State Farm has clearly put quite a bit of time and effort into their window display, a wish list and all! Scroll through and take a look!
I have enjoyed countless cups of cappuccino and tea at Caffe Maida over the years, although it was just recently that I realized it is Caffe Maida, not Cafe Maida. It struck me while resizing the photos below, odd that I never noticed (clearly it’s plain as day) but nonetheless, a new discovery for me. Regardless, they have a charming holiday window display, makes the shop feel so cozy and warm.
95 E Butler Avenue
I apologize for not keeping up with the holiday window display posts as promised, I was out of town for a real estate convention for a week and totally fell behind. Although I’m off schedule with the photo posts I had a great convention and learned a TON! However, I did have you in mind while I was away and kept my eyes peeled for something fun to share with you. I came across this super cool app called Google Goggles, granted you need an Android or iPhone iOS 4.0 to use it, but hopefully many of you will benefit. Here’s a quick video to explain, but in a nut shell, it’s google using a picture search instead of a search term. Nut shell #2, it’s amazing!!! Check it out…
The title of this post was going to be “On the first day of Ambler’s Holiday Window Display Contest the Merchants Created To Be…” (hopefully you’ve read this in tempo to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas), but I thought that could quickly get out of hand as I would need to continue the theme in every post for the next few weeks. Clearly, I reconsidered, although I still like the idea…
True to form, I was out photographing the window displays on November 30. I will share all of the participants here and I expect to hear which one you like best, so don’t be shy!
Our first (and totally awesome) contestant is Deck’s Hardware:
Their theme is “Remembering Christmas in the 1950’s” According to facebook friend who seems to be in the know, Bud Henkels, all items in the window are form the 50’s, including post-war Lionel operating train layout. There are also a few pictures of Deck’s at Christmas from the 50’s, some of the items in the window today are also in the old photos!
Annual Holiday Parade, 1pm, parade route is from Lindenwold to Spring Garden. Come to town early and take the kids (big kids too) to the Amber Theater to see Elf at 11am. Also, many shops will be offering tasty treats like eggnog and hot chocolate as well as great specials and gift ideas!
One Stop Shopping Event, all day and evening throughout town. Shops will be offering incredible deals and many will have snacks and refreshments, some even a little bubbly (champagne and chocolates at Sew Vintage)!
Santa By Train and Christmas Tree Lighting, 7pm, Ambler Train Station.
Holiday Sing-A-long with the Ambler Symphony, 6:30pm, Ambler Theater. The sing-a-long is following by a screening of Miracle on 34th Street, the original, of course.
Join the Ambler Choral Society for caroling, 2pm, meet in front of the Ambler Theater.
Winner of the Holiday Window Display Contest announced, 6pm, Borough Hall.
Ambler Luminary and visit from Santa! Santa will visit local streets and neighborhoods, not by reindeer and sleigh, but by our very own Wissahickon Fire Company, residents luminaries will lead the way!
It’s that time of year! I’m sure some of you hurried out, the day after Thanksgiving, and got your tree as soon as possible; for those who haven’t, here’s a list of great local farms, shops and lots where you can pick one up. The places with an asterisk are participating in Trees For Troops, Friday, Dec 2 – Sunday, Dec 4th. There are tons of great spots here, but I’ll be right up front about my bias and start off with my favorite place…
Kenny’s Christmas Trees* Springhouse
~Delivery and setup available, call ahead.
Maple Acres Farm Plymouth Meeting
~Minimizes chemical and pesticide use.
O&F Farms 1040 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell
Merrymead Farm Lansdale
~They have delicious homemade old fashioned eggnog available and of course their special holiday ice cream flavors. There will be a live Nativity Dec 17 & 18.
Freddy Hill Farms Lansdale
~Visit the Farm Zoo and take home farm fresh milk and ice cream.
Holly Days Nursery Horsham
~Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance Saturday, Dec 11, 11am – 2pm.
Bustard’s Christmas Trees* Lansdale
~Make sure the kids bring their Christmas list to put in Santa’s mailbox!
If you want to cut your own tree:
Hague’s Christmas Trees Hatfield
~Create a personalized Christmas card by having your families picture taken in Hague’s large Christmas Tree cutout.
Corkum Tree Farm Collegeville
~Enjoy complimentary warm cider.
Varner Farms* Collegeville
~Listen to Christmas carols while you enjoy a complimentary cup of hot chocolate or cider.
A few farms are closed on Sunday, also the choose and cut your own fields sometimes close down earlier than the farm itself, so be sure to call before you go to confirm that they are open and still have a good supply of trees. Happy hunting!
No, this post has nothing at all to do with Casablanca, I just couldn’t help but throw the “kid” in there. Here’s Looking At You is an upscale eyeglass boutique that is new to Ambler as of last month. HLAY (for the sake of brevity) shares an entrance way with In These Shoes on Butler Avenue, which makes sense, as they likely appeal to the same audience.
Owner, Francis Templin, has outdone himself in designing the store, it has a gallery feel and is stunning. Templin is a former Coast Guard Medic who has a passion for fine things, eye glasses being high on the list; his personal collection is eclipsed only by that of his new venture. Each frame as well as every piece of furniture and lighting was hand picked by Templin. You may wonder, as I did, about the palm tree (seen in the photos below). At first it seemed a bit out of place, but it makes perfect sense when you observe the collection it accompanies. This speaks to the variety of frames that you will find here; if you can’t find something you like at HLAY, it probably doesn’t exist.
While visiting with Francis I couldn’t help but notice the amazing artwork in the rear of the store. As I moved closer I realized that this was not a piece of artwork hanging on the wall but an incorporated masonry scene. Apparently this building originally housed the Wissahickon Fire Company, which was founded in 1891 after an infamous fire that claimed several Ambler hallmarks. It’s impossible to miss, be sure to check it out while visiting Here’s Looking At You, it is a pretty incredible piece of history!
Templin plans to offer some artisan pieces as well, ideally crafted by a local artist. If you feel that you would be a good fit, stop in for a visit. Heck, regardless of whether you are an artist, are in need of new frames or not, stop in to say hello and welcome Francis to town!
Here’s Looking At You
71 E Butler Avenue, Ambler
Like many, I was thrilled to hear that a new business was opening in Jo Jo’s former space. I’ve been waiting on word for an opening date, yes, peeking in the windows and all, for a few weeks. Yesterday I saw @RachInAmbler tweet a picture of her veggie hoagie from Julia’s and I could hardly reply fast enough! She informed me that they opened this past Wednesday, man, I must be slacking!
I stopped in today on my way home from work; my intention was to say hello and get some details, but naturally, I left with a hoagie in hand. I was immediately greeted by the owner, Heather, I assumed she and Julia were partners until she informed me that Julia is her 8 year old daughter. Julia’s is a true family business, as I found Heather’s mom and dad behind the counter as well! I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Julia, but apparently she is quite pleased with her deli and loves that it bears her name.
As I mentioned, Julia’s is located in Jo Jo’s former location, 14 W Butler Avenue, right next to the train station. If you are an early morning commuter, you are in luck as Julia’s opens weekdays at 6am, serving locally roasted coffee and tasty breakfast sandwiches. They are a full service deli offering Dietz & Watson meats and artisan cheeses, the same great quality you get at your grocery store, but at a better price and in an independently owned store. In addition to the standard deli items, Julia’s also offers homemade soups and salads, hoagies, sandwiches, wraps and delicious sounding sides, such as J-Lee’s Fries (grated parmesan reggiano, garlic, salt and pepper), sweet potato and crab fries. They also do deli trays with 24 hours advance notice. I’ve only tried the Italian Hoagie so far, but I was very pleased. It was piled high with choice meats and cheeses, juicy red tomatoes, red and white onion, fresh lettuce and was nicely seasoned on a great roll. I’m looking forward to working my way through the menu 🙂
Julia’s On The Go Deli is open 7 days a week, 6am-6pm, Monday – Friday and 7am-4pm on Saturday & Sunday. They don’t have a website yet, but you can find them on facebook!
14 W Butler Ave, Ambler, PA 19002
True to form there is a lot going on this time of year, and Ambler is no exception to the rule! Due to an unbelievably early snowfall, our first ever Monster Mash was moved from Halloween weekend to this past Saturday, November 5. I got some great video of the dances which I hope to share with you, as soon as I solve the case of the missing file…. In the mean time you can see the photos here.
We still have plenty ahead of us in the month of November, so mark your calendars!
Now- Nov 18
Several Ambler businesses are collecting non-perishable food items for the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard in time for Thanksgiving . They are particularly in need of stuffing, instant potatoes, biscuit mix and the following canned items: corn, green beans, yams, peas, turkey gravy, cream of mushroom soup, cranberry sauce, and french fried onions. Please drop food off at any of the following businesses:
Pure Spa– Offering a 10% discount off of a gift card purchase or any regular priced service with a donation by Nov 18!
Head down to Bar 31 for “Gamers Give Back” a Beef & Beer benefiting Child’s Play Charity. Child’s Play is an organization that helps supply hospitals and therapy facilities with age appropriate videos, books, and games to give kids a positive outlet during what is usually a very trying time. The B&B is $20 for all you can eat and drink from 2-5pm, there will also be raffles, a 50/50 drawing and a WII tournament. All proceeds benefit Child’s Play Charity at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Nov 19- Dec 10
Dress For Success! In These Shoes will be collecting gently used, interview appropriate shoes to help women in need get properly suited up in style for job interviews. In These Shoes took part in this important event last year, let’s help make it a tradition and as successful this year as it was last!
Small Business Saturday! After you do the “Black Friday” thing at the mall (if you dare), come spend Saturday in Ambler and support our local businesses! Ambler has been hand selected as a featured Small Town for American Express’ Small Business Saturday event (apparently one of the higher ups grew up in Ambler and thought it would be a great fit). Their slogan is “If millions of Americans shop small, it will be huge” which is so true, I hope it happens. There will be tons of specials and great deals at many of the stores in town, stay tuned here for an updated list. And if shopping locally isn’t gratifying enough, AMEX is giving a $25 statement credit to card members who register their card and use it at a locally owned, independent small business (of course there’s fine print).
Sure, kids may not love to shop (or you may feel the same about having them with you while you shop) but Ambler’s got that covered! You can drop off the kids at Mermaid Art Studio or Ambler Flower Shop to do crafts while you shop (pre-registration required). Make sure you pick them up by 2:00 and head down to Trax, Santa will be in the parking lot for an hour and Trax will be passing out their signature hot chocolate.
Last, but not least, November 30th marks the start of the Holiday Window Display Contest. If you don’t recall my mission last year (to post a photo each day from each window), you may not know how much I love this contest; it’s so nice to see everyone’s efforts to make our town sparkle! Be sure to spend some time in town enjoying the decorated windows, and keep in mind, I am going to want to know who your favorite is! In keeping with tradition, I will post a photo from each window leading up to selection of the winner on December 20th.