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Shop Local for Back-to-School Season in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / Inna Vlasova

Take a pass on department stores and visit the Hudson Valley’s well-stocked shops for pencils, notebooks, and other back-to-school supplies.

In what seems like the blink of an eye, the back-to-school rush is here. Before early morning alarms and first-day jitters take center stage at home, use the quiet time now to power through academic shopping lists. This time around, however, skip the hustle and bustle of department stores and opt to shop local instead. With pencils, notebooks, and more from the Hudson Valley’s one-of-a-kind stores, your kids will be ready to rock the first day.

A.L. Stickle


A.L. Stickle store in Rhinebeck

Photo by Sabrina Sucato

If you’re looking for back-to-school supplies at a bargain, A.L. Stickle in Rhinebeck is the place to go. The variety store charms with unconventional odds and ends, but also stocks everyday basics. Expect anything from colorful bags of all shapes and sizes to sealable glass jars for lunch. All-natural lip balms, sparkling stickers for notebook personalization, and other small backpack stuffers keep students comfortable in the classroom. Visit often, since inventory changes regularly. Shop with your eyes, as the delightful arrangements make this landmark business a destination unto itself.

Catskill Art & Office Supply

Kingston & Woodstock


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With multiple locations and a presence in the Valley since 1978, Catskill Art is ready to service the students of the region. The shops carry everyday necessities like planners and colored pencils in addition to more specialized paintbrushes, pastels, easels, and other paint supplies. Can’t find what you want in the store? Peruse the comprehensive website and order supplies online. Bargain hunters will be delighted at the rotating clearance sections.

Manny’s Art Supplies

New Paltz

With its close proximity to SUNY New Paltz, Manny’s is a go-to destination for art aficionados and crafty students in general. The Main Street shop stocks back-to-class standbys like glue, paint, and stickers, although its impressive selection of acrylics, easels, oils, and watercolors makes it a go-to locale for aspiring artists, too. If that’s not enough of an incentive to make a trip to New Paltz, Manny’s also offers a 20-percent discount on all art supplies to college students, professional artists, and teachers. Plus, it’s the oldest art supply store in the entire Hudson Valley.

Paper Trail


Just down the block from A.L. Stickle, Paper Trail is perfect for college and graduate students seeking high-end journals, notebooks, and writing utensils. Fountain pen enthusiasts will love the collection at this Rhinebeck stationery store. Paper Trail also offers tons of unique calendars, planners, and other pen-and-paper methods of keeping assignments and dates organized.

Pink Olive

Cold Spring


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If Pinterest had a storefront, it would probably look something like Pink Olive. The Cold Spring boutique is the perfect place to find a gift for your child’s favorite teacher or pick up a few colorful journals and pens for yourself. Keep an eye out for pencil cases printed with sassy slogans and desk planners that brighten up any workspace. Your kids will adore the lovely activity books, many of which have fun New York themes.

Zakka Joy



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Bring a full wallet, and a hearty dose of self-restraint, with you on a trip to Zakka Joy. The quirky Beacon shop is the place to find tempting knickknacks and goodies you never knew you needed. Kids, teens, and college students can stand out from the crowd with artistic notebooks, polka-dotted pencils, and cutesy heart-topped gel pens. On the portable end of things, the store also stocks bags and purses, key chains, and gorgeous zipper cases. Come with a loose shopping list in mind, but don’t be surprised if you walk away with more than a few delights you never knew you needed.

Related: 12 Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Season