Nov 04, 2014

Holiday shopping can be challenging when you’re unsure where to go for that unique, inspired gift that really captures how special someone is to you. Instead of resorting to gift cards, head to the Ann Arbor area and you’ll find an overabundance of options—for even that person on your list who already has everything!

Downtown Ann Arbor has a number of new stores, and some old favorites, where you are sure to discover gift-giving treasures. Three new retailers—iT … The Boutique, Pangborn, and Bed & Butter—offer distinct, design-inspired home décor and accessories. iT … the Boutique.

The Ann Arbor Art Center recently partnered with Motawi Tileworks to open a new downtown location titled 117 Gallery. You will love browsing the handmade art tiles designed for hanging, including pieces inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, Charley Harper, and Louis Comfort Tiffany. The gallery also features pieces from other area artists including blown glass, jewelry, and pottery.

Just slightly west of Ann Arbor you’ll find more excellent shopping in Chelsea’s picturesque downtown. Be sure to check out some of the newest downtown shops including The Vintage Barn Boutique, Chelsea Kidz Stop and The Plaid Melon Café. Two longtime fixtures, Just Imagine and Bumble’s Dry Goods, both recently relocated to Chelsea’s downtown. 

Back in downtown Ann Arbor, Kerrytown Market and Shops are a great spot to check out local retailers. 

Do you have someone on your list that is a little more … unconventional? Check out Vault of Midnight, Ann Arbor’s local comic book and game store. Shop the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (November 26) to take advantage of special sale prices on graphic novels. Another great gift idea is bringing home a game for the whole family to play and Vault of Midnight has everything from the classics to new titles!

Local retailers will be providing great specials on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (November 28-29). Extended hours will continue for many stores through the month of December. 

Finally, a great time to get downtown is Friday, December 5, during Midnight Madness and Kerrytown’s KindleFest. “Midnight Madness is a beloved tradition in downtown Ann Arbor. It is a celebration of the season and a great time to support local, independent businesses,” says Maura Thomson, Executive Director of the Main Street Area Association. “The shopping is unique, 100,000 twinkle lights grace our trees, and the spirit on the street will make you smile.”  Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery will be featuring “deep discounts” that night, as well as free ring cleaning and stone checks, mouthwatering local snacks, and surprise gifts.

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