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Provincetown :: Thursday, April 24th 2014

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Christmas Toys & Treats

Gifts For All Ages


December 17th, 2012

The conventional wisdom is that Christmas is for children, but it has also been said that it’s never too late to have a happy childhood! Therefore, here are a few ideas for toys lovers of every stripe you’ll find on your holiday shopping list.

Century carries “grown-up toys” such as Skagen Danish watches, as well as a very whimsical collection of what owner Rene LeBlanc calls “toys for everyday use.”

Who doesn’t love a soft, adorable stuffed animal? They’re a comforting reminder of simpler days, conversations with imaginary friends and snuggling up for a winter’s nap. At Kid Stuff, 381 Commercial Street, you’ll find stuffed animals in every size, color and species desirable. They also carry a small selection of interactive toys for babies and toddlers on your list.

At Iona Print Studios, Judy Jalbert and Carol Bergen came up with a novel gift idea for those who would enjoy images of Provincetown, in the form of jigsaw puzzles! It’s a great way to while away a few hours on a snowy evening, and the end result is a lovely memento of the Outer Cape. The puzzles come in four image choices and a range of sizes, and run $22.95 to $29.95.

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Puzzle Me This, at 290 Commercial Street, is like a candy store for game and hobby lovers of all ages. You’ll find gorgeous jigsaw puzzles with designs by Ravensburger and Escher, Legos, Matchbox cars, gliders, novelty playing cards and card games, books of crossword puzzles for the wordsmith and Sudoku for the fanatic, classic games like Monopoly, Sorry and Clue, magic kits and Ouija boards, role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, and award-winning and fun new toys and games, with names like Farkel, Dotzee and Wiseass.

At Century, 191 Commercial Street, you can pick up some “grown-up toys” such as Skagen Danish watches, as well as a very whimsical collection of what owner Rene LeBlanc calls “toys for everyday use.” He carries a full line of items from Italian design company Alessi, from butter dishes that look like toy boats, to corkscrews shaped like ladies in dresses, items to hold cotton swabs and toothpicks, and colorful juicer-and-cup sets. They are a fun way to store and use the most mundane of items and make great conversation pieces!

Someone on your list may prefer a little “vice” in their gifts – perhaps a nice cigar after Christmas dinner? If you have an aficionado on your list, then at Glass Half Full, 191 Commercial, check out their humidor for a selection of cigar brands such as Finca Cuevas, Ashton Magnum, Romeo y Juleta, and Top Cigar. This last brand is hand-rolled by the 93-year old, former master blender at the Partagas cigar company in Havana, who created their Series D cigars. His handiwork is almost too lovely to smoke. At prices ranging from $5 to $15 each, you can tuck several into someone’s stocking.

If your loved one’s favorite “toy” is design, check out the traditional hand-painted Portuguese pottery at Provincia, 140 Commercial Street. Now in his 16th year, owner Manuel Sousa proudly showed me the detailed and lovely tableware, figurines and a fabulous selection of old-fashioned traditional tin toys, hand made by a family in northern Portugal! Whether you choose a vintage auto toy with real tin wheels or an old-fashioned plane with real mini propellers, these detailed little gems will delight any classic toy collector. This lovely spot is a Cape Cod Life 2010 winner for Best Gift Shop.

Do you know a fitness fanatic who lives here in town? Then give them the gift of healthy “play”! Both Provincetown Gym at 81 Shankpainter Road and Mussel Beach Health Club at 35 Bradford Street offer 3, 6 or 12-month memberships which include use of weights and machines, personal training staff, and classes in activities such as spinning, yoga, karate, and pilates. Both clubs also offer on-site tanning and saunas. What better gift to give than the blessing of good health?

Chris Daniels is a writer, photographer and office-guru-about-town who shares her life with a bossy cat and “Damon, the Dog With the Toy”

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