Words by Melissa Fox
It’s that time of year! And while it’s easy to sit at home and shop online for friends and family, there is something about browsing local shops that ignite the holiday spirit. Here are some of my favorite places to find those unexpected gifts, the kind that surprise and delight on Christmas morning, and those that make perfect stocking stuffers or ones to build a Michigan-centered gift box around. While you are out exploring take in some food and drink along the way – it’s the holidays!
From downtown to East Hills and beyond, one can easily spend a day shopping locally in Grand Rapids.
For foodies, and wine and beer connoisseurs, try Art of the Table. Also, a great place to stop on the way to a holiday party to pick up cheese, chocolate, or a perfect hostess gift.
For those who like to keep up with their correspondence the old-fashioned way (and really who doesn’t?) try 6.25 Paper Studio. From greeting cards to gift wrap, lovely things abound.
For all the little things you didn’t know you wanted to buy try Black Lamb. This well-curated store with its collection of beautiful things, such as fine soaps and candles, jewelry and clothing, and books and barware, has everything on your Christmas list that you didn’t know you wanted, but definitely must have – and must buy for others!
There is hardly a better way to spend an afternoon in West Michigan than browsing the many shops along 8th street in Holland.
For the outdoor enthusiast try The Outpost. Shoes and boots, clothing and gear, this store has all the supplies needed to get you outside and moving.
For book lovers try Readers World. Is there anything better than a really nice locally-owned bookstore? This one has been in business since 1967 and has books for every person on your Christmas list, including yourself.
Take some time to explore the new development in downtown Muskegon, and while you are there, do a little shopping.
For those who enjoy a long bath try Under the Pines. Made by hand in small batches these soaps and lotions will bring instant relaxation.
For the cheese lover try The Cheese Lady. With 150 varieties of cheese from around the world and locations around the state, The Cheese Lady is a business to know and frequent.
For wheels try City Hub Cyclery. This shop has bicycles and all of the related accessories to keep your loved ones active and exploring all West Michigan has to offer on their own two wheels.