The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!
If you’re traveling to Houston this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!
Do you have a few kids on your shopping list? Chances are you’re going to need to hit a toy store or two. Woman-owned Big Blue Whale is a fun, old-fashioned toy store that carries an assortment of nostalgic and timeless toys, handmade toys from Texan and New Mexican artists, and on-trend items kids are hungering for. For toys that are both seriously fun and educational, pay a visit to FUNdamentally Toys. The shop is located in historic Rice Village, offers free gift wrapping, and its staff is ready to help you choose age-appropriate gifts.
A lot of people may have Kindles these days, but still, nothing beats the feeling of cracking open a fresh book! And supporting independent bookstores is one of the best ways to give back to your community. Here are a few gems in Houston:
· Over the course of its 40-year history, Brazos Bookstore has hosted visiting authors like Edward Albee and Susan Sontag, and it continues to host events today. The store specializes in art and architecture, travel, cookbooks, literary journals, and poetry.
· Blue Willow Bookshop is the best place to go if you’re shopping for a pre-teen or young adult. They take pride in their “geeky” selection of young-adult new releases, games, and gifts.
Henderson & Kane General Store
Support Houston’s substantial Latin American community by shopping at this general store owned and run by a Latinx husband and wife team. H&K General Store is located in a historic building in Houston’s Old Sixth Ward and “prides itself on sourcing quality products from the region’s best chefs, farmers, ranchers, and makers.” You really can’t go wrong with a gift card from here, or you could pick out an assortment of specialty wines, cheeses, olives, and jams to put together a basket of local, artisanal foods.
Houston’s George Bush International Airport
Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through the boutiques in downtown Houston. Don’t worry, the Houston Airport has you covered! Here are a few options for last-minute gift shopping:
· Spirit of the Red Horse in Terminal C has a selection of Western-style jewelry made by Native American artisans.
· Bayou City News in Terminal A and Bayou City Travelmart in Terminals B and C have souvenirs and gifts.
· Space Trader in Terminal C has lots of NASA-themed gift items.