by Lauren Strait
Did you know that when you shop local, more of your money stays right here in Houston? It also conserves energy and produces less waste from fuel and packaging. Plus you are helping your neighbor put food on their table for their family and even exploring parts of Houston you never knew about. Support your neighbors, friends and community by shopping local. Here are a few ideas for you.
There is so much to find here. Not only do they have some of the best selling books, they also carry a variety of audiobooks, ebooks, children’s games and event gift cards! 14532 Memorial Dr., Houston.
Locally owned by Kay Byrd, mother of two and grandmother of two grandsons, Teacups and Tadpoles is one of the best hidden gems in The Woodlands. They specialize in unique clothing designs, versatile gift items and an array of beautiful baby gift and clothing options for kids. Above is one of the newest holiday gift ideas on the market, the Ybike Pewi. This is a 2 in 1 walking buddy great for ages 9 months to 3 years. $64. 4775 W. Panther Creek Dr., Suite 158, The Woodlands.
Give a gift that keeps on giving by adopting a sea turtle for the holidays! Sea turtle patient adoptions help care for sick or injured sea turtles at Sea Turtle Inc., a non-profit organization that rehabilitates sea turtles off of San Padre Island. Their organization manages the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nest conservation for the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Each summer they patrol the island for nesting sea turtles and relocate the nests to a protective corral. The hatchlings are protected from high tide, predators and vehicle traffic and then are released as soon as they hatch. Each adoption includes information about your sea turtle, a magnet and a thank you from the rescue team. Adoptions are $25.They also have other cute items on their online gift shop. Proceeds from all purchases support their mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species. Sea Turtle Inc. 6617 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island.
This Dallas-based company was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. Dallas entrepreneur Fleetwood was out of town on a business trip in Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to rent a beach cruiser and relax. The feeling of freedom he had while on the bike sparked the birth of Texas’s first ever Beach Bike shop (no beach within 5 hours) with custom built beach cruisers. You can choose from one of his best-selling designs or get creative and design your own bike and order it right on his website. It’s the perfect holiday gift idea! Bikes start at $385. 2931 Irving Blvd. #108, Dallas.
Blue Leaf opened in 1988 and is a space where people find a curated collection of products that can be used in different aspects of someone’s life, not just in their homes but also in any other space or occasion, enriching the quality of their experience with high quality products that amuse and embellish providing character and stories to tell. This Swallow Song Onesie will inspire your little one to dream of fairies and flowers and floating on a cloud. Satin ribbon bows sit atop an intricately hand stitched bodice with sculpted waistline featuring a sparkling crystal embellishment of two little birdies, and a mist of tiered tulle over a pinky half-leotard with press stud closure. Sizes 1 – 7 years. $102. 2303 South Blvd., Houston.
The best way to start your exploration of Houston is with the city’s best attractions. Whether it’s “out west” or outer space, Houston has always been a city that’s about the exploration of new things at a nearly 50 percent discount. CityPASS is valid for nine days starting with the first day of use, giving you plenty of time to make out-of-this-world memories. CityPass includes admission to Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo or Museum of Fine Arts and Kemah Boardwalk or Children’s Museum of Houston. $56 adult. $46 child.
After all, we do live in space city, so why not give a gift where the sky is the limit? You can find NASA gear including space suits, shuttle models, drink ware and other out of this world gift ideas. This E-Z Build Scale Model is perfect for kids ages 3 and up.. $12.99. 1601 NASA Road 1, Houston.
Have you ever wanted to meet a Penguin up-close?! Led by a Moody Gardens biologist, guests will have the opportunity to experience a behind the scenes tour of the food preparation kitchen and the back of the chilly penguin exhibit while discussing the biology, conservation, training, enrichment and care of penguins. Participants will experience the cool climate, sounds and even smells of the exhibit and witness a Moody Gardens Penguin create a work of art as part of an enrichment activity for the animal. $55-$75. Moody Gardens. 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston.
Local specialty toy dealer featuring educational and entertaining toys for all ages, this cute shop has something for everyone in the family. Located in the heart of Houston’s Rice Village Shopping Center, they are premier destination for unique toys, events and activities. This Stomp Rocket is the original air-powered rocket that soars high into the air! 100% kid-powered – No batteries or fuel required. $17.95. Fundamentally Toys. 2401 Rice Blvd., Houston.
Handmade in Houston, Birch & Goldberry Birch & Goldberry is a studio formed in 2013 by sisters Hillaree and Stephanie Hamblin along with Elizabeth Meeks. The three founders all have degrees in painting and the company’s goal is to use these combined backgrounds in fine art to elevate everyday commodities. Their shop features all-natural candles, soaps, gift wrap, note cards and other paper goods, perfect for gifts this holiday season. $9-$28 6923 Crystal Point Dr., Katy.
Calling all baseball lovers! There’s no better gift idea than to literally touch the dug out benches, kick up the dirt in the in field and get a behind the scenes peek at the home of the Astros. Located in Downtown Houston at Union Station, Minute Maid Park was built to reflect Houston’s historical relationship with the railroads and features a vintage, full-sized locomotive that runs along 800 feet of track on the left-field wall. Tours are offered Monday-Saturday at 10am, noon, and 2 pm. $9 adults, $5 kids.
The Community Cloth is a micro-business run by refugees living in Houston. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the artists as a way to help them make a better life in their new home. If you are looking for a fun handmade items, they everything from hand-knitted scarves, jewelry, tote bags and even these cute children’s hand-knitted hats. Knitted hats retail for $40. Visit them online to see what upcoming event they will be at, or host your own trunk show.
A Houston Zoo Membership is a gift that keeps giving all year long, since Zoo members receive unlimited FREE admission for 12 full months plus other great benefits! So why not give a unique gift that will provide a year’s worth of memories? $69 individual. $129 family. 6200 Hermann Park Dr., Houston.
This place has the perfect options for anyone with a sweet tooth. From their hand-painted and hand-screened chocolate designs, to their homemade macaroons, gourmet chocolate dipped oreos and even monogrammed melt in your mouth chocolates, you can indulge in your favorite holiday sweets. They have affordable gift baskets just in time for the holidays. Gift baskets range from $6-$130. Araya also offers a fun chocolate bar making class for kids! They will learn about the history of chocolate, how chocolate is made and finish the day by guiding them along to make five chocolate bar creations. Classes are $20 per child. Araya Chocolate has several locations including River Oaks, Uptown Park and Katy Laboratory and Store.
In 2008 Hello-Lucky opened its doors are privileged to work with so many amazing artists from around the Houston area. Most of the artists they work with have fine art backgrounds. This Chicks Rule design is just one of their cute and unique items at their storefront. It’s an adorable gift for the sweet little chick in your life Sizes 6-12 month and 12-18 month. $28. 1025 Studewood St., Houston.
Cold beer, hot movies, and delicious snacks and meals; The Alamo Drafthouse is dinner, drinks, movies and events, all under one roof. Grab a gift card and treat the whole family to a night out filled with great food and entertainment. A perfect holiday gift. Alamo Drafthouse has two locations at Mason Park and Vintage Park.
Give the gift of FUN with a Main Event gift card. Main Event is your number one family entertainment destination for bowling, billiards, laser tag and more! Get a FREE $10 Bonus FUNcard for every $25 gift card purchase. Gift cards may be used for all activities, food, beverages and games.
The Houston Polo Club is proud to offer an acclaimed English, Hunter, Jumper riding and boarding program conveniently situated on 26 acres in the heart of Houston.Group or private English, Hunter, Jumper, Polo riding lessons are available Tuesday through Sunday for adults and children. The requirements for riding lessons are simple. Students need only a boot with a small heel and a helmet to participate. The trained instructors will place students on appropriate horses according to their size and skill level. Ages 10 and up. Call for pricing.
See if you have what it takes to become a Marine Biologist! Spend a day behind the scenes where all the scientific action happens at Downtown Aquarium. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. You’ll even get to dissect a squid! Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings and much more! T-shirts & lunch included. Age 6-12. $55. Downtown Aquarium. 410 Bagby St., Houston.
Ya’lls Texas Store offers the most unique Texas gifts around. This Cowboy Nutcracker Gift is a perfect Southern touch this holiday season. Look at the attention paid to fine workmanship! 9″ Tall. $39.99
Springfree Trampoline, the world’s first and only Smart Trampoline, brings innovation, safety and quality to your backyard. This new way to play encourages kids to go outside and be active while still embracing technology. Visit the new Springfree store in Katy, TX and experience the Springfree difference. $1,700+. LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch. 2717 Commercial Center Blvd, #D110., Katy.
Finding the perfect gift each year can be a challenge. Small Print jewelry captures fingerprints, hand and footprints and even drawings and writing in fine silver! Just imagine mom’s face when she unwraps her present on Christmas morning to find a gorgeous silver pendant with each of her children’s unique fingerprints captured forever! And how proud would grandpa be to see his grandchild’s first signature on a fine silver key ring? Smallprint can help you capture those special milestones in beautiful silver keepsakes that you and your family can cherish forever. $100+. Small Print West Houston. www.smallprint.com