5 MIN READ - It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but shopping for others can be daunting. From scouring the internet to hopping to crowded stores, you may be feeling “bah humbug” instead of “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Luckily, we’re here to help. This holiday season, get your loved ones a creative gift that symbolizes the city that we all love—Chicago! Consider this guide your personal (shopping) elf.
Separating itself from the retail world that adorns the Magnificent Mile and State Street in the city, the Christkindlmarket Chicago offers visitors a unique holiday shopping experience. The wide range of articles include eclectic ornaments that are hand-blown and painted, and cannot be found anywhere else besides the market. Classic German products like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and beer steins are always popular items with visitors, too. In addition, the vendors offer toys for all ages, jewelry, clothes, home décor, and wooden handicrafts. Some vendors even demonstrate how their crafts are made at the market. However, the most popular bits and pieces offered by the vendors are the large assortments of savory and sweet foods, drinks, and candied treats. Learn More
Housed in the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the country with a collection of approximately 300,000 works of art, the Museum Shop offers unique and beautiful objects not just from Chicago, but also the rest of world in support of the arts. Here, you can find a new assortment of holiday ornaments, including products inspired by works of Frank Lloyd Wright. Members receive a 10% discount. Learn More
Find unique gifts as well as design items for the holiday at Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's historic site. SAVE 10% on uniquely Chicago gifts when you mention this blog or shop online at ShopWright.org with promo code LOOP.
- Rookery Balustrade Champagne Flutes $20.00: An imprinted design features detail from the oriel staircase in The Rookery Building. Learn More
- Robie Sconce Wrightsicle Ornament $29.00: Wright's exquisite geometry in a laser-cut metal ornament. Adapted from a light fixture at Robie House. Learn More
- Prairie Metropolis $39.95: This book traces the birth and growth of the Prairie School. Learn More
- Building Chicago $85.00: Beautifully illustrated, this book includes the masterworks of Chicago architecture. Learn More
When you buy from the store, a portion of the proceeds help preserve and maintain the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the American architect, interior designer, and educator who built several historical sites in the Chicago metropolitan area. Learn More
The quirky and fun gift shop at the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS) has a range of Chicago-themed gifts to suit all tastes. In collaboration with local artist ArteryInk, IMSS offers both T-shirts and prints bearing an anatomical heart that displays beloved Chicago landmarks. You can also find anatomical takes on the design of the Chicago flag, books on the history of Chicago, and IMSS-exclusive merchandise for those who crave a museum souvenir that's off the beaten path. Learn More
If you are buying a holiday gift for architecture buffs or anyone who loves a clever design, the CAC Store is a must-visit. From kitchenware and kids' toys to Chicago architecture books and countless trinkets, if it looks good and functions well, this store is bound to have it. Look for an entire section devoted to one of Chicago's favorite architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. Learn More
Buy your loved one a gift card to the Gene Siskel Film Center, which can be applied for film tickets, concessions, special events, and membership. The programming of the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful, provocative discussions with filmmakers as well as media artists. Learn More
Whether you're shopping for gifts for the home, tech gifts for the gadget gurus, or just need some basic holiday gift ideas for your family and friends, Macy’s has something they'll love. You can also find exciting gifts for that special someone all wrapped up. Grab a Christmas gift basket for an all-in-one treat, or shop luxury gifts to add some sparkle to your holiday. If you need something small, stocking stuffers will do the trick! And don’t forget about ugly Christmas sweaters for that inevitable party invite. Learn More
Shoreline gift certificates make an ideal gift for family or friends with the promise of a great tour on Chicago’s historic waterways come springtime. Gift recipients can choose Shoreline’s award-winning Architecture River Tour to enjoy a Chicago River tour led by an expert and engaging Shoreline guide. Or they can opt for Shoreline’s popular Classic Lake Tour or thrilling Fireworks Tour. Whatever their choice, your giftee will enjoy a uniquely Chicago experience showcasing our city’s spectacular views, dramatic history, and world-famous architecture. Gift Certificates are available online from $25 to $100 and will be good through Shoreline’s 2023 season. Learn More
Designed locally by Transit Tees, Loop quintessentially captures the commuter experience on Chicago's train system and takes players on a hilarious urban adventure as they encounter buskers, train car preachers and manspreading commuters, as well as the less savory aspects of Chicago. Learn More
For more shopping ideas, shop on State Street — "that great street" — and beyond with the myriad retail options in the Loop. From designer brands to specialty shops you won't find anywhere else, the Loop has what you're looking for.
Main photo by Timmy Samuels
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