The holiday season has arrived, and Chicago is packed full of independent stores offering one-of-a-kind gifts. Shopping at local retailers is a great way to support the community, especially on Small Business Saturday on November 25. Here are six of the Windy City’s most popular shopping hotspots, based on anonymized trip data from the last two months.
Top local holiday shopping spots in Chicago
This is the perfect place to stock up on gifts for the Chicago sports lover in your life. T-shirts, hats, and everything in between can be found here, along with decals and memorabilia. Purchasing a gift card will allow your loved one to explore the 12,000 square foot store on their own, checking out the 77 video monitors and four video walls on display.
When: December 2, 10am – 3pm; December 11 – 17, noon – 5pm
Where: 320 W 35th St, Armour Square
Creativity is king at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s store, where shoppers are sure to be impressed with the wide range of funky gifts on offer. From a mouse lamp to an eyeball candle, each item is a guaranteed conversation piece. The shop showcases products that reflect emerging trends in contemporary art, design, fashion, music, and culture, so the inventory is never boring. Skipping the big-box stores and opting to buy something from the museum is also a great way to support the arts.
When: Mon/Wed/Thu/Sat/Sun 10am – 6pm; Tue & Fri, 10am – 9pm
Where: 220 E Chicago Ave, Streeterville
Treat your loved one to a day of pampering at this luxurious spa at The James Chicago. Guests can choose from a range of services including massages, facials, and body scrubs. Special treatments are offered for men, including the road warrior massage and the gentleman’s facial. Private spa parties are also a great way to celebrate the holidays with a group of friends. Every spa service includes an aromatherapy foot bath to ensure guests leave feeling relaxed and revitalized.
When: Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm; Sat 8am – 7pm; Sun 10am – 6pm
Where: 55 E Ontario St, Magnificent Mile
The store at the Field Museum of Natural History is a great place to shop for children, as it offers a range of fun and educational toys. The T-Rex nanoblock kit allows kids to build their own dinosaur, while a virtual reality kit takes children on an interactive journey through prehistoric times. Last minute shoppers who are flying elsewhere for the holidays will be delighted to know that the museum also has shops at O’Hare Airport, inside Terminals 1 and 3.
When: Every day 9am – 5pm (South Loop); Every day 8am – 8pm (airport locations)
Where: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, South Loop and O’Hare Airport Terminals 1 & 3
5. Salvage One
If you know someone who is looking to redecorate their home or simply enjoys unique furnishings, look no further. You never know what you might find inside this 60,000 square foot warehouse, as the inventory is always changing. It’s dedicated to preserving history through architecture, so many of the pieces are antique. Let your imagination run wild as your browse through the shop and become inspired to recycle beautiful items that are full of character.
When: Fri 11am – 5pm; Sat 9am – 5pm; Sun noon – 5pm
Where: 1840 W Hubbard St, West Town
The musician in your life will love a gift from the Chicago Music Exchange, which has been part of the local community for 25 years. Whether you’re in search of a Gibson guitar or a brand new drum kit, you’re likely to find it here. You can rest assured that each employee is passionate about helping you find the right instrument, as they are all musicians themselves. Feel free to ask any technical questions you may have because the staff “loves to be challenged on the geeky stuff.”
When: Mon – Sat 11am – 7pm; Sun 11am – 5pm
Where: 3316 N Lincoln Ave, Roscoe Village
From sports memorabilia to antique furnishings, Chicago’s small businesses offer an abundance of gift options this holiday season. By choosing to spend your money at neighborhood retailers, you can find unique presents while also supporting the local economy.