The Shoppes at East Wind, decked out with wreaths, garland and lights, is celebrating its first holiday shopping season with a nearly full complement of shops and eateries.
And if you stop by the Shoppes at East Wind in Wading River on or before Dec. 19 your children can drop their letters in the “Letters to Santa Mailbox” at the shoppes entrance. Santa will even write back, if a return address is included on the envelope.
The mailbox is just one of the offerings The Shoppes have launched for its second holiday season, and the first with the majority of the spaces filled with stores and eateries.
“It does seem to be drawing more people because there’s more to offer here now,” said Lisa Wild, the store manager at The Beginning Apparel, which was one of the first stores to open in October 2016.
“It’s absolutely a destination place, because the shops that are here offer something that a traditional mall doesn’t offer,” Ms. Wild said. “They’re very individual. Shop owners have unbelievable things here. A lot of people are coming out here because of that.”
On Saturdays, Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 Santa will visit Wading River early and stop at the complex from 12 – 2 p.m.
Look closely at the carousel, which is located in the complex, and you might notice a reindeer, just one of the animals on the merry-go-round, was given a red nose just for the holiday season, so kids can take Rudolph for a spin, Charlotte Coteú, the marketing director, said.
“They’ll do specials on Christmas Eve too at some of the shoppes — individual shoppes do their own things — and a last minute holiday sale,” Ms. Coteú said.
At The Beginning Apparel, they’re having sales on popular items and offering Christmas-themed gifts, like ornaments and shirts that say “nice until proven naughty.”
At Little Miss Sew It All, a sewing studio, owner Melissa Stasi-Thomas is hosting holiday themed events for kids aged 6 to 16.
One of those is her annual Holiday Sew-A-Thon, where attendees can sew their own gifts for the holidays. These include table runners, Christmas stockings, cup cozies, triangular flag banners and more.
The event, the second of the year, will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday. A special visitor — hint: he’ll be jolly and dressed in red — is expected to stop in as well.
“We had a very large turnout,” Ms. Stasi-Thomas said of the first Sew-A-Thon, held last weekend. “We had about 30 children here who made over 200 gifts. No experience or appointment is necessary and they get to chose from our pre-cut gifts.”
At the Jewelry Box and Gift Shoppe they know it’s the personal touches that go a long way.
In business at East Wind for 12 years — it was located on the back of the main building before opening at The Shoppes last October — the business offers to personally gift wrap each item sold.
In addition to the events and offerings at The Shoppes, East Wind is hosting its last Brunch with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 17. Desmond’s restaurant will also offer dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
East Wind is also planning on ringing in 2018 with a New Year’s Eve gala in the ballroom.
More information on individual holiday offerings can be found by calling each shop or visiting their websites.
Photo caption: The Shoppes at East Wind are decked out for the holiday season. (Credit: Nicole Smith)