Stuck on what to get your guy this Valentine's Day? Most women will agree that men have it easy on February 14. All they have to do is make dinner reservations, grab some flowers, and—if they're really splurging—buy a piece of jewelry. Any jewelry will do. Really. Shopping for men, though, can often be much more challenging. Clothes are boring, sports cars are too expensive, and the male species doesn't typically appreciate a box of chocolates. But, fear not! There are a lot of unique Valentine's Day gifts perfect for your guy just steps away from your home. Why not try…
Sports Equipment & Accessories
Cycling enthusiasts might appreciate a new pair of riding gloves, wireless speedometer/odometer, an uber-lightweight,virtually drag-free titanium water bottle cage (by special order), or perhaps customized Oakley shades—all of which can be found at The Bike Stand in Scotch Plains, Jay's Cycle Center in Westfield, or the Cranford Bike Shop.
Tennis, anyone? Surely your valentine's ace stats will improve with a freshly restrung racquet, a video analysis of his game, or a gift certificate for court time, which are available at the Westfield Indoor Tennis Club, Racquets Etc., or Racquets & Strings in Cranford.
Runners can hit the track or pavement in style and stay wick-away warm with outerwear found at The Running Company in Westfield.
Most of these sports-themed gifts can also be purchased at Springfield's Sports Authority, which also sells a wide selection of Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Islanders, and Devils fanwear, as well as full-size foos ball, air hockey, ping-pong, and poker tables... not to mention electronic basketball hoops.
Sports/Comics Collectibles & Memorabilia
If your guy prefers not to be in the middle of the field, but still loves the play-by-play action, why not pick up an autographed photo (with certificate of authenticity), rare trading cards, or other fanware at Fanwood's Sports Place or Westfield's CJ's Extra Innings?
Comics shoppers should head right over to Scotch Plains' Little Shop of Comics and grab a coveted first print issue No. 583: Obama with Spider-Man or the hard-to-find, uber-valuable Fantastic Four, issue No. 48. No man's life is complete without a life-size R2D2, and Rogue Comics & Collectibles in Cranford has one, as well as over 50,000 magazines and comic books to choose from.
Unique Gifts & Experiences for One or Couples
Has he always wanted to scuba but never learned how? This Valentine's Day just might be the perfect time to schedule a dive class at Treasure Cove Divers in Westfield.
Dying to see a Broadway show, rock band, or game? March Madness is only a month away, and tickets to some of the best seats in the house are available at Westfield's Boogie's Tickets.
Why not treat him to a night out, including a game of pool at J.J. Billiards in Scotch Plains? Rack 'em up and see if he's can clear the table like Paul Newman in "The Hustler."
Gifts to Pamper
Guys like to the finer things in life, too, and he'll surely look like a million bucks in John Robert's (Westfield) custom-made shirts and suits.
It's true: a lot of men like massages—even if they won't admit it. Gift certificates for neck, back, and full-body massages can be purchased at Asahi Acupressure and Ohana Media Spa in Scotch Plains and Lola Salon and The C.A.L.M. Approach in Cranford. Muscle rejuvenation therapy for athletes, wellness, and to relieve stress from business is available at Myo Solutions in Westfield. Or, double the fun and book a couples massage at Exclusive Salon and Spa in Fanwood.
They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and if your sweetie does have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of local chocolatiers to choose from. One off-the-beaten path choice is Irma's Hallmark store in Fanwood, which sells heart-shaped football and basketball boxes of chocolate—complete with laces and padded, dimpled lids.
A host of new video games have just hit stores, including Uncharted 2 Among Thieves for Playstation 3, New Supermario Brothers for Wii, BioShock 2 and Mass Effect 2 (multiple platforms)—all available at GameStop (Westfield and Springfield).
Keep him plugged in 24/7 with an Apple iPhone, a myTouch Fender limited edition smart phone, netbooks, blue tooth, or phone accessories, or add that "over my dead body" sports cable package he's been nagging you about at Verizon (Westfield), AT&T (Scotch Plains & Westfield), and T-Mobile (Springfield).
Other high-tech gift ideas in Springfield can be found at 6th Ave Electronics, including home theater systems, iPod and mp3 car adapters, refractor telescopes, and Flip Video camcorders. If your Valentine likes to read, try out/order Barnes & Noble Booksellers' nook ebook reader, which won TechCrunch Crunchies Award's "Best New Gadget of 2009."
If your man's auto is his baby, give him a gift certificate to a hand car wash or full detailing service at Scotch Plains' Showroom Hand Car Wash, Westfield's G-Wiz Car Wash, or Auto Spa (Westfield and Cranford).
High-tech, low-tech, home-made, or store-bought—no matter what Valentine's Day gift you end up with, remember (and remind him) that it's the thought that counts. Chances are, he's with you for you and not for your mad shopping skills. And if you end up getting him that cable sports package/poker-table combo and your house is suddenly full of other women's men (or you've lost him to all-night marathons of BioShock 2), don't forget to let him enjoy it after the wrapping paper's off. Hopefully, the glint from that shiny new diamond necklace he gave you will keep you distracted until next Valentine's Day.