The Beach Times

The Cape Cod Christmas Shopping Experience
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, December 9, 2019

As you've probably noticed if you've been following this blog, things are done a little bit differently on Cape Cod, and holiday shopping is no different. The Cape isn’t Boston, New York, or any of the other major centers on the East Coast and, therefore, you won’t find the same shopping experience.

While there is a Walmart in Falmouth and a Kmart and Target at Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, big-box retailers are less prevalent in this part of the country.

Instead, local boutiques are where Cape Cod residents do their shopping. The popularity of these local businesses means that the holidays are a busy time for retailers, and also provide a unique shopping experience for all who visit the area during this extraordinary time of year.

From antique shops on Main Street to Christmas strolls with horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa Claus appearances, shopping on The Cape at Christmas time is something that the whole family can enjoy.

Find Gifts at the Boutiques

For the small-town shopping experience, look no further than The Plum Porch in Marstons Mills. This small gift shop has been in business since 2000 but has recently been taken on by new ownership. The store sells sophisticated, yet simple, gifts and provides an intimate shopping environment.

Located in Sandwich’s Merchants Square, Wish Gift Company is another local gift shop that is full of Christmas present ideas. If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect gift for that special someone, chances are you’ll find something unique at this little store.

Dig For One-of-a-Kind Antiques

Harwich Port is home to a great deal of history, and Windsong Antiques is proudly part of this past. Not only is this a store where you can buy antique goods to bring home, but it also sits inside a carriage barn on the same grounds as an 18th-century sea captain's house.

The MEWS at Brewster Antiques sells a variety of functional antique products, including furniture, tools, stoneware, and pattern glass, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The selection at The MEWS is astounding, so it comes by its popularity honestly.

Check Out Some Art

Fancy some local art? Well, look for further than Local Color Art Gallery in Chatham. The main draw associated with this gallery is the selection of pieces by local artists. If you're from elsewhere in the country, there's no better way to expose yourself to the bustling art scene on Cape Cod than at this location.

Local art can also be found at Books by the Sea. As the name suggests, this Centerville store sells books, both fiction and non-fiction, that are either written by local authors or about the region. The shop doubles as an art gallery, however, which also takes on a local flair.

Wellfleet Winter StrollInvest in Locally-made Gifts

Every Christmas season, between mid-November and the third week of December, the Falmouth Art Center hosts the Holiday Market & Gift Gallery. The market showcases hand-crafted gifts, including pottery and knit items, that are made in the area by local artisans.

Plan Around the Sales and Special Events

Various communities on Cape Cod organize holiday strolls to kick-off the Christmas shopping season. An example of this is the Chatham's Christmas by the Sea Stroll Weekend, an event that highlights local businesses and provides music and entertainment for all who attend. You might even catch a brass band performance, depending on the year.

A similar event is the Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll, which features trolley rides, food, crafts, and a Christmas tree lighting. Local businesses have giveaways and attractions throughout the night, as well. Watch for sales and special discounts at the winter strolls. Afterward, head over to Barnstable Village to warm up with a cup of organic coffee and a delicious sandwich at Nirvana Coffee Company. You won’t regret your decision.

More Than Just a Christmas Shop

Christmas shopping can be stressful, but the events and shops on Cape Cod prove that this doesn’t always have to be the case. The stores here are smaller and less hectic, providing locals with a more peaceful experience around the holidays

When visiting The Cape over the holidays, save some of your Christmas shopping energy for these wonderful small businesses. You won’t regret choosing to make the most of your Cape Cod Christmas.

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Cape Cod's 2018 Christmas Concerts and Performances
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, November 19, 2018

Cape Cod has an incredible performing arts scene, as the sounds of high-end plays and concerts from local, national, and international acts fill the air in the summertime. When tourist season ends in the fall, however, playhouses tend to take a hiatus before starting up again around Memorial Day, or sometimes even later.

The exception to this shutdown, of course, is the Christmas season, as performing arts venues all over the Cape feature exclusive holiday performances starting in late November and running throughout December.

If you’re lucky enough to be spending a portion of the holiday season on Cape Cod, get yourself some tickets to at least one of these shows, or check out a free one, as they are well worth the price of admission, and then some.


Holiday on the Cape

Perhaps the most anticipated Christmas performance in 2018 is Holiday on the Cape, which is an annual tradition put on by the Cape Symphony. On November 30 at 4:00 and 8:00 PM, December 1 at 3:00 and 7:30 PM, and December 2 at 1:00 and 5:00 PM, you can experience all of your favorite holiday music at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

You'll quickly find yourself singing along to the classic songs you'll hear, especially since you'll have the Chatham Chorale and the Vintage Vocal Quartet providing vocals. Tickets range from $72-52 for adults and $36-26 for students between the ages of six and 22. These concerts always sell out, so you’ll want to buy your tickets right away if you’re visiting Cape Cod in early December.


Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

We all know the story of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, where three spirits visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in an attempt to turn him into a kinder, more thoughtful human being. Before the three apparitions take Scrooge through Christmases past, present, and future, however, the ghost of Jacob Marley, his former business partner, makes an appearance.

Every Friday and Saturday night between December 1 and 29 at 7:30 PM, The Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans will feature Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, which tells this classic tale through the eyes of Marley and shows why he felt the need to help Scrooge on his journey, while redeeming himself in the process. This performance adds an entirely new dynamic to the story and is something you'll surely want to see if you're a fan of the original. Tickets are $25 for adults and $21 for students.


Celtic Christmas Celebrations

The Cape has a couple of Celtic-themed events taking place, starting with the 10th Annual A Cape Cod Celtic Christmas Celebration, which takes place on Saturday, December 15 at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth. The concert features the music of Celtic duo Stanley and Grimm, with special guests also making appearances throughout the night. Everything gets started at 7:00 PM and tickets are $18 each.

Another Celtic celebration on Cape Cod this holiday season is called A Celtic Christmas featuring Rose & Robbie. The concert will take place at Elks Music Hall in Eastham and brings Robbie O'Connell, who is originally from Ireland and brings a unique, humorous style, and Rose Clancy, a local musician, to the stage. Tickets range from $20-30, and there will be an opening performance by Cape Cod's own Celtic Roots.


Madeline's Christmas

Between November 30 and December 30, Friday nights at 7:00 PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM, The Cape Cod Theatre Company will present Madeline's Christmas. The play is based on a story by Jennifer Kirkeby and follows the adventures of a young girl named Madeline who is at a boarding school in Paris. Her only wish is to return home for Christmas, but difficulties arise when everyone at school falls ill.

Tickets to the show are $25 for adults and $15 for those under 21. Additional matinee performances will take place on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of December at 2:00 PM. If you're on the Cape for any part of the holidays, you'll have plenty of chances to get to Harwich to take in a show.


Outer Cape Chorale Concert

For a free show, make sure you check out the Outer Cape Chorale Concerts, which will be held three times between December 7 and 9. The first two shows take place at Provincetown Town Hall at 7:00 PM, with an additional Sunday show coming at Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans at 3:00 PM.

This year, the chorale will be performing Requiem, a soothing, yet haunting, work by French composer Gabriel Fauré and When Icicles Hang, a secular arrangement by English composer John Rutter that takes inspiration from the texts of William Shakespeare. Tickets are not needed to attend, although donations at the door are appreciated.


Christmas on Cape Cod

In addition to these shows, you’ll find free performances at the various Christmas strolls and other holiday events found throughout Cape Cod in December. These holiday gatherings give you the chance to witness performances by some of the Cape’s very own local groups, who put together Christmas shows every year and take a lot of pride in doing so.

Book your Cape Cod vacation rental in December to experience something completely different during the holidays. If you’ve only seen the Cape in the summer, you’re missing out on the infectious small-town holiday spirit that is prevalent here throughout the season.

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