Holiday Gift Guide: Browse the hobby shops

It’s getting more difficult to buy gifts for the nerds and nerds-at-heart in your life. The pace of technology moves at breakneck speed, and let’s be honest — most tech ain’t cheap. Even the video game route is tough, since the push to get the latest hot game on launch day is stronger than ever.

There’s always the ever-present gift card, which can work in a pinch (especially if you know the person in question is getting something specific — e.g. iTunes store gift card for the soon-to-be-iPad owner, Amazon gift card for the Kindle Fire envier, etc…). But what if you’re looking to buck the trend and give something a little more unique?

This year, try taking a spin through a local hobby shop. There are gifts of all sorts for the tech-inclined, and a broad range of products from hands-on to the more cerebral. Model railroads can be a great start, and there are many different sizes and complexities from which to choose.

For ideas, check out “Model Railroading Through the Ages” at Steamtown National Historic Site, weekends from Nov. 26 through Dec. 18. When you’re ready to browse and buy, head to one of the local shops like Scranton Hobby (, C&E Branchline (, or Grzyboski’s Train Store (

If you don’t think trains are the right hobby for your giftee, check out some of the other options available, like R/C planes and helicopters, scale modeling, R/C cars, slot cars, and more. It’s even easier to buy for someone who’s already involved in a hobby — anyone with projects in the works will be grateful to receive additional supplies. Just taking a trip through the doors at a hobby shop can bring out the kid in you — so be careful when you’re shopping, or you might wind up with gifts for more than just the people on your giving list!

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