10 Great Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas from New Canaan Shops [GALLERY]

We’re entering the home stretch of Christmas shopping in New Canaan, as most every holiday shipping date has past. For anyone looking for great last-minute gift and stocking-stuffer ideas, we’ve created the gallery above—covering everything from $5 squishies for the kids to a $3,600 six-liter bottle of wine for the grownups. Though it’s not meant to be exhaustive—for example, we left off favorites such as the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s gift cards, New Canaan Historical Society’s ornaments and Philip Johnson Glass House’s design store items—the gallery represents a good cross-section of downtown merchants. As Laura Budd from the Chamber’s offices above the Playhouse on Elm Street said: “From our office on the ’50-yard line’ and from our interactions with store owners and managers, we know that New Canaan shoppers have embraced the ‘Shop Local’ movement. We know this is in no small part due to the tremendous effort the local businesses put in to the ‘experience’ of shopping here in New Canaan.

New Canaan Olive Oil Moving To Shared Space on Main Street Jan. 1, with ‘Against The Grain’ Furniture Shop

New Canaan Olive Oil, a popular shop on Elm Street’s “50-yard line” for more than four years, will move into a shared commercial space on Main Street next month. Heidi Burrows, the business’s owner, said her lease is up Dec. 31 and that she’s moving the retail shop into Against The Grain at 91 Main St. There will be no disruption for customers, Burrows said. “We expect almost everything to stay the same, just in a different location,” she said.

‘It Finally Feels Like Summer’: Locals Head to Downtown, Parks As Temps Soar into 70s

Olive Gallagher, a West School third-grader, on Monday afternoon joined her friends Phoebe Mellick, a West School second-grader, and Morgan Tusa, an East School third-grader, on the bench outside of Baskin-Robbins on Main Street. The trio had spent part of the morning at a beach in Westport, where they participated in a photo shoot on the fabulous Beachmate system (a local family’s invention), and then came back to sun-dappled New Canaan for their cool treat. “This is one of my favorite spots,” Phoebe told NewCanaanite.com before going back to her Icing On the Cake-flavored ice cream cone. “We’re just enjoying the weather.” (Olive also got Icing On the Cake—asked what flavor she had, Morgan answered, “I have no idea.”)

As temperatures climbed into the 70s in New Canaan—and less than one month after a winter storm dumped about a foot of snow here—locals enjoying April break at home headed into town and out to the public parks to relax and reconnect with nature and each other. “Everyone comes out of the woodwork and enjoys the beautiful day—it finally feels like summer is here,” New Canaan’s Andrea Reid said from a favorite family spot, Irwin Park, where she joined a friend and watched over her kids, 5-year-old Asher, a New Canaan Community Preschooler, and Morgan, 2, who attends the preschool at United Methodist Church (the writer’s alma mater).

Did You Hear … ?

Police received a report on Tuesday that a 9-year-old Wheaten terrier who is new to town breached an invisible fence installed by his owners and attacked a leashed chocolate Labrador retriever puppy walking past. It happened at about 3:30 p.m. in the area of Orchard Drive and Douglas Road, and the 8-month-old puppy received a gash and punctures to his groin area. No citations or criminal charges were brought, according to the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. Both dogs are neutered males and are up-to-date on shots, officials said. ***

It’s how Dan’s Highway and Lost District Drive got their names.

‘Against the Grain’: New Shop Featuring Handcrafted Wood Furniture, Amish- and Artisan-Made Goods To Open on Main Street

Two years after Varnum’s Pharmacy vacated its longtime, iconic home alongside the alley on Main Street, a new business is poised to take over the commercial space on a full-time basis. Chris Meier said he’s planning to launch ‘Against The Grain’ at 91 Main St. in mid-August. Various Adirondack-style chairs already are appearing outside the store, which provides handcrafted wood and other items from local artists and is a unique source of high-quality Amish-made furniture, Meier said. A native of Cape Cod, Meier said he selected New Canaan after spending about six months doing business in a pop-up space in Stamford’s South End, where he lives with his wife Beth, a 2000 graduate of Stamford High School (they’ve been married for one year).