With the holidays quickly approaching the need for that perfect gift is becoming more and more important. Instead of breaking down and heading to the mall like everyone else to find a gift why not take advantage of the assortment of local stores right in your own back yard.

Not only will you get something unique and amazing, but you’ll support the local businesses that make Beaver County a great place to live. There’s a lot of ways to avoid the malls and get all your gifts taken care of, especially those last minute ones, so check out our guide to shopping local for the holidays and steer clear of those malls.

Castle Toys and Games

Castle Games Beaver

There aren’t too many true toy stores around any more; mostly they’ve been replaced by big box retailers that happen to sell toys. A good toy store is a site to behold, with games, puzzles, and toys for all ages, it’s the perfect place to pick up a gift for the kids on your list.

Castle Toys in Beaver is perfect example of a great toy store. The toys are separated by age group for easy gift choosing, and there’s a second floor devoted to puzzles and games. You’ll find a unique mix of toys and games you might not find at other stores and when you pick the perfect toy they’ll even wrap it up for free.

Instead of fighting the lines at the big box toy stores why not check out a great local option like this and get a better gift in the process.

Brighton Music Center

Everyone has a music lover in their life so why not get them a great gift from an amazing music shop. Brighton Music in New Brighton has an amazing selection of instruments, equipment, and everything else a music lover could want.

You can go the instrument route and pick up a big ticket item like an electric guitar or drum set or keep the gift smaller and pick out a new guitar case so last year’s gift is protected.

The staff at Brighton Music Center will help you pick the right gift, too. Whether you know as much as the person you’re buying for or you’re a clueless parent that needs help picking the right thing, Brighton Music Center is perfect and best of all, local.

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop

Who doesn’t love candy? One of the newer shops on the main street of Beaver is dedicated to the sugary sweetness we all love. Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in Beaver has a huge selection of candy ranging from the basic candy bars to amazing fudge and even gummi bears the size of your head!

More than the basic candy section at a grocery store, Grandpa Joe’s features not only traditional American candy favorites but even some favorites from England as well as other countries, too. If you’re looking to go big, check out the bulk candy in the back of the shop and make your own candy gifts to give a real handmade feel to the holidays.


There’s nothing like the smell of walking into a movie theater. The buttery popcorn smell could draw a crowd just about anywhere, so it’s no surprise that the unique popcorn from Popcorn-N-That in Ambridge is a great place to find a gift.

You can get the basic popcorn in a bag or opt for a fancier tin featuring the Penguins, Pirates, or even a holiday scene. While movie popcorn is great, it doesn’t compare to the gourmet offerings at Popcorn-N-That. For the sweet tooth you can get white chocolate peppermint caramel and for the sports fan you can get a big bag of black and gold.

If you have someone on your list that’s hard to buy for, popcorn might be the perfect gift and best of all, you’ll probably get to try some, too.

Bocktown Beer & Grill

Bocktown Beer

If the person you’re shopping for is over 21, then chances are he or she would love some great craft beer from a local business. While you could get a full case of beer, that can get expensive and you might not get something they like, leaving them stuck with 24 so-so gifts.

Instead, why not pick up a few big bottles or a mixed six-pack of craft beer from Bocktown Beer & Grill in the Beaver Valley Mall and let them decide which they like the best. There’s literally hundreds of different beers to choose from as well as growlers that can be filled with their choice of 16 rotating craft beers.

Not sure what beer they like? Pick up an empty growler and get a gift certificate so they can buy the beer they want to fill it up with. They get something to unwrap, as well as the chance to pick exactly what they want, making it the best of both worlds and you a very good gift giver.

Sapling and Sons

The newest shop on our list is also one of the most kitschy and unique. Sapling and Sons in Beaver is a shop that sells stationary and more, all with a great vintage feel. Everything sold in Sapling and Sons is made by businesses and people in and around the Pittsburgh area and nothing available in the store comes from a big box supplier.

There are amazing cards to fit just about every personality, signs and artwork that are unlike any I’ve seen before, and even wrapping paper and mailing supplies that are locally made.

If your goal is to get a great gift that definitely won’t be duplicated, then Sapling and Sons is where you want to go.

Auto Effects

ryan hare

Nobody likes getting into a cold car in the winter or a hot car in the summer, which is why remote starters are so popular. Just the thought of being able to start my car on a morning when it’s single digit temperatures outside from my warm living room makes me smile.

Auto Effects in Monaca offers remote starters for automatic as well as manual transmissions and has an extremely experienced staff installing each remote starter with all the custom parts and work today’s high-tech cars require.

If you want a gift that’ll keep giving all year then buying a remote start and installation for your loved one is just about the perfect gift you can give. Best of all, many cars can get their remote start and installation for only $99, making this a far less expensive gift that you might think.

Dewdrop Gift Shop and Tea Room

Some people have everything, making them incredibly hard to shop for. The more someone has, the harder it becomes to find something that is interesting and memorable for them. If you have someone like this on your list then the Dewdrop Gift Shop and Tea Room in Monaca might be the perfect place to find that gift.

Here you’ll find gifts ranging from baked goods, teas, and crafts and works of art from local artists and designers. There’s always something different here, so check back often to find that perfect gift.

King Beaver Cigars

Monaca Cigar Shop

Guys are probably the hardest people to buy gifts for. We tend to either not be vocal about the things we like or just go and buy them ourselves. Instead of beating yourself up on what to get the guy on your list, let the staff at King Beaver Cigars in Monaca help you out.

While guys aren’t the only ones that like a good cigar, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you give one to a guy it’ll get used. If the person you’re buying the gift for is a current cigar smoker you can tell the guys at King Beaver what they have now and they’ll pick a great gift out for you, and if you’re not sure, just describe how it looks and they’ll probably be able to figure it out for you anyway.

If the smoker on your list is particular about his or her cigars, then pick up a new lighter, cutter, or even a humidor for them and they’ll think of you all year when they use it. Cigars as a gift are great because they range in price from $1-$2 up to $15-$20 for a single cigar, and humidors, lighters, and cutters range in price fairly well, too. Why not give the guy on your list a stocking stuffed with something he’ll really love this year and let the guys at King Beaver Cigars help.

Stray Cat Studio and Artisan Gift Shop

Wrapping up our local gift-giving list is possibly the most unique entry in the list. Stray Cat Studio and Artisan Gift Shop located in Beaver Falls offers a variety of handmade goods crafted primarily by Western Pennsylvania artists.

Here you’ll find clothing items, pottery, candles, pillows, and more fun and creative items than we can list. Along with the gift shop is a fully functioning pottery studio that offers classes for all levels of skill. Instead of buying a gift for that hard to please friend, why not buy him or her a pottery class for the both of you to attend? You’ll both learn something new and have an experience that’ll be remembered far longer than any simple gift will ever be.

Brian is a nut when it comes to all things local, especially beer. Born and raised in Center, he now resides in Beaver, loving every minute of it. A technology nut and freelance writer extraordinaire, he knows all the secret spots and things to do in the Beav.