The Bridgewater, New Jersey area may just be the perfect place to live if you love Black Friday sales and Christmas shopping. The township is home to two thriving shopping areas located within a mile of each other: Bridgewater Commons Mall and Somerset Shopping Center. Preparation is the key to any successful Black Friday or Christmas shopping trip. We’ve compiled a list of a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind before you head out.
Review the Ads as Early as Possible
Black Friday advertisements contain the crucial information you need to create your plan of attack. When you review the ads, pay particular attention to doorbusters. These items are offered at a significant savings, but there may only be a limited supply of them available. If you want to grab one of these items, you’ll need to make sure you’re in line when the store opens.
BestBlackFriday.com posts Black Friday ads as soon as they’re available. Checking BestBlackFriday.com or other Black Friday sites frequently will help you ensure that you don’t miss an ad.
Black Friday / Christmas Shopping Options near Bridgewater, NJ
Bridgewater Commons Mall is the ideal place to find gifts for everyone on your shopping list. The three-story mall features 162 stores, a food court, restaurants and an AMC Movie Theater. Anchors Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales offer stylish shoes and clothing for the entire family, jewelry and home goods. If you need a little help with gift buying, the stores have personal shoppers and stylists on hand to help.
Are you looking for amazing gifts for your children or grandchildren? Pick up a plush toy at The Disney Store or a Super Heroes play set at The Lego Store. The teens on your list might appreciate the latest tech gadgets available at the Apple Store or shoes and apparel from Vans, lululemon, Garage, Abercrombie & Fitch and Champs Sports.
Other Bridgewater Commons stores you’ll want to add to your list include:
- Cotton On
- J. Crew
- Free People
- Eddie Bauer
- Bath and Body Works
- Game Stop
- Forever 21
- Pottery Barn
- Sleep Number
- Williams and Sonoma
- American Eagle Outfitters
- J. Jill
- Alex and Ani
- Adore Me
- Hot Topic
- Best Buy (outside the mall)
The mall isn’t the only place to find thoughtful gifts for your favorite people. Bridgewater Promenade and Somerset Shopping Center offer ample parking and the stores you love. At Bridgewater Promenade, check out the latest fashions at Marshalls, Target and Old Navy, then hit Game Stop Prestige and Bed Bath and Beyond for a few stocking stuffers. If cooking is the last thing you want to do after a long day of shopping, the recently opened Trader Joe’s offers a salad bar and a tempting array of ready-to-cook foods.
Other stores at Bridgewater Promenade include Pet Smart, Pep Boys, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Michael’s.
Barnes & Noble at Somerset Shopping Center deserves a spot on your holiday list if you have friends and family members who eagerly look forward to a few good books under the tree every year. Eastern Mountain Sports offers all the gear the athlete in the family needs while Norman’s Hallmark Shop is the perfect place to find cards, gifts and wrapping paper.
The Center is also home to:
- Christmas Tree Shops
- Lane Bryant
- Men’s Wearhouse
- Modell’s Sporting Goods
- New York and Company
- Pier 1 Imports
Broaden Your Horizons
If Somerset Shopping Center or Bridgewater Commons don’t have just what you want, why not expand your options with a trip to New York City or Princeton? Thanks to Bridgewater’s convenient location, it’s easy to hop on a train to the city or drive to other shopping locations. Although I-287, I-78, and routes 22, 28, 202 and 206 are bound to be busy during prime shopping hours, you may find the trip much more pleasant earlier in the day.
The Best Deals This Black Friday 
Years ago, it was impossible to plan your big holiday shopping trip until you received Black Friday ads in the newspaper just before Thanksgiving. Today, many ads are leaked well before the holidays on sites like Best Black Friday Ads and Black Friday. Among the deals leaked so far this year are:
- Apple Watch Series 5 for $399.99, Instant Pots for $64.95 and Google Home Minis for $19 at Target
- Nintendo Switch for $299 or a virtual reality kit for $79.99 at Game Stop
- 70” Samsung TV for $549.00, a Microsoft Surface Pro for $599.00 or an HP Envy Wireless Printer for $29.99 at Best Buy
Be sure to check store and Black Friday sites often, as more sales will be announced or leaked the closer it gets to Black Friday.
Black Friday Parking Strategies
Parking and traffic are always a concern during the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s usually easier to find a spot if you visit when stores first open or if you wait to shop until the end of the day. Planning early morning visits to the stores you expect to be crowded can help you avoid traffic jams or a long wait for a parking spot. Consulting Waze, Google Maps and other traffic apps can help you plot the shortest route to the stores on Black Friday and avoid trouble spots throughout the day.
Christmas Shopping Essentials
Worried that you’ll miss a great deal on Black Friday? Although you may have been out of luck if you didn’t venture out on Friday years ago, retailers aren’t afraid to hold sales throughout the entire month of December these days.
Check store websites regularly for the latest information on upcoming sales. If you’re a last-minute shopper, you may benefit from the Christmas Eve sales some stores offer. You may not find the best selection at that point, but you’ll probably find some good deals on gifts.
Many stores offer apps that make holiday shopping even easier. After you download an app, you’ll begin receiving notifications about special sales targeted to app users, exclusive savings events and other offers designed to entice you to shop at the store.
You may want to include a few special holiday activities on your shopping excursions too. Every evening at 7 p.m. through December 24th, The Disney Store at Bridgewater Commons shows a screening of “Magical Wishes” featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Is story time the favorite part of the day for your kids or grandkids? A visit to the Somerset Shopping Center’s Barnes & Noble store on November 30th is a must. The special holiday-themed story time features two Christmas books that kids ages 3 and up will enjoy.
Bridgewater Commons offers photos with Santa again this year through December 24th at the lower level center court. Kids will step into a magical elevator and be whisked to Santa’s workshop for some one-on-one time with Santa and a few photos.
Make Holiday Shopping More Productive
These tips will help you make the most of your holiday shopping trip:
- Create a plan for visiting stores based on anticipated traffic and how fast you expect must-have gifts to sell out.
- Wear your most comfortable clothing and shoes and dress in layers that can be easily removed if a store is too hot.
- Make time to eat and drink to avoid premature holiday shopping burn out.
- Use store apps to store coupons needed for special deals on your phone.
- Limit your trip to a few hours if you’ll be accompanied by small children or older people who may not be able to handle a long day of shopping.
- Immediately check the website if an item sells out in the store.
Do you hate wasting time in holiday traffic? Fairway 28, a Country Classics Rental Community is located just a few miles from Bridgewater Commons, Bridgewater Promenade and Somerset Shopping Center, Contact us for information about availability of our one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments.
Be Prepared to Spend the Night or Get Up Early
Getting the best deals sometimes involves spending the night in front of the store or arriving a few hours before the doors open. Although spending a chilly November night in a tent may not be everyone’s idea of fun, the people who nabbed a 50” Sharp TV for $179 or a Samsung Chromebook for $99 during last year’s Best Buy sale probably thought it was worthwhile. Best Buy is located just across from Bridgewater Commons on Commons Way.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Black Friday shopping involves a lot of walking and standing in line, which can be hard on your feet. You won’t want to miss a deal because a blister slows you down. If you discover that your shoes aren’t as comfortable as you thought, you can always pop into a local shoe store and try on a new pair. At Bridgewater Commons, you’ll want to stop by ALDO, Clarks, Johnston & Murphy, Journeys, KicksUSA, and Merrell. Modell’s Sporting Goods and Eastern Mountain Sports offer comfortable styles at Somerset Shopping Center.
Take a Break
A quick snack or a leisurely meal can give you the energy you need to continue your shopping expedition. Bridgewater Commons offers a large food court with many quick service options, such as Saladworks, Sbarro, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Master Wok, and Chipotle. Full-service restaurants located around the mall include Redstone American Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory and McCormick & Schmick’s.
If you realize you need a little pick-me-up while you’re visiting Somerset Shopping Center, pop into Dominick’s Pizza, K & S Italian Deli, Steck’s Delicatessen, TGI Friday’s or Thai Kitchen II.
Hate Crowds? Spend the Day at Less Popular Shopping Locales
The malls and strip malls may be packed with holiday shoppers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a few stores that aren’t overflowing with people. Black Friday is the perfect time to scout Home Depot or Lowe’s for the reciprocating saw your dad wants, pay a visit to a local restaurant for a gift certificate for your boss, or browse the bedroom furniture selection at Pottery Barn.
Plan Your Route with Military Precision
Have you thought about the roads you’ll take to and from your shopping excursion? With so many shoppers on the roads, it pays to take a few minutes and plan your route carefully. Place stores with small parking lots and those you expect to become crowded quickly in the first few time slots if you plan to begin shopping early. If you don’t want to start the day before the sun comes up, save the most crowded stores for late in the afternoon when the first round of shoppers will be on their way home.
Take Advantage of Sales from Your Living Room
Can’t bear the thought of fighting hordes of shoppers to save a few dollars? Internet shopping offers the ideal alternative if you want still want to take advantage of Black Friday sales without the hassle. Although you might not get certain doorbusters if you shop online, you’ll still be eligible to receive most of the deals. Best of all, many retailers will waive shipping fees if you order online and pick up your merchandise from their Bridgewater stores.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Stores will be crowded, traffic will be crazy, and some of your fellow shoppers won’t be on their best behavior on Black Friday. Despite those drawbacks, the day can be an enjoyable experience if you decide you’re not going to let minor irritations bother you. If the shopper ahead of you gets the last iPhone or snags the only pair of boots in your sister’s size, don’t worry. You may just get lucky and discover that the item is available in another location or find an even better gift during the sale.
Spending an hour in traffic isn’t the most relaxing way to end your Black Friday shopping expedition. Fairway 28, a Country Classics Rental Community, is located just a few miles from Bridgewater Commons and Somerset Shopping Center. If you are looking for a large luxury home, our Country Classics at Hillsborough community is only a short 20-minute drive away as well. Contact Country Classics for information about the four-bedroom luxury homes or Fairway 28 to inquire about apartment availability.