It is all too easy to jump online and, within minutes, consider your holiday shopping done.
But if you’re in New York City at this time of year, you have a duty to give your friends and family gifts that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. The products on these pages come from only-in-New-York retailers, plus a few other spots you just shouldn’t miss. These are gifts that celebrate the distinctive culture of this great city.
Gifts for Men
Local stores cater to guys’ niche interests, from tech to sports. Got an audiophile on your list? Get him Beyerdynamic DT 1350 Supraaural Gold Edition Headphones ($179.99) at Focus Camera. The lightweight, gold-capped headphones cut out ambient noise to deliver sharp, lush sounds.
For baseball fans, this store (and its products) will bring pure joy. Bergino Baseball Clubhouse’s handmade New York Map baseball ($25) is covered with glossy depictions of famous Big Apple sites, making it an ideal gift for the Yankees and Mets fans in your life.
Is your husband, dad or grandpa a beer geek? Introduce him to the art of brewing his own with a Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA beer-making kit ($40), available at chic kitchen supply store Whisk. It includes everything he needs, such as grain mix, yeast and equipment.
Guys who are obsessed with looking sharp will like getting ready for a special occasion with the Date Night Gift Set ($78) from Blind Barber. The lemongrass-scented shampoo-body wash and strong-hold pomade come with a handsome candle.
A high-quality pen always makes a great gift for the guy in your life. Scully & Scully offers options from Faber-Castell, like the Ambition Rollerball Pen ($160), which features a coconut wood barrel and quick-drying black ink.
Gifts for Women
Whether you’re looking for chic accessories or beautiful fragrances, you’ll find infinite presents for the women in your life in New York. You can’t go wrong with getting her a smart bag, like the Rift Tote-Pack ($89) from Timbuk2. It converts from a tote bag to a backpack, and comes in eight colors like aquamint and Pacific blue.
Want to treat your wife or mom to something truly city-centric? Bond No. 9, a New York-based fragrance company creates scents inspired by the neighborhoods and cultures of the city. When it comes to the New York Nights eau de parfum ($375 for 100 ml), we’re not sure which is prettier—the colorful, star-shaped bottle or the floral scent that the fragrance emits.
Every woman needs a glamorous pair of sunglasses, like Covry’s Gemma Paradise shades ($135). Available at Wolf & Badger, the oversize sunglasses have tortoise frames and flashy “paradise” blue lenses.
Jewelry that transitions from the office to an evening event makes for a coveted holiday gift, and PONO’s Valentina Link Resin Choker ($350) does just that. Made from metallic-colored resin links, you can find it, along with other distinctive gifts, at The Store at the Museum of Arts and Design.
Candles in seasonal scents might just be the most reliable gift. Skip the mall brands in favor of artisanal votives like Brooklyn Candle Studio’s Christmas Tree candle ($35), which will blanket homes in a fresh pine and spruce scent. These candles are also available at Strand Books.
Gifts for Children
For kids’ gifts, start at MoMA Design Store. Snake Blocks ($16 for small; $48 for medium) offer hours of quiet entertainment as kids twist and turn geometric blocks into serpentine-like designs. Also here, show teens the fun of capturing memories the old-fashioned way (on instant film!) with the Lomo’Instant Automat camera ($149).
Kids who can’t wait for a snow day will need the right gear to keep their feet toasty. Gift them a pair of PLAE’s Jack snow boots ($94.95)—waterproof, insulated footwear with a standout design—from Harry’s Shoes for Kids. They’ll especially love slipping them on over cute socks, like Pals’ mismatched cat and dog socks ($9), available at the artisanal shop for community artists and designers, Brooklyn Collective.
Want to give your favorite youngster something that’s as fun as it is educational? Head to Mary Arnold Toys, where you’ll be spoiled for choice with toys and games, like LAWSUIT! ($34.95), an award-winning board game that introduces kids to the justice system through whimsical scenarios. Baby’s first holiday calls for something special, like a pint-size stuffed elephant ($24), from the St. Frank pop-up. Made by an indigenous ethnic group in Laos, the indigo-colored cuddle toy symbolizes long life and good health.
Finally, spoil the kids with gourmet cookies from Maman. The Holiday Trio Cookie Gift Box ($45) contains gingerbread oatmeal raisin, white chocolate candy cane pretzel and nutty chocolate chip cookies.