'Tis the season for gifts, and sure, you can head to the mall. But you can also find some highly unique and wonderful gifts in a wide variety of price ranges if you start nosing around various Twin Cities neighborhoods. Here are just a few examples of fun places to shop, and many of them carry locally made or sourced items as well.
The Foundry Home Goods in Minneapolis' North Loop is the place to go if you have people who love quality tableware and other home items. The store carries a wide array of both locally made items as well as Japanese and Scandinavian pieces, as well as a large collection of quality pens and children's wooden toys.
Just across the river in northeast Minneapolis is I Like You. It's clear from the shop's name that you're entering a friendly place, and it's packed full of fun gifts of all kinds with a heavy emphasis on "made in Minnesota." They also have an excellent array of greeting cards.
Bibelot Shops have four locations, two in St. Paul and two in Minneapolis. This long-time metro favorite (founded in 1966 by a St. Anthony Park resident) provides unique, beautiful, and whimsical gifts and women's clothing and accessories, as well as children's toys and gifts. There's something for everyone here, and with a range of prices to suit any budget.
Patina has eight Twin Cities locations, and has a frequently changing array of gifts, including sweets, games, home decor and kitchenware, artworks, and accessories. Right now they have an excellent assortment of Christmas decor and accessories too, including a set of holiday lights meant to adorn wine bottles.
St. Paul's Golden Fig Fine Foods is a stellar source for locally concocted foods and food-related gifts, including sweets, spices, cheese, meat, beverages and mixers, and a number of themed gift baskets.
Over in Minneapolis' Kingfield neighborhood is Digs. Digs is full of fun, crafty gifts, many Minnesota-made, as well as a good selection of yarn and fabric for the textile enthusiast. Or get a gift certificate for one of their classes.
Pharmacie is a collection of home, gift, and menswear items. You can get anything from embroidered tea towels to men's jeans to furniture to Damn Handsome Beard Balm to blankets to collar stays.
Corazon has locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul and offers gifts, art, jewelry, textiles and clothing, accessories, books, and home goods, with an eclectic set of offerings.
Its official name is Nokomis Shoe Shop, but it offers far more than shoes: Travel accessories, luggage and bags, wallets, coolers, drinkware, axes and knives, balaclavas and ball caps.
Don't forget the local museum gift shops. Besides being blessed with great museums, we're blessed that many of those museums have amazing gift shops as well, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center, American Swedish Institute, Museum of Russian Art, Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota History Center, and Mill City Museum. Note: If you're a member of the Minnesota Historical Society, those last two are offering additional discounts for members through Dec. 10.
Also keep in mind that there are working art spaces in the metro that either regularly have shops, or have special holiday sales coming up. Places like the Northern Clay Center, Textile Center, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Soovac (which has a special holiday shop through Dec. 24). Another idea: Give someone a gift certificate so one of these places so they can sign up for a class.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.
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