Shop Local: Holiday Events in Downtown Alameda

Shop Local Saturday in Downtown AlamedaNestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is another opportunity for shoppers to have some fun and get terrific deals. Forget the malls on Saturday, November 26 and make local businesses a part of your holiday tradition.

By shopping or dining at a small business in Downtown Alameda, you’re not only showing your support for local businesses but you’re also investing in our island community and preserving Alameda’s unique charm.

So let our merchants help you find unique holiday gifts, jewelry, clothing, toys, wine, and much more! Gift certificates also make a wonderful surprise.

Holiday Happenings in Downtown Alameda

Be an Alameda Island Shopper! Enjoy these special holiday happenings in Downtown Alameda:

The Sewing Room holiday stockingWed, November 23:
Relax before the holidays with an evening of live music at Speisekammer. The Saddle Cats play western swing starting at 8:30pm; no cover charge.

Thur, November 24:
Need last-minute holiday meal items? Alameda Natural Grocery and Farmstead Cheeses & Wines will have special hours Thanksgiving morning from 9:00am to Noon.

Fri, November 25:
Daisy’s is celebrating the return of Gilmore Girls to television on Friday, November 25. Enjoy special gifts and food — celebrated festival style!
Celebrate local music with four Alameda acoustic acts at McGee’s. Show starts at 8:00pm: Wicked LobstahAcoustic EmbersFlunch, and My Friday Night.

Park Street Plaza holiday boutique 2016Sat, November 26:
Join us for “Shop Local Saturday” when local businesses in Downtown Alameda will be offering special discounts, free treats, and other fun activities.

Alameda makers are setting up a mini shop at Daisy’s including a true mini maker (she is 10) and clothing maker Shaabi Denim. Enjoy great grub and celebrate all things Alameda!

The Sewing Room is celebrating Small Business Saturday by offering a 15% discount on merchandise purchases. This is a great opportunity to buy that pattern & fabric for your next sewing project! They’ll also have goodies to share. Shop hours are 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Sat, December 3:
Park Street Plaza is having a Holiday Boutique from 11:00am to 5:00pm. There will be handmade items from local artisans, plus sales and treats in all the shops including Aphrodite’s Closet, and Artistic Home Studio & Boutique, and Bonne Vie Beer Wine & Fine Cigars.

Twirl is transforming their space into a Handmade Holiday Market from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. Enjoy music, nibbles, artisan demos, pics with santa, and all together community fun!

While shopping and dining in Downtown Alameda, take a break and enjoy the annual Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration in front of city hall. Entertainment begins at 4:30pm. Tree lighting begins at 5:30pm.

Join bay area artists at Studio 23 for Displacement, a group art exhibit benefiting displacement services. California artists along with Chulita Vinyl Club (an all female DJ group) will be donating their time from 7:00pm to 10:00pm to make this a memorable event for everyone!

Rhythmix Mini Materpieces holiday eventFri, December 9:
Come join the fun & be inspired during the 2nd Friday Art WalkBead Inspirations is hosting a showcase of their talented customers from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The Handcrafted Jewelry Holiday Boutique will feature gorgeous, unique jewelry pieces.

On the same night, plan to stop by Rhythmix Cultural Works for their Mini Masterpieces Holiday Gift Shopping event. The gallery walls will be densely packed with a wide range of smaller, affordable art pieces created by local artists.

Sat, December 10:
Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots to Yoga Alameda and relax with a free one-hour yoga session at 6:00pm. Afterwards, enjoy a Holiday party plus pop-up boutiques from local artists and artisans. Find art, candles, jewelry and more. Drinks and snacks included!

More Gift Ideas

Find deals during Thanksgiving weekend…  Ozone will be doing a bunch of BOGO deals on clothing and glassware. They’ll also be giving away FREE items with purchase of select skate gear.

Bring on the cold weather! We Are Hair just unloaded a new shipment of stylish fedoras and warm knitted scarves. Plus, discounts will be given on haircare products during the upcoming holiday shopping weekends.

Yoga Alameda is offering one month unlimited yoga for $74.99 or a 3-class pass for $30. They are also offering one free class with any Spiritual Gangster merchandise purchase.

Downtown Alameda has a great selection of  shops and restaurants for gift card ideas. Check out the Black Friday deal at La Penca Azul… they’re offering $100 worth of gift cards for only $72.99.

Holiday happenings can be found all the way to Christmas Day. Speisekammer will be serving dinner on Christmas Eve for from 3:00pm until 9:00pm. In the past years they have closed, so this is a special evening for the popular German restaurant.

Free Weekend Parking

Take advantage of free parking during the holiday shopping season! You’ll find free two-hour parking at all the metered spaces in Downtown Alameda on the Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Sundays are always free.)

Need to park longer? The Civic Center Parking Garage located on 1416 Oak Street is the best option. You can park there for up to 4 hours. Cost is $0.75/hr during the day and free after 5:00pm.

For more holiday happenings and gift ideas, be sure to visit our website: www.DowntownAlameda.com/News

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You’ll always find great food & drink establishments, charming shops, friendly services, and fun things to do in Downtown Alameda! To learn more about the businesses and events in Downtown Alameda, visit our new website: www.DowntownAlameda.com.

Downtown Alameda Business Association

Downtown Alameda is the commercial, cultural, and civic center of our island city. We represent over 425 businesses on Park Street and beyond. Follow us on your favorite social media sites for updates: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+

Downtown Businesses Receive Honors

There’s no denying that you’ll find some of the best businesses in Downtown Alameda. Our businesses are recognized on both a local and a national level.

Congratulations to these two businesses for recently receiving award recognition from the community and their peers!

Kate Pryor and Tucker's Ice Cream receives service awardCommunity Service Award

On October 27, the City of Alameda 2016 Community Service Award – Business Person was presented to Kate Pryor and Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream. The community awards honor extraordinary people who make a difference in our community. Kate was recognized for her support of the library’s summer reading program along with the many, many other contributions she and Tucker’s have made in support of youth education and community activities. This was the first year that awards were given to businesses. “It was an extremely positive, professional, and heartfelt event,” said Kate.  

Sustainability and Peer Awards

Alameda Natural Grocery and Donna Layburn receives awardAlameda Natural Grocery was recently honored as “Retailer of the Year” in the sustainability category by New Hope Network. The award was presented in Baltimore last month. Alameda Natural Grocery was the only west coast natural grocery store to win one of four award categories. Bees on the roof, adaptive reuse, recycling, composting, California Green Business Certification, and the Alameda Green program were a few of the business practices recognized. “We are grateful to Alameda Municipal Power for their retrofitting assistance programs and the Alameda Green program,” said Donnna. “They help us all be better to our environment.”

It’s also worth noting that, back in June, business owner Donna Layburn received an Innovation Award from the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association for her creative business savvy in an ever-evolving marketplace.  Read the rest of this entry »

Find Pumpkin Everything in Downtown Alameda

Holiday pumpkin assortmentPumpkin spice can be found in many different forms this time of year. From the minute we feel a slight chill in the air, people start seeking this autumn delight with flavor notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Is it even fall if you aren’t burning a pumpkin-scented candle in your home? (Look for scented candles at Daisy’s and Therapy Home.)

Thankfully, pumpkin-inspired treats of all kinds are available in the shops and restaurants throughout Downtown Alameda.

Pumpkin pie slice at Julie's Coffee and Tea Garden AlamedaThe first thing that comes to mind is a heavenly Pumpkin Spice Latte. This is sure to warm the hands and the tummy. Next in mind are pumpkin spice bagels, bread, cookies, and cupcakes. In addition, a rich and smooth pumpkin pie will always have a place on the table. (Order a latte at The Beanery, Blue Danube Coffee House, or Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden. Look for more sweet treats at House of BagelsCrispian Bakery, and Feel Good Bakery.)

Just because temperatures are cooling off doesn’t mean it’s time to stop eating ice cream or frozen yogurt. This is actually the best time to try the seasonal pumpkin flavors found at your favorite dessert spots. (Enjoy a date night at Tucker’s Ice Cream, Teazzert, or Yogofina.)

Pumpkin Pie cocktailLooking for something different while in Downtown Alameda? There are plenty of other pumpkin spice alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth — pumpkin spice waffles, pumpkin spice donuts, and even pumpkin spice cocktails. (Find good eats and drinks at Ole’s Waffle Shop, Homeskillet, and Cinema Grill.)

On the savory side, you might consider stopping at one of the downtown eateries to try a pumpkin soup, a hearty pumpkin stew, or a slightly spicy red curry dish with pumpkin. (Order pumpkin flavored dishes at Chef M at Everest Market, Burma Superstar, and Spice I Am.)

Even the beauty shops offer pumpkin recipes for facials, skin treatments, and hair treatments. (Try the hair and skincare products at Sumbody and Avalon School of Cosmetology.)  Read the rest of this entry »

New Businesses in Downtown Alameda (Aug/Sept 2016)

Poke Koma Alameda

Poke Koma

There’s always something new to discover in Downtown Alameda, from great food & drink establishments to friendly services.

We’ve seen a number of popular “life-style” eateries open in Downtown Alameda over the last couple of months. A new boba tea cafe and a new Asian fusion take-out restaurant have both opened in the North of Lincoln District. In addition, a new dining spot opened in the Theatre District that is the first in Alameda to specialize in customized Hawaiian poke bowls.

Personal services in Downtown Alameda are important too… a new family therapist, a new in-home care agency, and a new hair salon have opened recently. You’ll also find a beautiful boutique gallery space on Park Street that is now home to a private performing arts center that offers programs in voice and piano.

Help welcome the newest businesses to our district! The next time you’re in Downtown Alameda, be sure to stop by and check them out.

New Businesses:

Alameda Monkey King at the Brewery

Monkey King at the Brewery

Holly Brown, MFT, 2515 Santa Clara Ave #210
* Marriage and family therapist with fifteen years of clinical experience

i-Tea, 1626 Park Street
* Authentic Boba Milk Tea, Fruit Tea, and Juice Bar. “Not just a cup of tea’… it’s a lifestyle.”

Katherine Parks Center of the Arts, 1242 Park Street
* Private and group programs in music, dance, and theater.

Monkey King at the Brewery, 1716 Park Street
* Chinese/Asian Fusion in a take-out setting.

Sessions Salon Alameda

Sessions Salon

Peace of Mind Home Care, 2515 Santa Clara Ave
* In-home care agency providing compassionate care.

Poke Koma, 1354 Park Street
* Hawaiian Poke Bowls… choose from our signature bowls or customize your own!

Sessions Salon, 2323 Santa Clara Ave
* Full-service modern hair salon and blow dry and color bar.

New Owner:

Aphrodite’s Closet, 1419 Park Street

In the Works:  Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Alameda’s Classic Car Show Revs Up For Family Fun

Downtown Alameda Classic Car ShowReady! Set! Go!… Downtown Alameda’s 23rd Annual Classic Car Show is just around the corner. The free one-day event takes place on Saturday, October 8 and runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Downtown Alameda’s Classic Car Show is fun for the entire family. You’ll be amazed at the number of cars on display! Over 400 classic vehicles of every description will be lined up along Park Street, all the way from Encinal Ave to Buena Vista Ave — antique roadsters, vintage coupes, hot rods, muscle cars, and more. Most of the cars come from the magical decades of the ’50s and the ’60s. But you’ll also see plenty of muscle cars from the ’70s, along with beauties from the ’30s and ’40s.

While meandering through Alameda’s historic downtown district, enjoy a blast from the past as DJs spin some of the best oldies over the loudspeakers. Plus, keep your eyes and ears out for more entertainment and fun things to do along the way.

In addition to the cars and entertainment, many of the businesses in Downtown Alameda will be open for business. So plan to set aside some time to explore the unique selections of our shops (antiques, apparel, gifts, and more) and enjoy the tasty fare of our fabulous eateries (breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks).

More details are available on the official event page: www.DowntownAlameda.com/Classic-Car-Show 

Helpful Tips for Downtown Alameda’s 23rd Annual Classic Car Show  Read the rest of this entry »

Customer Celebration Day in Downtown Alameda

We’re celebrating YOU!

The merchants in Downtown Alameda appreciate your support and would like to honor YOU, our valued customer. As a special thank you, we’re hosting a “Customer Celebration Day” on Saturday, September 24.

We invite you to take a stroll through Alameda’s historic downtown district for a day of fun. Participating businesses will be offering free giveaways, prizes, and special discounts. Plus, enjoy a variety of entertainment and activities on the sidewalks from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

So plan on visiting your favorite shops, restaurants, and services on Customer Celebration Day… and maybe even discover some new places along the way. Over 50 businesses will be participating!

Here’s a small sample of special activities:
* 10:00am-11:00am – Free Coffee and Tea Tasting @ Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
* 11:00am-12:00pm –  Complimentary Croissants @ C’era Una Volta
* 11:00am-2:30pm – Meet the Minions – Photo Op @ Cinema Grill
* 2:00pm-4:00pm – Free Sangria Wine Tasting @ Bonne Vie Beer Wine & Fine Cigars
* 4:00pm-6:00pm – Free Face Painting @ Tucker’s Ice Cream

For a chance to win a fabulous assortment of gift certificates and goodies from downtown merchants, be sure to stop by one of our sponsoring businesses to pick up your free entry form — the grand prize is valued over $500!

Look for a complete list of businesses, special offers, and scheduled events on our website: www.downtownalameda.com/Customer-Day  Read the rest of this entry »

Find Student Lunch Specials in Downtown Alameda

Bowzer's Pizza AlamedaSchool is back in session and the sidewalks in Downtown Alameda are once again buzzing during lunch hour.

Many downtown restaurants offer lunch specials that keep business flying through the afternoon. Lunch specials are especially helpful to the nearby Alameda High students who have limited time to pack a lunch, want something different from the standard cafeteria menu, or just want to take advantage of the privilege of leaving campus during lunch break.

With tons of options available with Downtown Alameda being just a short stroll away from the high school, “Where shall we eat?” can be one of the biggest and most exasperating questions among Alameda High students when friends gather together for a quick lunch break.

So where can a budget-conscious student fill up fast if he or she didn’t bring a homemade lunch? $5 can get you a pretty hearty meal at just about any of the nearby downtown destinations that offer weekday specials — from take-out spots to family restaurants, and everything between. Just look for the  “Student Special” signs in front of the local eateries.

These are some of the student favorites that can be found just a few blocks from AHS in Downtown Alameda…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Find Back-to-School Shopping Ideas in Downtown Alameda

Back To School_Walgreens AlamedaBack-to-school shopping can be daunting. Whether you’re shopping for an elementary student, middle-schooler, high-schooler, or college student, back-to-school shopping means stocking up on school supplies. Instead of going back to the mall or driving to the big box stores, take a relaxing stroll through Downtown Alameda where you are sure to find everything you need to make this the best school year yet!

Basic School Supplies – The essential school supplies include paper, pencils, pens, rulers, markers, notebooks, lunch boxes, and bags. You’ll find all of these items and more at neighborhood convenience stores and pharmacies in Downtown Alameda.

Walgreens – “Everything your child needs to make the grade.

CVS Pharmacy – Name brand school and office supplies.

Clothing and ShoesTo make sure your child starts the school year in style, drop into one of Downtown Alameda’s clothing shops where you will find the latest apparel for fashion-conscious kids — everything from trendy shoes to socially aware t-shirts. On a budget? You can also find gently worn fashions at the re-use boutiques.

Doumitt ShoesBack to School_Doumitts Shoes Alameda – Trendy, fashion shoes for the entire family.

District Footwear & Apparel – The latest in metro-hip sneakers and apparel.

Lauren’s Closet – Clothes, accessories, and more for children and juniors.

All Good Living – Lifestyle clothing that is earth-friendly and made in the USA.

Computers & Electronics – Whether it’s new phones to stay connected with the kids, new computers to help with completing homework assignments, and or calculators for fun and learning, you’ll find a number of retail shops in Downtown Alameda that offer the right gadgets to help students get through the school year successfully.

Quick Communications – Verizon Wireless Authorized Exclusive Retailer.

Grand Communications – MetroPCS Authorized Dealer.

ABM Computers – Vast array of hardware and software solutions.

Music & Art Supplies – New supplies for music and art classes will help students master those extracurricular activities. There are a number of shops in Downtown Alameda worth checking out — whether it’s painting and drawing supplies, sewing supplies, or musical instruments and sheet music. (By the way, now is a good time to start making reservations for school holiday camps.)  Read the rest of this entry »

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