Rediscovering the Princeton Shopping Center

Last Saturday the Princeton Shopping Center celebrated ‘Pirates Day’. They had a fun treasure hunt starting the beginning of the month, leading up to the big day. I decided to step up to the challenge the day before the deadline. There were treasure maps available at the 17 participating shops with clues to each. Every business had a special stamp for the map to indicate that you’d found them. Once all were collected, you filled out the back of the map and left it at your last stop. Each map was entered into a drawing for $2,000 worth of prizes and gift cards from the shops. Additionally, attached to the map were coupons from each place. While I did not expect to win, I spent two hours walking around the shopping center in search for more than just the stamps, I was seeking adventure!

Half the establishments I frequent, some I hadn’t been in for years, and others were new territory for me. I had walked by them so often, but never took the time to go inside. I was very fortunate to find these new gems hidden in plain sight! Here’s what I know or learned about the participants:

  1. McCaffrey’s – The back of this store is lined with specialty markets. There’s a fish monger, pizzeria, deli, coffee shop, bakery, and places to pick up prepared foods.
  2. Main Street Bistro & Bar – This restaurant offers al fresco dining at the famous Clocktower Cabana patio bar, where you can get tasty cocktails.
  3. Incredible Me – This is where you can get stylish and designer clothing, shoes and accessories for girls.
  4. Image Arts – Besides having beautiful portraits taken there, they offer great photo gifts, and frame everything from collages to prized football jerseys.
  5. One-Of-A-Kind Consignment Gallery – Here you’ll find an amazing selection of re-purposed items for the home.
  6. Marlowe’s Jewelry Repair – They not only repair jewelry, but also sell new and estate jewelry.
  7. Learning Express – This toy store has a variety of quality games and toys for kids.
  8. Smith’s Ace Housewares – They have a wide selection of kitchen gear and a few specialty food/drink items.
  9. Smith’s Ace Hardwares – This hardware store has a nice little paint section.
  10. Ten Thousand Villages – Delightful gift items are sold from all over the world.
  11. Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Dancing with the Stars should inspire you to sign up for some group or private lessons at this dance studio.
  12. Metropolis Spa Salon – The place to go for hair, makeup, nails, and being pampered.
  13. Princeton Optometric Physicians – They have a friendly staff with a nice selection of designer and chic frames.
  14. Jordan’s Cards and Gifts – There is an excellent selection of greeting cards, and some gifts for many occasions.
  15. Princeton Bath & Kitchen – They have innovative bath and kitchen products that conserve water at a place that keeps up with the trends.
  16. Quizno’s – This is the home of the toasted hoagies.
  17. The Light Gallery – There’s a good selection of indoor and outdoor lighting. They can also order items not shown.
Since I haven’t heard from the Princeton Shopping Center by now, I can only assume I didn’t win the grand prize, but I can tell you I still feel like a winner after chatting with the merchants and seeing all of the wonderful goods and services I’ve been missing for years. This has inspired me to go back and revisit the other shops not on the list. When’s the last time you’ve spent hours walking around the Princeton Shopping Center?


  1. says

    I love the Princeton Shopping Center! I have been going to the Spa at Metropolis for years… incredible! They are also a wonderful and thoughtful group of people.

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