shops I visited--the one factor that deterred me from hiring Peter's for my wedding was that they did not have any photographs of floral arrangements that they created for events for which they were hired. I am a very visual person, so I really wanted to see some photos of what Peter's can do. As a result of this, I elected to use another florist for my wedding.
However I can say that Peter's has fresh, lovely flowers and a nice staff. They have FTD services and a recurring contest that you can see from the street on a blackboard that offers free flowers if your name is posted on the sign. I would absolutely patronize Peter's Flowers again because it is an independently owned and operated business that has offered skilled service to the local community for over 40 years.
PROS: Fresh flowers!
Victor's House of Music has been a part of the local community since the 1950's. Once in Ridgewood and now located in a large facility in Paramus, NJ, Victor's has the best and widest selection of musical instruments and accessories that I know of in the area.
When I needed to purchase a flute to participate in band, Victor's was the place to go. They sell new and used musical equipment for novices to pros. If your beloved guitar breaks, they have a repair service that will fix your guitar expertly. Speaking of guitars, check out their large line of Les Pauls and other Gibsons. Gorgeous!
Victor's has sheet music and books for all instruments and all experience levels--great if you are setting up anything from a garage band to a symphony.
Prices are reasonable, and Victor's offers a special financing program called Harmony that allows you to pay off a purchase if you qualify.
For children through s, Victor's House of Music has the equipment, lessons connections, and accessories you need to inspire musicians all over the tri-state area. It's a veritable music store paradise--open every day except Sundays.
PROS: Amazing selection of merchandise
Nimues Cafe & Book Store draws an interesting, eccelctic crowd to its small shop. The first thing that draws poeple, especially the young people, is the ambience set by the dim lighting. There is a relaxed feeling upon entering the store, especially with the incense burning adding to the mystique and aroma.
There are books for sale but not as many as you would think. In fact, I almost think the book serve as a decoration to add to the comfort of the place. The cafe serves an array of drinks at a reasonable price. A few tables and chairs are set out for people to sit down and relax. Even moreso are the couches that are available to make it even more cozy. Bookshelves filled with books for reading pleasure adorn this shop to great effect.
There are plenty of young s who frequent this place. In fact they sometimes bring their own food and enjoy the quiet atmosphere as opposed to the oversaturated big cafes that populate the area.
Nimues is a great change of pace getting away from the big mainstream bookstores and cafes. Intimatacy seems to be the word closely associated with this place and one that's welcomed.
PROS: A nice change of venue
Ridgewood is a town filled with an array of wonderful little shops that offers a little bit of everything. Sometimes these shops go unnoticed just because they have been there for a long time, and this is the case with Irish Eyes Import.
My husband was curious to see what was offered inside this place and we both proceeded to check it out. This has the be one of the biggest shops offering not only Irish wares but Celtic products as well. There is something there for both men and women, and as expected, they do sell kilts. I can't even imagine my husband wearing one even though he was contemplating of getting one (and no, he's not even Irish)!
Among the spectacular clothing that is offered--hats, golf shirts, sweaters, capes--they also sell gold and silver items. There is also a room that offers a lot of Irish food--tea, biscuits, jams and beautiful gift baskets just to name a few. The aroma is absolutely enchanting.
My husband loved looking at the various paintings offered for sale form oil to watercolor to prints to photographs.
The country of Ireland is alive and well in the town of Ridgewood, and I hope the luck of the Irish continue to keep this business alive and well.
PROS: Incredible array of items available and lots of culture
I have always admired those who make their own greeting cards. I have been fascinated with the craftsmanship and skill in designing them that I have recently dabbled with making my own. I love seeing these works in gift shops which is where I one day noticed a plethora of cards at Happy Tuesday in Ridgewood.
This is a perfect place for Happy Tuesday to be situated as it's located in a very chic area. The store is very happy with colors inviting and sparking a creative impulse. Personally, I am a fan of finding knick-knacks for myself and for others, and this place ofefrs a variety of not only greeting cards designed by independent designers, but soaps as big as your hands, handmade candles, jewelry, journals and other interesting things that are out of the mainstream.
This charming place captures a pure essence that is really hard to explain. I really feel like a little kid in a candy store marveling at all the exciting and wonderful things presented to me.
This is a fantastic place if you are looking for that one-of-a-kind type of item, something unique and different that you never would have thought of in the first place. This is absolutley great for birthday gifts or even something to treat yourself.
Visit Happy Tuesday to shop for items that you can't find in mainstream stores. It has a lot to offer!
PROS: Neat items for sale!
The Rock Ridge Pharmacy has been in Glen Rock since *I* was a kid, and that is a long time to say the least. My mother used to bring me here to buy kitchy Christmas gifts for the family--my Godmother still has a rhinestone Christmas tree lapel pin I selected for her from this store. Now, I visit the Rock Ridge Pharmacy when I want unique gift items for friends and family. They have a whole selection of paper goods, decor, beauty gift sets--all sorts of items to browse for all occasions. The pharmacy is a Hallmark Gold Crown store, and has an excellent beauty section to boot.
Of course, the Rock Ridge Pharmacy is recognized in the community for its pharmaceutical care. Medical equipment, like breast pumps and wheelchairs, is available for rent. What a help if you only need something temporarily! Other medical equipment and supplies are available for sale. The staff is dedicated and has been with the Rock Ridge Pharmacy for years--they can assist you by answering questions or finding what suits your budget.
The pharmacy has both a small-town and boutique feel which is unusual in what I would expect in a % store." I love the climate and the gifts for sale in this pharmacy, making me a returning customer for years.
PROS: Great gifts for sale
Glen Rock was one of my favorite towns to visit when my son was a toddler because of stores like The Grow Cery Limited, on its main street. My son loved the colorful window displays at this toy store, where they would arrange Kinex creations like a giant ferris wheel or roller coaster. Inside was a wonderland of toys that really kept his attention and offered creative opportunities for his play rather than passive ones like sitting in front of a video game.
Grow Cery Limited is an independently-owned and operated toy store that offers all sorts of creative toys and educational options for discerning shoppers to choose from. My son loved to build things, so I would visit the Grow Cery to buy him Brio train parts (when I could afford them!), building block kits, and kid-friendly s. The store is not too big but it certainly has a great stock that isn't too cluttered or crowded.
At the time I visited, there were kid-sized chairs where kids could sit and play with LEGO-style blocks. The aforementioned ferris wheel was on display near the store's front window and at a child's eye height. Needless to say, my son zeroed in on this magical creation and wanted to touch it. Even though I was holding his hand, he reached out and received a scolding from the employee at work that day. Her chastisement was not friendly, but quite the opposite and intimidating to my son. I mention this because this store is marketed as child-friendly; I never had a repeat incident of above but I refrained from bringing my son back to the store again.
The Grow Cery is one of those special stores that you can visit to purchase unique gifts for boys and s that are not sold in other chain toy shops. If you prefer educational and creative toy options, this store will prove to be what you are looking for in a toy store.
PROS: Educational toys and creative kits
Books, Bytes, and Beyond is a store I discovered when my son was a toddler and I was interested in reading to him as much as humanly possible. He was fascinated with transportation stories and I was on a hunt for more. This Glen Rock bookstore had just what I was looking for and more inside.
Books, Bytes, and Beyond is an independently-owned bookstore that caters to children's and young audiences. They have a wealth of educational toys, computer software that is family-friendly, and a trove of books to browse. Children are welcome here, and my son would have so much fun looking at all of the colorful displays and toys for sale.
At the time, I subscribed to a Books, Bytes, and Beyond newsletter that informed me of upcoming sales and book signings. Writers and artists like Walter Wick, author and photographer of children's books like the I Spy series, visited here and signed books. The best was when Eric Carle, author of A Very Quiet Cricket, was there. I appreciate stores like Books, Bytes, and Beyond, that bring the artists to the children and make the books really come to life.
Visit Books, Bytes, and Beyond for children's gifts and more. They have a calendar of upcoming events you can review if there is a visitor coming who piques your interest.
PROS: Author and artist signings
When Partyland opened in Midland Park, I was so happy that I could take a short car ride to a local party store instead of braving the highway for simple party supplies for events like my son's birthdays. Partyland is an independently owned franchise store that has a friendly staff and a wide selection of what I need, when I need it.
Balloons are a huge draw for customers at Partyland. The prices are right and they will be arranged for you while you wait. You can elect to have a colorful "weight" attached to the bottom if you are creating a table display. I purchased beautiful arrangements here for my sister's wedding shower. I also visit here when I want balloons for birthdays and other occasions. Their mylar balloons last a long tme!
I like that Partyland has themed birthday decorations for kids and even for s celebrating the big 5-0. All occasions are essentially represented here in paper goods and decor--during last year's Super Bowl, I hosted a pre-teen bash at my house and bought all of the party supplies at Partyland. Their stock is always current and rotating.
They offer sale items after holidays are over--so if you know you will be celebrating a Valentine's Day fest next year, purchase your party wares at slashed prices when Partyland stocks the clearance shelf.
They also sell greeting cards, goodie bags and goodies, candies--you can outfit a toddler's party all in one store. It's a huge timesaver for busy people!
Free parking is available and plentiful in a lot outside the shop.
PROS: Themed party goods.
Party City is the Halloween destination for what appears to be most of Bergen County, because when you try to enter their parking lot off of Route 17 near this holiday, you will have a bit of a wait on the shoulder. Party City is absolutely packed to the gills with families stocking up on fake blood, costumes-in-bags, and magic wands.
During the rest of the year, Party City is much more calm and easier to navigate. They have baskets for your convenience as you shop seasonal decor (for summer, paper lanterns and tiki torches, for example), party supplies, and novelties. Hosting a backyard luau? Party City has the merchandise you need to throw a decorated bash.
In June, I visited Party City to find (I swear) a George Washington costume and/or tri-corner hat for my son to wear during an oral report. The costume aisles were cluttered with boxes of stock for this area that needed to be shelved. There were dozens of these boxes and it was hard to move around. Nevertheless, I found an employee who was really helpful and informed me that the George Washington costume was sold out. I'm not sure what was more odd--the fact that I found a live human being among the box maze, or that other people purchased George Washington costumes.
Regardless, Party City is one of my annual destinations for Halloween and a place I visit when I want oddities like that mentioned above. They have a friendly staff and a good selection of merchandise for sale.
PROS: Wide selection of costumes