Shop ‘Til You Drop: East End Toy Drives, Holiday Bazaars and More

Wrapped Christmas gift
Photo: Choreograph/123RF

Shopping and giving gifts is hard work, it’s the modern-day hunting and gathering culture in motion. First you sharpen your spear (make a list), paint your body (or get your hair done), jump on your horse (with heated seats), stalk your prey (window shop), bag your beasts (matching gifts to personalities and maybe trying on a little something for yourself), field dress ’em (charge!) and then skin and roast (wrapping paper, bows, oy the lineup at the post office). There’s barely time for boozy eggnog nowadays!

We’re here to help and so are a host of East End pros. Remember to dress warm, hydrate, caffeinate and enjoy yourself out there!

Give an unwrapped toy to the Second Annual Toy Drive to Benefit Little Flower Children & Family Services at Bistro Été in Water Mill and you get a free glass of wine. And maybe you stay a bit to enjoy Happy Hour, which begins at 5 p.m. and offers half off wine and beer (excluding premium selections). 760 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 631-500-9085,

Winter Wonderland at North Fork Chocolate Co. Photo: Barbara Lassen
Winter Wonderland at North Fork Chocolate Co. Photo: Barbara Lassen

How about some chocolate with your new cashmere and baubles? Well, in addition to uniquely handcrafted chocolates, Dan’s Best of the Best award winner North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue offers prepared gift baskets and their own signature blend of pure Belgian chocolate and…wait for it…Chocolate Fondue Party Packages! 780 Main Road, Aquebogue, 631-779-2963, 

While you’re out and about, you’ll notice that all of our East End villages are doing light displays this season, there’s even the largest drive-through light show in Suffolk County going on in Riverhead right now—The Riverhead Holiday Light Show,

The last minute can be just the right time to fill your stockings with love! A good time was had by all at the Southampton Animal Shelter in Hampton Bays last Saturday during their annual Christmas Fair. Are all those doggies looking forward to having their photos taken with Santa again next year? That’s hard to say, but one thing is certain, there were some very popular craft vendors plying their wares there. The new game in town,, sold out of their holiday gift baskets, fresh baked goods for people and doggie biscuits and colorful “dogkerchiefs” in a flash.

Good news: this local craft vendor and about 20 others will be selling their wares at the Holiday Bazaar at Guild Hall on Saturday, December 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bonus!: free gift-wrapping, holiday movies screening all day, food and more. Will there be an entire wall covered with bows? Who knows? 158 Main Street, East Hampton, 631-324-0806,

If you didn’t find your “furrever friend” last Saturday, try, try again at the Kent Animal Shelter’s Holiday Open House and Adoption Event on Saturday, December 15, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Their dedicated staff will be happy to help you make the perfect pet choice based on your needs and lifestyle. Come to their holiday tent for hot chocolate and refreshments and support Kent Animal Shelter by purchasing raffle tickets or making a purchase at their Pet Gift Boutique!  Santa Claus will be there! 2259 River Road, Calverton, 631-727-5731,

Harvey Bennett at The Tackle Shop in Amagansett is collecting “any baseball stuff—shoes, shirts, gloves, balls, bats, catchers stuff,” which he’ll be putting on a truck for next week for kids in Dominican Republic
so they can celebrate Christmas and America’s favorite pastime. Donations can be left at the store at
575 Montauk Highway—or left next to back door behind the fence on west side of building when the store is closed. 731-324-7770, [email protected]

Donations can also be sent to:
Harvey Bennett
P.O. Box 7034
Amagansett, NY 11930

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