Review of New Albany Hop and Shop
On the second Saturday of each month, New Albany is offering a Hop and Shop trolley service. A trolley will bring you door to door of participating businesses around New Albany for free! The point is to be introduced to the businesses of New Albany, as well as improve the local economy.
The Hop and Shop began in February 2013 with the theme, “Chocolate Delight.” This meant you could ride a free trolley around New Albany from 1pm to 4pm, while each business handed out something chocolate and gave you a ticket to fill out for a chance to win a $200 gift card. For every $10 you spent, you got additional chances to win. Most of the businesses also had some sort of craft or activity for kids to do. The businesses were locally owned and operated.
I recommend you park at the New Albany YMCA, go inside to do your first activity there, and then wait across the road at the Scribner Gardens if the trolley has not yet come. You can then take the trolley from stop to stop. I was worried I’d be waiting long for the trolley to get to my current location, however, between the activities and the fact that many of the business were close to each other, it seemed like almost perfect timing to catch the trolley each time. The trolley seem to come by each spot about every 20 minutes, and was never too full to board.
We visited almost every shop, where we experienced food, live music, face painting, card making, crafts, special merchandise sales, and more. There were a total of 18 businesses on the February map. I had several favorites along the Trolley route. One was Artisan Market where everything in the store was locally made. Earth’s Art was full of every type of rock and mineral you could think of (note to self for future science projects), owned by a very nice couple, and had great prices. They also had a $1 treasure box for my kids to each pick out a special stone and carry with them throughout the Hop and Shop (to keep little hands occupied while in some of the boutiques!). Another favorite for me was Destinations Bookseller. It’s rare these days to find a non-chain book seller, and this one was offering hot cocoa with specialty toppings! And the newest exciting find for my family, The Carnegie Center. The Carnegie Center has free family fun workshops every 2nd Saturday for up to 60 kids and their supervising parent (they prefer you reserve your spot ahead of time). But be sure to ask them if you need to bring anything with you for the project when you call to reserve your spot. This would be a great activity to do before the Hop and Shop starts.
We spent the full time from 1pm to 4pm jumping on and off the trolley and visiting local businesses. You could very easily make a full day of free activities, stopping by the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater and its playground, Bass Pro Shop in Clarksville, Louisville Waterfront Park and playground, and The Big Four Bridge before or after the Hop and Shop. There are so many free attractions close by New Albany!
I’d highly recommend checking out the next Free Second Saturday Trolley Hop (Some details on this Facebook event page, or by following this Facebook page New Albany). You can have fun helping out the local economy, or just enjoy a free afternoon full of activities, trolley rides, and checking out the local businesses in the New Albany area!
By guest contributor: Caryn