The solution is simple: Shop Claremont

With the city budget tight and local businesses competing with online retailers, the easiest way to help our friends and neighbors—and community—is to shop Claremont.

The most flexible option to help our local economy is to purchase Claremont gift cards from the Claremont Chamber of Commerce.

Each card sold includes a list of more than 150 retailers and restaurants that participate in the program, giving recipients plenty of choice as to where to spend the gift cards. For a list of participating businesses, check the chamber website under the “Shop Claremont” tab.

Claremont gift cards are sold in increments of $10 and $25, which make them perfect for everyone. Tired of handing out $20 bills to your teen? Claremont gift cards are a great stocking stuffer for your middle schooler to take to the Village when he or she heads downtown after school.

They are great for everyone—give one to a colleague to pick up lunch or as a thank-you to a special teacher who puts in extra time with your child and they get to choose where and when to spend it.

Cash or check only are accepted for card purchases, so there are no additional fees to local merchants. If you would like to purchase the cards by mail, the chamber can help with that. Don’t live in Claremont and want to send Claremont gift cards to a loved one? No worries, simply send in a check and self-addressed stamped envelope and the chamber will mail it directly to your friend or family member.

Simply write a check for the number of gift cards you would like (increments of $10 and $25), then make a check payable to Claremont Chamber of Commerce for the total.

Provide a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with the address of where you would like the gift cards sent and mail both the check and SASE to: Claremont Chamber of Commerce, 205 Yale Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.

Gift card mail requests are processed right away and mailed out within the next day.

For more information, call (909) 624-1681.


Yes, there’s a Dollar Tree in Claremont

If you want to save a little money this season, don’t underestimate the value at Dollar Tree in Peppertree Square.

You can put in your order at Upper House—we highly recommend the beef stew noodles or shrimp fried rice—then do a quick turn through Dollar Tree to pick up last minute decorations for your holiday table.

Setting the entire table through Dollar Tree may not bring the bling, as they say, but paired with your favorite linens, well-chosen decorations can take your holiday table to the next level.

When faced with feeding large groups at the holidays, big pots of chili or soup, or a crock pot full of your favorite stew, can keep you from slaving away in the kitchen all day. But skip the styrofoam or paper bowls—they’re bad for the environment anyway—and pick up ceramic bowls for just $1 each. You can just store them away until your next big party.

Love using your wedding china or grandma’s dishes on the holidays? You can buy all types of ribbon—silk, burlap, jeweled—to tie pretty cloth napkins. And don’t forget plenty of candles.


The Great Escape

If you’re feeling cooped up after days with kids and relatives at home, break fee from reality at Containment Escape game room, 936 W. Foothill Blvd.

An escape room is an immersive and physical gaming experience where players use observation skills to solve puzzles, riddles and clues to move on to the next phase. No outside knowledge is necessary, all the clues you need are given while you’re there.

Players are given 60 minutes to solve the mystery to complete the objective of the room. You won’t be paired with strangers, so it’s a fun way to coerce kids into spending family time together.

There are two experiences offered at Containment Escape, “the Carnival” and “The Cabin.”

In the Carnival, your group—anywhere from two to eight players—will receive an envelope with only the words “From the E. Scape Family” written on it. Inside the envelope are directions to a long-forgotten Carnival that closed down many years back after the passing of Katharina, The Mistress of Wonder.

In the Cabin, the group has just attended a late-night gathering located on the outskirts of the city. On the way home, your driver made a wrong turn and ended up with a flat tire on an unnamed road. There is no cell reception or any other vehicles in sight, but you then notice a dim light in the distance…

In total, it’s about a 90 minute experience, including 15 minutes before the time of your game and after, where the hosts do a short recap of how to solve the remaining puzzles if you didn’t escape.

It’s described as a family-friendly experience. Children under 18 may participate in the rooms, although they will need a liability waiver signed by a parent or guardian before entering. This waiver will be provided when you check in. Children ages 13 and under, must be accompanied by an adult.

It’s easy to book a room for your group. Just go online to

Regular hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday beginning at 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 12:30 p.m. Private events can be booked Monday through Friday.

Containment Escape games is located at 936 W. Foothill Blvd. in Claremont.

For more information, call (909) 762-0670, email or visit

—Kathryn Dunn


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