Category Archives: Gifts

10 Unique Gift Ideas for Every Budget

With just a week to go before Christmas, there are bound to be a few gifts – or more than a few – left to buy. But even if it feels like the 11th hour, there are plenty of unique and thoughtful gifts in every price range… available at Snow’s, of course!

pinterest
See the list on Pinterest!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.48.49 PM$15 range

Town Tribute – Give them the gift of their favorite Cape Cod town. Choose from coasters, mugs and classic weathered signs. 100% handmade, earth-friendly and made in the U.S.A.

felt bagHandmade Handbags  – Felt clutches, handcrafted by artisans in developing countries, Each is one-of-a-kind!

colorful socksColorful, Cozy Coverings – A little something fun for your feet: whimsical and mismatched socks for adults, children and babies. Knit with recycled cotton yarn – hats available, too!

nat jules stuffed animalSnuggle Buddy – Soft plush toys from Nat & Jules are so adorable, it will be hard to choose just one for your favorite youngster. This dinosaur is named Staggie. :-)

 

diffuser$25 range

Summer Breeze in a Box – Sea Salt + Ocean Surf fragrance diffuser by Paddywax, hand-poured into a 4 oz. aqua glass vessel. Many oter “flavors” available, such as  Blood Orange + Citrus and Lavender + Thyme.


fish bowlGo Fish!
– Whimsical “Aqua Fish” design from Le Souk Ceramique. Platters, bowls and assorted matching tableware, hand painted in Tunisia. Forget formal – go festive! Pieces start at $10.

antique thaisExotic Earrings – Antique Thai earrings by jewelry designer John Michael Richardson. Metals are hand crafted in Thailand and finished by hand in the United States. Rich in look, affordable in price = the perfect gift! Snow’s is one of a very select group of retailers offering this special jewelry collection.

soft blanket$50 range

Blanket Bliss – Soft, woven boucle throws from Kennebunk Home and Bedford Cottage.  Classic designs, timeless colors, excellent quality. Many styles available.

scout bagScout it Out– Scout bags are a stylish way to carry just about anything, and a must-have for road trips and beach outings.  Snow’s carries a myraid of shapes, sizes and colors; shown is the “Original Deano” covered in a pink paisley pattern.

blue dressDressed for Success – This everyday dress from Pomegranate Moon flatters nearly any figure, but it’s as soft as your pjs! It also works as a tunic with leggings – and pairs with countless accessories. Light enough for spring with enough coverage for winter, this will be a true staple in your closet. Several colors available.

All She Wants for Christmas

5 Gifts She’ll Love to Get

She cooks the meals, does the laundry, makes the beds, does the grocery shopping…and that’s on top of taking care of children, taking care of her parents, or of a full time job outside the home.

To show how much you appreciate all that wonderful woman does, give her a gift as special as she is. Here are five holiday gift ideas that will make her forget all about her daily to do list…at least for a while.

cashmere-scarf1. Cashmere Scarf

Nothing says luxury like 100% classic cashmere. This ultra-soft cashmere wool comes from Scotland, and with 20 styles to choose from, you’re sure to find just the right one to suit her special style. ($24.95)

2. “Antique Thais” Earrings

antique thai earringsA unique blend of East and West, these earrings by John Michael Richardson are handcrafted with metals from Chiang Mai Thailand.  Depending on the piece, natural elements of horn, wood, bone, and shell from Cebu may be mixed in — or perhaps metal stampings from the U.S. — or glass beads from the Czech Republic. The collected items are plated, assembled, and finished by hand in the United States.

little red dress jewelry organizerThe designer travels the world to discover new elements for his accessories, relying on the traditional crafts of each particular country to convey his message.  Snow’s is one of a very select group of retailers offering this special jewelry collection. ($25.99 to $32.99)

Easy add-on: For jewelry storage that never goes out of style, pick up a “Little Red Dress” hanging jewelry organizer to give her a whimsical way to stash her baubles. ($15.99)

3. Snoozie Ballerina Bling Slippers 

ballerina snooziesA cross between a sock and a slipper, feet love to relax in Snoozies! Inside these bedazzled foot coverings lies amazing softness and comfort; they are easy to slip on to warm and pamper your feet all day long.  The inside is lined with fleece and made with a seam-free construction for an irritation-free fit. A non-slip sole ensures confident steps around the house. Plus, they’re machine washable for easy care. Lots of colors and other styles available, including Snoozies for men, tweens and babies! (Ladies styles: $14.99)

Want to snooze her up head to toe? Consider some Snoozies with lounging pants ($24) and a matching robe ($38).

scotchgrain bag4. Scotchgrain Hand Bags

A lovely and thoughtful gift for a woman with style! The beautifully textured surface of Scotchgrain is built to last, and look great while doing it.  Available in store in orange, brown and lime green. Other colors may be special ordered. ($35.99)

5. The Cape Cod Bracelet

cape cod braceletThis is the real thing. Both a tribute to Cape Cod and a beautiful piece of jewelry, it’s a gift she will cherish for many years to come.  Handcrafted with 14 karat gold and sterling silver. Different sizes available. ($155.99)

Also available to buy online

 

 

Nostalgia, Inspiration and a Peaceful Time Out

Toy trains bring smiles for the holidays

If you grew up in the fifties or sixties, you may have fond Christmas memories of toy trains circling the base of your tree. And somehow – even with Internet-based games, moves, music and even books  – the nostalgia of model trains lives on.

snow's holiday trains
A close up of one small piece of the Snow’s holiday train display

At Snow’s, the holiday train display goes up each year around Columbus Day and attracts people of all ages throughout the season. It’s hard to miss: the layout measures about 20 feet around and is located in the middle of the decorated trees and ornament displays, right as you enter the holiday shop.

Other than it’s size, though, there are several reasons why the holiday train display is something people look forward to when coming to Snow’s this time of year.

Nostalgia and Tradition 

1951 lionel train ad
A 1951 Lionel train ad for Christmas

The railroads have a great history, especially around Christmastime. Even way back in the early 1900s, trains were a symbol of American progress, and to many, traveling by train meant coming home for the holidays.

Toy and model trains have been around almost as long as the real ones. The first toy trains and train sets were developed by Lionel at the turn of the last century – and ever since then there has been a certain “romance of the rails.” Dads were encouraged to join their youngsters in model train enthusiasm, and layouts cropped up in more and more living rooms, especially at Christmas.

At the heart of it, trains around Christmas trees evoke memories of simpler times. The set up at Snow’s includes not only trains running around the tracks, but quaint little villages such as the lighted Starburst Ferris Wheel, Santa’s “Yule Steiner” Brewery, Wyatt’s Wooden Toy Shop and Two Sister’s Bakery.

For some, seeing the trains at Snow’s is a yearly holiday tradition. Longtime Snow’s customer Lee Sullivan says: “I have 5 grandsons…4 of which are “train age.” So we come in at Christmastime – it’s a tradition, and it’s all part of the family.”

DIY Inspiration

trains around tree
If you’re considering building a train layout around your Christmas tree, the smallest circular track configuration would be about 4’ x 50’.

The train layouts at Snow’s also provide some inspiration for creating a set up at home. There’s little better than seeing your child or grandchild’s eyes light up as they watch the trains go by.

If you’re starting from scratch, Snow’s has several starter sets. The sets give you everything you need for a complete layout in one box, and they are more cost efficient than buying each piece separately. Some of the available sets include a Boy Scouts of America Freight Set (now on sale for $299.99, a $90 savings), and a Grand Central Express O-Gauge set for $439.99.

A Break from the Bustle

This year, a late Thanksgiving has added a bit of pressure to get everything squared away in time for Christmas.

So even if you don’t plan to erect a train layout in your home, one great reason to come see the trains at Snow’s is simply to take a breather from the hectic pace of the holidays. It’s great to see entire families come and visit Snow’s…not just to shop, but to gather around the train display and simply regroup.

toy train icon

p.s. While the holiday trains are seasonal, kids always love coming to see our large interactive train display that stays up all year long!

Brimming with Trimmings

3,000 Holiday Ornaments to Deck Your Halls (and your tree)

The magic of Christmas comes in all shapes and sizes, and in the case of holiday ornaments — sometimes it’s quite small.

Each year, millions of Christmas trees are decorated with ornaments that all have a story. Some have been passed down through the generations, some commemorate special occasions, some play a part in a theme, some are just funny. So whether it’s baby’s first Christmas or the year the Red Sox won the World Series (woo hoo!), there’s an ornament out there – at least at Snow’s – that fits the bill.

snow's ornaments 2013
Just one small section (relatively speaking) displaying the many holiday ornaments at Snow’s.

Historically, Germany gets credit for pioneering our tree trimming traditions by bringing the first decorated winter trees into their homes. It is also widely believed that Martin Luther was the first to decorate a tree with lighted candles. Since then, holiday ornaments have come a long, long way. We are no longer constrained by ornaments found only in nature (pinecones, fruit), and although Luther’s candles were a noble effort to replicate the beauty of stars twinkling amongst the evergreens, it seems like a bit of fire hazard, right?

At Snow’s, you have your choice of more than 3,000 different holiday ornaments, in just about every theme you can think of (if fact, our Christmas buyer Marie dares you to try and stump her with an ornament category she doesn’t have covered). Here are just a few of the popular categories, but trust us, you’ve got to see it to believe it!

Forget the milk & cookies... Santa wants wine & cheese.
Forget the milk & cookies… Santa wants wine & cheese.

Food & Wine

Is there a food & wine connoisseur in your life? Maybe it’s you. From replicas of bottles, barrels and glasses to Santa and his reindeer enjoying the good life, there’s plenty here to do a whole tree honoring gourmands and oenophiles.

Santa riding the waves to a seaside Christmas.
Santa riding the waves to a seaside Christmas.

Nautical

We couldn’t be a Cape Cod shop worth our weight in sand if we didn’t have an excellent representation of seaside-inspired ornaments. The impressive collection includes glittered and shells, sea life, buoys, lobster traps, beach scenes and our favorite jolly old elf mixing with dolphins, mermaids and all sorts of other sea creatures.

Play it for us, St. Nick!
Play it for us, St. Nick!

Music
You’ll find miniature versions of every instrument, with museum-quality details and finishing touches. Really: the solid brass clarinet even has a reed!

This frog has a lot to be happy about: he's handmade and fair trade.
This frog has a lot to be happy about: he’s handmade and fair trade.

Fair Trade

This is a very special category of ornaments which honors the people producing their crafts a fair price for their work. The glimmering metal frog pictured, for example, is made fairly by workers earning a living wage in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Go Sox!
Go Sox!

Sports

Gymnast? Field hockey player? Soccer enthusiast? Family members dueling it out over and Red Sox/Yankees rivalry? Don’t worry, we’ve got ornaments for them all.

Man's best friend deserves a special spot on the tree.
Man’s best friend deserves a special spot on the tree.

Pets (especially pooches)
There’s nothing quite like the affection we have for our dogs, and our large collection of hard cast resin ornaments represents all of our furry companions. Labs, retrievers, poodles, boxers, beagles, terriers, collies, schnauzers…you get the idea. We have a great representation of cats, horses and other wildlife, too.

This hand blown glass burger is hugely popular.
This hand blown glass burger is hugely popular.

Old World / Glass Blown
Our extensive selection of the Merck Family’s “Old World Christmas” ornaments are some of the best-loved. The collection of mouth-blown glass ornaments are made using traditional, old-world methods. All ornaments are hand-painted and glittered in a series of labor-intensive steps to achieve the beautiful finished creations, including everything from angels to avocados! Produced in limited quantities, each is a treasure to cherish.

Setting your Seaside Space

10 Home Decor Items to Show Your Coastal Style

Earlier this month, we unveiled Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, which just so happens to be a classic shade of blue that inspires the decor of many a Cape Cod home. So this week, we’d like to follow up with ten of our favorite finds – unique home decor accents and fixtures that will help you channel a little seaside bliss all year long.

starfish toilet tissue1. Starfish Toilet Tissue Holder

Bring a little whimsy into your bathroom with this sweet starfish tissue holder. It has a sturdy metal construction (hardware included), painted white so it will match any decor. ($16.99)

lobster hook2. Lobster Hook

Nothing says coastal quite like lobster, and these hooks are a great way to add subtle reminders of clambakes and good times throughout your home. They’re great as towel hooks in the kitchen or the bath, and the ample-sized hook can serve as a hanger for other items, like keys, baseball caps, coffee mugs and more ($8.99)

hydrangea s&p3. Hydrangea Salt & Pepper Shakers

If lobster says coastal, then hydrangeas say Cape Cod… especially those glorious blue ones! Give your table a little spice with these hand painted glass salt and pepper shakers. ($4.99)

lighthouse finial4. Brass Lighthouse Lamp Finial

Isn’t it the small touches that seem to add so much? This tasteful brass lighthouse final by Copper Mermaid brings a little nautical flair to any room when poised atop your favorite lamp. Another made-in-the-USA gem. ($14.99)

5beach rose switch plate. Beach Rose Switch Plate

Speaking of lighting…you can give your switches some love, too. This charming beach rose switch plate features an original design by Anne Kilham, bringing to mind the perfect summer day. ($8.99)

See more switch plate designs

6. Decorative Whale Pillowwhale pillow

One of our very favorites. This 14×20” pillow by Chandler 4 Corners is a lovely example of what they do best: craft modern home decor pieces that incorporate the very essence of America’s roots. Hand hooked and made of wool with a velveteen backing. ($64.99)

cape cod bedspread7. Classic White Cape Cod Bedspread

This is the classic bedroom piece you’ll have and enjoy for years. The white on white Cape Cod seashell pattern has been redesigned from a flat jacquard for matelassé looms. Made in the USA with 100% cotton, this bedspread is a beautiful addition to any bedroom. (Full size: $199.99)  See other sizes and styles

8.cape cod barometer Cape Cod Marine Barometer

The striking silver and brass facings of this marine barometer make it an elegant addition to any decor. It’s amazingly functional, too; signaling weather changes from “foul” to “fair,” it works at elevations of up to 2,000 ft. with no wiring needed. Simply hang it and you’re good to go. ($169.00)

pewter seashell bowl9. Pewter Seashore Bowl

Classic pewter, classic Cape Cod. This statement serving piece from Wilton Armetale is not only beautiful, but incredibly strong and versatile. Guaranteed not to rust, tarnish or break, it can go from freezer to oven to table. The kind of piece you’ll use over and over, you’ll love giving it as a gift to someone special, too. ($54.99)

See more Wilton Armetale

seagull poop candy10. Seagull Poop Candy

Um… just how does this have anything to do with coastal home decor, and more importantly, isn’t that plain disgusting? Well, sometimes we throw something in here just for humor’s sake, but these little “treats” will actually prove your weight as a Cape Cod salty. They are really wild huckleberry jelly beans, made for Snow’s Home & Garden. ($4.99)

seashell

Have a favorite coastal home decor item? We’d love to hear about it. Post a comment here or share your decorating ideas (or questions) with us on Facebook.

 

Write, Run or Walk for Team Teal

ovarian cancer support from President ObamaWays to Support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Most of us recognize a pink ribbon and immediately associate it with breast cancer awareness. This month, the color teal is in the spotlight – and efforts are being made both locally and nationally to bring attention to a “silent killer”: ovarian cancer.

Awareness really is critical with ovarian cancer because it often goes undetected until it’s too late. It’s estimated that 22,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and 15,000 of those women will die.

If there can be a silver lining to these grim statistics, it’s the widespread proactive effort being made to reverse them. Ovarian cancer is exponentially more treatable the earlier it’s caught; the 5-year survival rate with early detection is 92%, but it drops to 15% when diagnosed in late stages of the disease.

So in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, we can all make a difference this September. We can buy products or participate in events that raise money for research and education.

Just One Miracle: Note Cards with a Mission

just one miracle note card: hydrangea
Just One Miracle Note Cards: Hydrangea

100% of the profits from these delightful note cards support ovarian cancer research.  The company was founded by Alison Walsh in 2000 as part of her personal fight against ovarian cancer.  Alison created most of the art that is printed on the cards, with some contributions from friends.

Alison lost her fight with cancer several years ago at the young age of 51, and Diane Malcolmson (of Westport, MA) has helped to continue her mission in her memory.  The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is the organization that benefits from the sale of the stationery; since 2000, Just One Miracle has donated in excess of $20,000 per year to OCRF.

Just One Miracle Note Cards: Terns
Just One Miracle Note Cards: Terns

Several note card designs are available at Snow’s Home and Garden, including: Purple Iris, Scallop Shell, Lady Slipper, Thistle, Shells, Hydrangea, Terns, Lavender, Pine Branch (coming soon), Maple Leaves, Pine Cone and Wisteria.

 

Walk, Run, Climb! Events for Ovarian Cancer

Whether it’s during the beautiful month of September or sometime down the road, there are plenty of ways to participate in ovarian cancer awareness in the great outdoors.  Here are just a few (one of which is happening locally in Sandwich this weekend!):

girly girl PARTS walk run for ovarian cancer1. 5K Walk/Run for Ovarian Cancer Awareness: Sandwich, September 7th

Sponsored by girlygirl P.A.R.T.S (Pre-Screening Awareness Required To Silence …Ovarian Cancer), you can join an estimated 300 plus walkers and runners who are raising funds to help push Ovarian Cancer to the forefront of women’s health issues and awareness.  

The walk/run starts at Town Neck Beach in Sandwich and ends at the boardwalk; the scenic course takes you past the lovely Cape Cod bay, cranberry bogs, and the historic homes of Sandwich village. After the race participants can enjoy refreshments while reviewing the fabulous silent auction items and partake in the opportunity drawings.

Online registration is now closed, but you can still register the morning of the race. Just show up Saturday, September 7th from 7-8:30 am at the Sandwich Boardwalk.

p.s. If you want to help the cause put don’t want to (or can’t) participate in the run/walk, this event has a special category called “Sleep Walkers.” Registered Sleep walkers play an essential role in spreading the word about Ovarian Cancer Awareness and still get to enjoy many of the same benefits of running or walking (a free t-shirt and goodie bag will be sent to you).  All you have to do is mail your check to: girlygirlparts/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 12, Sandwich, MA  02537 (In memo section of check, please write: SLEEPWALKER)

nocc ovarian cancer logo2. Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer: South Boston, September 15th

If you happen to be a little bit north of the Cape mid-September, the 15th holds another great option to walk or run for ovarian cancer.  

The Massachusetts chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has organized the 15th Annual Run/Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, which will be held at DCR’s Carson Beach & Mother’s Rest Area in South Boston. You can register here, or for more information, visit their Facebook page or contact the Chapter at 781-643-9800

live like renee walk for ovarian cancer3. Live Like Renee 5K Walk & Family Fun Day: Osterville, September 21st

On September 21st, another 5K will be held in another lovely Cape Cod town: Osterville. The walk celebrates Renee (Pelletier) Costa, a woman who battled ovarian cancer for over 20 years while being a loving wife, raising 4 beautiful children and remaining very active in her community.  To register and for more information, click here.

hera women's cancer foundation4. HERA Cancer Foundation’s Climb4Life: Boston, March 8-9, 2014 

Finally, if you want to plan out a bit, you can sign up for HERA’s (the acronym stands for Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness) Climb4Life in Boston early next year.

In addition to other ovarian cancer events sponsored by the organization – such as “Run Like a Girl” and “Ragnar Relay” – Climb4LifeSM is a family-focused, physically inspiring event. The first event was conceived in 2001, while HERA Founder Sean Patrick was recovering from her seventh ovarian cancer surgery. She felt a rock-climbing event would put a different face on ovarian cancer and get people involved in the cause. Realizing The Climb4LifeSM would raise awareness in women who are healthy and active, Patrick saw greater potential: the event would enable women to be introduced to the sport of climbing, and it’s physical and mental benefits.

Since that first Climb for LifeSM HERA events have evolved to include climbing, running, hiking, biking, as well as other activities. The common element throughout their events is our ability to empower, educate, and make aware our audiences about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

 

 

Related Links: Ovarian and Women’s Cancers 

Savor Summer’s Siesta

Vote for Snow's! Finalist: Best Garden Center

Five out-of-the-box activities to add to your summer bucket list

1. Be Happy Home Campers
Pitch a tent in your own backyard

backyard camping funGetting ready for a family camping trip can be a daunting task, but setting up camp in your own backyard is relatively simple. Without much effort, you can have an authentic taste of the great outdoors… with a little equipment and a lot of adventurous spirit.

Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:

  1. Collect leaves from around your property (kids will love this) and paste them into a nature journal; you can research them later to identify each.
  2. Star gaze! You can even do a little pre-Google work to pick out some constellations you might be able to make out in the night skyTell stories around the campfire. They can be as elaborate as the history of your town, or las simple as sharing something great that happened that day.
  3. Play games: Bring out the Scrabble, the cards… what a great chance to spend quality time sans technology with your family and/or friends!

Another benefit to camping at home is that you can raid your own pantry with ease. So maybe branch out from the dogs & s’mores (although they do taste delicious!), and try something a bit more “exotic” like this recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad 

To set up camp, here’s a short list of equipment and supplies that will make your backyard expedition feel like the real deal:

Even more items are available in our Orleans store:


View Larger Map

2. Refresh with a New Lemon Twist
Help the kids with a fun take on a lemonade stand

lemonade standNational Lemonade Day was this past Tuesday, August 20th (who knew?), but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to celebrate summer’s most refreshing beverage. And, if you want to help the kids or grandkids achieve rock star status selling roadside lemonade, give tradition a little shakeup by making it fizzy!

You may not think of soda when you think of lemonade, but the neighborhood clientele will delight in a cup of this Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. Simply combine 2 cups water, 1 cup granulated sugar, zest from one lemon (zest one prior to juicing below), 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (6-8 lemons) and 2-3 cups club soda. Helping your wee entrepreneurs is also the perfect time to break out your SodaStream (if you don’t yet own the SodaStream system, click here to see how it works); your club soda component just got more efficient and more environmentally-friendly!

SodaStream products at Snow’s

3. Take it from Farm to Blanket
Farmers’ market finds for a perfect late summer picnic

farmers market on cape codFarmers’ markets have literally cropped up all over Cape Cod, so it’s easier than ever to find local, in-season goodies. Head over to one of the many weekly markets (our town of Orleans hosts theirs on Saturdays through November ), and collect a delicious array of ingredients to create this fabulous outdoor meal.

And don’t forget your pic-a-nic basket, Boo Boo!

For more Cape Cod farmers’ markets, see the full list, courtesy of Edible Cape Cod:

4. Make Some Seashore Decor
Turn your beach finds into beautiful home accents

amazing twisted driftwood candle holderSeashells, beach glass, driftwood…we are compelled to collect them on our beach walks, so wouldn’t it be nice to turn them into something worthy of year-round decor?

Here are a few great ideas from around the web:

5. Spiff Up Your Sitting Area
Relive your vacation year-round with a great coffee table book

“Coffee table” books reside in plain view – usually where you would entertain guests – and are often thoughtfully perused during casual conversation or while dinner is cooking. So certainly, a beautiful book that takes you back on a photographic journey through your favorite summer spots is one worth displaying, and it’s no wonder Cape Cod has been the inspiration for many such books.

Here are a few Cape Cod gems:

 

What’s your favorite way to capture the end of summer? Let us know…we’d love to share your ideas.

Yesterday’s Fun and Games

Creating a reason to reminisce for you and your guests

When you think back upon your childhood, you probably have fond memories of visiting a place where time seemed to stand still. Maybe it was your grandma’s house, or a vacation spot to which your family returned year after year. If you live on Cape Cod, you may just be that favorite family member that frequently plays host to vacationing loved ones.

Even though the face of modern leisure activity has changed (and is preserved on an iPhone and uploaded to Instagram!), it’s never too late to recreate a feeling of nostalgia. For a small investment, you can make a big hit on the joy-o-meter by stocking a few classic games and treats for your guests to enjoy, making each visit one more reason to cherish their time here.

GOOD OLD FASHIONED FAMILY FUN: Games and more

MarblesTalk about a game with history: it is believed that cavemen and women played the first crude game of marbles, using small pebbles or balls of natural clay. Today, marbles is certainly thriving (there’s been a National Marbles Tournament every year since 1922), and it’s still an old fashioned game with a simple premise. Taking turns with other player(s), the object is to shoot your marble from outside of a circle into any of the marbles inside the ring. The marbles you’ve knocked out of the circle are yours, and whoever has the most marbles wins. Now the phrase “Don’t lose your marbles” makes more sense!

Chinese CheckersAnother take on marbles is Chinese Checkers. Here, you try to move all of your marbles to the other side of the board by jumping as far as you can. Chinese Checkers is based on a similar game called Halma (Greek for “jump”), invented by Dr. George Howard Monks, an American professor from Boston. And despite the name, the game was actually invented in Germany, not China; as the story goes, it was dubbed “Chinese Checkers” to sound more exotic. It worked, and soon became one of just a few games with widespread international appeal.

Rook: Around since 1906, Rook is a true classic: a spirited card game of bidding, trumping, and trick-taking. It’s a game that both young and old players can enjoy together and is usually played as a partner bidding game (it has some similarities to Spades or Pinochle). The concept is somewhat simple, but it also takes skill, strategy, and a bit of good luck.

Some other classic games:
Cribbage
Chutes & Ladders (kid-friendly)
Tiddly Winks (kid-friendly)
Monopoly
Scrabble
Dominos

“Retro” Games: Having easy, pick-up games like the “Magic 8 Ball”  and a Rubik’s Cube around the house are always fun. Not only do they bring us back in time, they may answer burning questions like “Does he love me?” with an  “It is decidedly so.”

Jigsaw PuzzlesPuzzles are a wonderful way to connect (pun intended) and unplug at the same time. Another pastime with a long history, the jigsaw puzzle was invented in 1767 by John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker. As such, the first jigsaw puzzle was a map of the world; educators used Spilsbury’s first generation of puzzles to teach geography. As they evolved, puzzles became more than a way to exercise the mind, they became a way to relax.

There are as many types of puzzles as there is time to do them, but if you’re going for an old fashioned feel, there are plenty of puzzles featuring images of classic television, 50’s and 60’s household products and food items that will inspire you to stroll down memory lane as you piece them together.

Trains & Cars:  Regardless of your age, building train or race tracks and making some locomotion is always fun. From simple setups to elaborate “loop-de-loops,” this classic hobby will inspire the family to enjoy time building together. 

Lionel trains and hobbies have been around for more than 100 years, and their story is a pursuit of both incredible change and family bonding. Founder Joshua Lionel Cowen was born just before the first electric light, yet he grew up with real trains and lived through amazing advances in their technology and sophistication. His first toy train led to what the company describes as a “sacred mission”, as Cowen would spend a lifetime stoking America’s imagination with the romance of the rails. Up until the 60’s, Lionel train sets were a cultural icon (especially at Christmastime), but then their popularity fizzled for a while, falling somewhere in between the generation gap of the time. Today, America is renewing its relationship with the railroads, and having some trains and tracks to play with at home can be part of the magic.

Toy race cars are another play vehicle with a great history. Matchbox was introduced in the 1950’s. They were names as such for their packaging: the original die-cast cars were housed in a cardboard box that resembled an actual match box.  This vintage packaging phased out as other companies began to use the plastic and cardboard “blister packs,” but the box style packaging was re-introduced for the collectors’ market in recent years.

 

SOMETHING TO SNACK ON: Classic Candy, Gum & Real Soda

How fun to reach into the snack cabinet (or drawer, or closet, or wherever you keep those goodies) and find a treasure trove of treats from days gone by. Packs of Teaberry, Clove or Black Jack gum, or wrapped candies like Chuckles and Necco wafers…happy days!

For some liquid refreshment, there’s nothing quite like old fashioned soda. Sure, there’s the requisite dose of sugar, but no synthetics and none of that evil high fructose corn syrup. The labels alone make you smile, and the flavors are divine. Choose from the brands and flavors you remember fondly, including root beer, (a.k.a. birch beer, sarsaparilla), ginger ales, cream sodas, colas, and fruity sodas like cherry, lemon lime, grape and more…all in traditional glass bottles.

 

The takeaway? Good old fashioned family fun is still in style. Come grab some nostalgia at Snow’s and see how easy it is to make them smile with simplicity.

By Age and Stage

Melissa & Doug: Fun, stimulating toys for toddlers on up

Classic toys can be so much more than a distraction for your little ones as you try to get a few things done around the house. For young children especially, playing with toys that align with their stage of development helps support some of their newly emerging skill sets.

Melissa & Doug is a company that offers innovative products with just this in mind. Snow’s carries an extensive selection of their toys, games and puzzles for children of all ages, all made with durable, quality materials. Melissa & Doug toys are of course, fun (that’s a must!), and both the company and many of their individual products have achieved national and international acclaim. Just scan the snapshot to the right, and you’ll see that they are no slouch :)
So when you’re looking for the perfect toy for your child, grandchild or favorite small person, here is a short list of some that will fit right in to their stage of life…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

PRE-TODDLER

It’s an understatement to say that a lot happens in this first year. They may not be able to communicate with words yet, but babies certainly love to interact by looking and listening. Good toy choices for young infants are ones they can grab onto (and put in their mouths!), and ones that stimulate them visually with color.
Once they reach 12 months or so, they are on the go! Whether that’s by rolling, crawling, bouncing, standing, walking or even running, 1-year-olds love toys that keep them moving. Toys that help them use their large muscles and some of their developing fine motors skills are great, too: simple puzzles and toys with dials, knobs and buttons are always a hot. Some kids this age are also starting to understand words and simple concepts, so you can even delve into the realm of make-pretend with dolls and puppets.
Linking Monkey $7.99
Monkey around with this silly simian at home or on the go. This easy-grasp toy with colorful, textured teething rings is an adorable first friend. It rattles, squeaks, and crinkles as babies grasp, squeeze and shake, encouraging important motor skills practice in a playful way. The rings can hook onto a stroller or other toys for safekeeping. Durable constructed of high-quality fabrics and plastic, this machine-washable baby toy promises lots of smiles and happy playtime!

Rainbow Stacker $8.99
Award Winner: Baby Talk Magazine: Top 22 Toys All Babies Love 2004
Talk about a classic childhood toy! All the colors of the rainbow are represented by these eight smooth, easy-grasp wooden pieces. Stack them on the solid-wood base, designed with rocking edges for safe and intriguing play.

Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks $11.99
Brightly colored animals and familiar objects illustrate the letters of the alphabet on these cardboard blocks. Nested, the ten vibrant blocks fit into the included carrying case. Stacked, they form a tower nearly three feet high!

Pull Along Zoo Animals $19.99
A giraffe, elephant and zebra, can easily become a ze-phant, an ele-raffe or a gir-bra when the wooden pieces are rearranged to form creative new critters! This popular wooden pull-toy features three interlocking mix-and-match animals on wheels.

TODDLERS

The language part of the brain has been turned on, only to compete with the toddler’s constant desire to jump, tumble, and perhaps even scare you as they catapult without fear off the couch. One way to stimulate the non-physical side of your 2-year-old is with toys that encourage him or her to solve problems, build and create.

Vehicles Sound Puzzle $12.99
Place a vehicle puzzle piece correctly in the puzzle board and listen to it toot, beep or rumble! Eight great sounds and a full-color, matching picture beneath the eight wooden pieces. Available in a farm theme, too.

Animal Sorting Truck $19.99
Animal rescue rangers to the rescue! With this rugged safari truck, two cheerful people are ready to zoom across the savannah to help their animal friends. The alligator, zebra, rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus and lion fit into the truck’s sides through die-cut slots, so this exciting toy is perfect for imaginative play and fine motor skills . . . and much more! Lift and remove the cargo door to unload the colorful animals, then count, sort and stack the solid-wood pieces before loading the truck and securing the door in its track. One male and one female ranger fit in the cab of the truck, or come out to tend to the animals on the preserve. Play ideas are included to reinforce basic skills and inspire creative play.

PRESCHOOLERS and KINDERGARTENERS

Here come the questions! Children this age tend to be quite inquisitive, and they love to test things out. More challenging puzzles (20+ pieces) are great, as well as toys that can be sorted and organized by some common denominator. Building and pretending are always age-appropriate but can get a little more elaborate, especially as their fine motor skills continue to develop. Drawing, painting and simple musical instruments are also all great choices for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

U.S.A. Map Floor Puzzle – 51 Pieces $12.99
Award Winner: Oppeneheim Toy Award: Gold Award 2005
Geography comes to life in this cardboard floor puzzle, featuring 51 pieces cut to the shape of the state or region. 2′ x 3′ when assembled, the extra-thick pieces feature an Easy-Clean surface to keep them looking like new. Kids will have fun learning the states on this colorful, informative map puzzle.

Fold & Go Princess Castle $47.99
This charming wooden castle, with convenient carrying handle, is perfect for your little princess. Its beautifully detailed exterior opens easily to reveal a royal palace furnished with four pieces of regal furniture and two horses. The prince and princess who live here are sure to live happily ever after!

Whittle World Wooden Plane & Luggage Carrier Set $24.99
Award Winner: 2012 Family Fun Magazine Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.)
Designed to fuel imaginative play, this charming airport-themed set contains a mini world of travel! Children will love to explore the moving parts and interchangeable pieces, including three wooden vehicles, four pieces of luggage and five wooden people. Every piece is created with the highest standards of quality and design. An in-depth play guide offers specially created activities for building key skills, sparking creative narratives and inspiring young imaginations to reach great “altitudes”!

See & Spell $19.99
Complete a puzzle to spell a word! This handsome wooden puzzle set helps children gain familiarity with the letters of the alphabet and their sounds as kids develop a sight-reading vocabulary. The letters are also wonderful for stenciling and lots of learning games. Over 60 colorful wooden letters fit into the eight two-sided cutout boards to spell three- and four-letter words. All this spelling and fine motor fun fits into one compact wooden storage case!

Band in a Box $24.99
Musical instrument set includes a tambourine, cymbals, maracas, clacker, tone blocks, and a triangle. It’s everything preschoolers need to form a kids’ marching band, launch a solo career, or just enjoy exploring music and sounds! Band in a Box includes 10 pieces, plus a sturdy wooden storage crate.

 

EARLY SCHOOL AGE (6+)
Support learning in a way kids will love, with creative art supplies and games that make children this age think and communicate.

Stamp Marker Activity Pad (assorted colors) $4.99
Use colorful stamp markers to complete 20 activities and games! Each activity pad includes mazes, connect-the-dots pictures, matching games, patterns to follow and counting challenges. The stamp markers come in four colorful shapes – orange star, green frog, red car and blue fish – and work on regular paper, too! Makes a perfect party favor, and an ideal rainy-day activity for girls and boys.

Flip-to-Win Hangman $12.99
A classic word game with a twist! Kids will love thinking up words to stump their opponent, or taking their best guess to win it all! Includes one Hangman game board with erasable whiteboard, self-storing dry-erase marker and eraser. No loose pieces – ideal for travel!

100-pc. Puzzle: Golden Retriever with Pups $7.99
Five floppy golden retrievers pose for a loving family portrait on this extra-thick 100-piece cardboard puzzle. Bright, sturdy pieces will withstand many uses. Made in the USA.

For the full selection of Melissa & Doug toys, plus hundreds of others, visit Snow’s at 22 Main Street in Orleans.

It Gets Better with Age

The “new” wine consumer (& the gadgets they love) 

What do you think of when you think of a wine connoisseur? If you conjure an image of a well-dressed, properly mannered lady or gentleman, expertly swirling and sniffing their wine, you’re not alone. Even just the word “connoisseur” evokes the idea that this person has a wealth of knowledge. But interestingly, connoisseur can also refer to someone that simply appreciates something, and as we all know, appreciation is a subjective thing.

This is where there has been a major shift in the world of wine. No longer is fine wine reserved for luxury lifestyles; wine is enjoyed by the masses – and we don’t just mean “Two Buck Chuck” or the stuff that comes in a box (although there are actually some really good boxed wines – but that discussion is for another day). Of course wine hasn’t exactly been a secret, but the Boomer generation who grew up thinking that wine was a sophisticated commodity has now loosened their definition. Wine doesn’t have to be overly expensive to be good, and it really does fit in as an everyday meal accompaniment.

So now that wine is making a more frequent appearance – not just at special occasions but at barbecues, on camping trips and at family dinners – we have naturally sought out more ways to have fun with it.  How do we do that? We do it just like we do with our technology or our fashion…with gadgets and accessories, of course!

Snow’s has recently brought in some really unique items to complement your everyday wines. Here are several that we love: 

CHICKADEE WINE GLASS MARKERS 

Perfect for entertaining, these colorful birds will perch on your guests’ wine glasses to eliminate wine glass mix ups! 6 birds in each flock. A welcome departure from the glass charm concept, they are made of easy-to-wash silicone and will fit any wine glass rim.

CHILL COOLING POUR SPOUT

Cool, pour and preserve. Just pour the first glass, insert the cooling pour spout and enjoy perfectly chilled wine!  After just two hours in the freezer, your CHILL is ready to do the hard work for you. Drip free pour spout and air tight stopper.

Intrigued? Watch the video here to see how it works.

CORKATOO CORKSCREW

The soft-touch handle, double-hinge design and serrated foil cutter help make effortless opening more fun than ever. The beer cap opener makes this playful tool as functional as it is colorful.

HOST TILT MINI

HOST’s breakthrough technology ensures that each glass of wine is perfectly decanted instantly. Using the Bernoulli principle, the instant aerator enhances any wine by softening tannins and releasing flavor. There is even a built-in stopper for easy preservation, and the small size makes it convenient for traveling (wine tasting trip, anyone?). Made from BPA-free acrylic.

SHARK BOTTLE OPENER

Make a splash at your next party with this unique bottle opener! Made with silicone rubber and steel, the shark is sure to chomp off your caps with ease.

VACUUM PUSH TOP STOPPERS 

Push, preserve and enjoy! Place the stopper on any bottle and push the button down for an incredible air-tight seal. A great improvement from one of the original designs which used to come in two pieces (the vacuum and stoppers were sold separately) – now it’s all-in-one! 

TOADSTOOL BOTTLE STOPPERS

These will be a blast at your next party, providing both a secure silicone seal and endless entertainment.  Fun and functional!

AVIARY VINTAGE BOTTLE RACK

Store and display your favorite bottles in this aviary-inspired wine rack. The swinging door opens and latches closed to store 7 bottles of wine. Constructed with black wrought-iron.

PLAYFUL PUP BOTTLE HOLDER

Who doesn’t love a yellow lab? Bring some whimsy into your home; this doggie holds one standard wine bottle in its mouth while it balances on its back.

 

 

So go ahead, enhance the everyday wine experience, not just with the wine itself but with the gadgets and products that make wine more approachable…and more fun.