In what seems like the blink of an eye, the back-to-school rush is back. 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 shops, your little one will be ready to rock the first day.
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 like sealable glass jars for lunch, kiddie umbrellas for walks to the school bus, and sparkling stickers for notebook personalization. Visit often, since inventory changes regularly.
13 E Market St, Rhinebeck, 845.876.3206
With three 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, easels, and paint supplies. Can’t find what you want in the store? Ask to see if a manager can order what you’re looking for and deliver it straight to the store nearest you. Don’t forget to ask about the 20 percent discount, which is available for rewards members on a wide variety of art and school supplies. Sign up at any of the three sites to score the deal.
328 Wall St, Kingston, 845.331.7780
807 Main St, Poughkeepsie, 845.452.1250
35 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, 845.679.2251
Bring a full wallet, and a hearty dose of self-restraint, with you on a trip to Dream in Plastic. 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 unicorn gel pens. On the portable end of things, the store also stocks backpacks, key chains, and lunch-friendly storage bowls. Come with a loose shopping list in mind, but don’t be surprised if both you and your child walk away with more than a few treats you never knew you needed.
177 Main St, Beacon, 845.632.3383
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 and professional artists.
83 Main St, New Paltz, 845.255.9902
As the name suggests, The Parent Teacher Store is a wonderland for parents and teachers alike come back-to-school season. The colorful store has everything an educator could want, from bulletin board sets and student nametags to learning charts and certificate templates. Parents, meanwhile, can flip through at-home activity booklets and pick up a puzzle or two for little ones to enjoy.
515 Troy-Schenectady Rd, Latham, 518.785.6272
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.
80 Main St, Cold Spring, 845.666.7177
Additionally, a number of services offer free back-to-school supplies for children and families who cannot afford to purchase them. Check with your local community centers and Salvation Army stores to see if and when they accept and deliver donations.