Winnetka, Community

Hometown Gift Guide: Where to find last-minute gifts at local shops in New Trier area

The countdown is on. Christmas is right around the corner, but there is still time to find that perfect gift for a family member or friend, especially if you are committed to shopping local this season.

Supporting local businesses has an impact, from financially benefitting your community to avoiding porch pirates, and New Trier Township offers no shortage of options.

Here are affordably priced gift ideas under $100 that can be found at 11 local businesses and are guaranteed to brighten someone’s holiday season.

• A sure hit for the sports buff in the family, Bleacher Sports Music and Framing, 557 Chestnut St. in Winnetka, offers a selection of Cubs, Sox, Bears and Hawks attractively framed banners showing off historical logos. The 34-by-11-inch banners sell for $89. They’ve got a large selection of framed college banners, too.

• Don’t forget Fido this holiday season. Noah’s Ark Pet Store, 831 Elm St. in Winnetka, carries an extensive line of soft, lush doggie sweaters made of alpaca fiber blends and organic Pima cotton, all for well under $100, depending on the size of the dog. While you’re there, you’ll find a store-full of ways to pamper your pet.

• During the pandemic, the Book Stall, 811 Elm St. in Winnetka, became a popular place to shop online for its expanded selection of 500- and 1000-piece puzzles. The Chicago area’s premier independent book store is still the place to go for those puzzles, which have a way of bringing the whole family together. Puzzles sell in the $20 to $22 range. Buy four or five to last you the winter.

Peachtree Place, 303 Happ Road Unit S in Northfield, has showcased gifts and home accessories for 36 years and attracts regular customers from all of Chicagoland. Its slip-on, bejeweled and gold-plated bracelets and assorted earrings, all priced at $85 to around $100, make an eye-catching appearance.

Randoons, cozily nestled into 962 1/2 Green Bay Road in Winnetka for the past 23 years, is a funky clothing, accessory and gift boutique that carriers many small-artist lines. Always popular is its line of Lollia hand creams, candles, soaps, perfumes and bubble baths in various scents. They are priced from $12 to $68.

• Wean your child off video games with one of the nearly 1,000 table games available at Heroines and Heroes, Wilmette’s new hobby shop at 1129 Central Ave. (847-906-3835). The games, priced from $50 to $100, range from family fun to sophisticated hobbyist fare. Warning: This is not your parents’ Monopoly game. Play relies on strategy and skill, not a roll of the dice.

• Any family friend would be thrilled to receive a wheel (8-10 servings) of the North Shore’s famous scones ($25) from Alchemy Coffee House and Roasters at 416 Linden Ave. in Wilmette. Pair with two bags of premium coffee roasted on site ($20 each). A large selection of wheels can be frozen. Check their hours and order in advance at Alchemy’s holiday special is a cranberry/white chocolate/pistachio scone.

• The Stuart Brent Children’s Book Club, at 1073 Gage St. in Winnetka, mails unusual, high-quality children’s books monthly to children across the world. They are always attractively wrapped and chosen by club owner Amy Brant, each for the individual child, encouraging them to engage in the world of art and literature. A book for one child is $28.99 per month, up to four children at $89.96. Parents can cancel at any time.

• Giggles Giraffes, at 1515 Sheridan Road in Plaza del Lago in Wilmette, offers a large selection of super-comfortable children’s clothing. A favorite is their selection of personalized hand-knit hats for $82. Choose a style and an age and you are in business.

BlackSheep General Store, at 346 Park Ave. in Glencoe, has become a local favorite as a one-stop shop for a wide variety of affordably priced gifts and products. Unusual is their section of gifts for men, all well under $100. Items include multi-use tools, pocket fish penknives, books and gag gifts like news anchor hair wash.

Morning Glory Flower Shop has been locally owned and located at 1135 Central Ave. in Wilmette for 31 years. Among their custom-made holiday creations is Winter Wonderland, for $99. It includes red roses, green hydrangea, white mums, berries, ornaments, pine cones and winter greens, nestled in a wooden box with metal trim, and perfect as a centerpiece for a holiday gathering.

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Alan P. Henry

Alan P. Henry is a New York Times bestselling author, six-time national fiction contest prize winner, and 35-year newspaper veteran with the Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, 22nd Century Media and The Record.

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