Toys Ahoy!: A great assortment of toys
As you might imagine from the name, this village toy store features a nautical theme, but that hardly limits the scope of the offerings inside. As a relatively new grandmother, I couldn't stop fawning over the adorable purses for little girls, each with a tiny stuffed animal and lots of ribbons, sparkly bits, and bright colors. My friend is very fond of the "Jellies" line of English stuffed animals, and the shop had them in abundance. (They are phenomenally soft -- if you haven't hugged one, give yourself permission to indulge.) We saw all sorts of great stocking stuffers, games both old and new, and nifty "rolling stock" like trucks and cars for little hands. There were outdoor toys, too -- balsa wood planes, frisbees, etc.
And there's a canine greeter named Ruby! Generally open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
What to buy: I loved the toy soldiers and the wooden trains.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Essex Books: Little Book Store with a BIG Heart
Do not underestimate this little shop, it has one of the biggest hearts of any place I've been. The owner, an independent business woman and mother, runs this store as if it were her dream...and it is. It may not be a Barnes and Noble but it has this hope in it that really just moves my heart. When I came in there was a local author signing a non-fiction historical piecec that was about local politicians in the area, her dad being one of them. There was lemonade and cookies served to the public. Although there were only 4-6 bookshelves worth of book, the couch and pillows made me feel so warm and welcome. I spoke with the owner after the author left and she said she actually works multiple jobs just to keep the bookstore open, since it's her dream. I found that so inspiring.
If travelling in Essex, stop by. You can pick up a book for the road and help out a sweet, passionate, local business that helps make Essex look as cute and nice as it is.
After making my purchase I was happy to see it was wrapped not in some plastic Walmart bag, but a reuseable bag that stated: Peace. Love. Books. How great is that?? I loved it!
What to buy: The store is quite small, so don't expect to find really odd books. Most of the books are more popular best-sellers. Although, they do have many patriotic, American history, children's and local books...which fits quite nicely with the Essex powerful patriotic personality.
What to pay: Pay regular book prices on jackets/covers
- Historical Travel
- Women's Travel
- Business Travel
The Christmas Barn: Ornaments Anyone?
Have you ever been in one of those shops where your eyes don't even know where to turn because there's SO much to see per every square inch? Well, this my friends, is one of them. It may sound silly to others but having a year-round Christmas store is actually quite convenient. For a few minutes, while inside, you do transfer to that December state-of-mind.
What to buy: The walls are full of ornaments of EVERY kind. Any profession, any hobby, I promise it's here. Upstairs is more stockings, and tree topper angels. I found my locally crafted Essex, CT and Gadsby's Tavern ornament and exited. Definitely a fun place to stop in while wandering Main Street of Essex. The website has a long list of other decorations available at the bottom of the page.
What to pay: I would expect to pay between $7-$15 per ornament or stocking.
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- Family Travel
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