So, you want to support local businesses but Target is your go-to, one-stop shop. Big box shopping is without a doubt convenient, but you want gifts that are unique and support local businesses. So how do you know where to start?  We know it can be daunting and time-consuming to try and find the best places for making this a “Local Christmas” so Parent Magazines Florida has nine local finds you will want to hit this holiday season. 

The Muse Book Shop
112 S. Woodland Blvd, Deland
This family-owned iconic shop is known for its extensive book collection old and new, but the toy-seeking shopper will also find a fresh collection of toys for all ages! Melissa and Doug fans will not be disappointed with the variety of offerings. Our very favorite find at this store was the build your own movie projector. Don’t forget to shop for kid books and used books for sale in the backroom. The bonus is this backroom leads to our next pick…Outsiders.

112 S. Woodland Blvd, Deland
Do you have an outdoor enthusiast on your list? Outsiders will not disappoint. Water Bottle stickers, hammocks, unique ukuleles, sunglasses, simple jewelry and more will have you finding gifts in every nook and cranny of this cozy retail space. Want to give an experience? Outsiders is a hub for paddleboard tours to local springs. Purchase your tickets and tuck them into a box with a locally inspired sticker for a family experience they will not soon forget. 

The Table
100 E. New York Ave, Deland
Not sure what to get teen girls and still shop local? The Table is a must-stop for any foodie teen or any other foodie in your life. Candles with cute hand shapes, ramen bowls with chopstick rest, artisan chapsticks and tongue-in-cheek cards, cozy coffee and tea accessories and so much more are sure to impress your mostly unimpressed teen. Don’t forget to grab coffee and a bottle of wine for any entertaining gifts. The dessert case will tempt you with a little treat for yourself while you shop, we recommend indulging.  

Dorothy’s Flower Shop
101 S. Woodland Blvd, Deland
Stepping into a flower shop may not be your first thought for a Christmas toy hotspot, but if you venture in, you are in for quite a surprise. There, you will find a hidden treasure trove of retro-style toys waiting for nostalgic shoppers. Our advice is to hit this shop soon. Once found, this stash will go fast! Balloon animal kits, pop guns, play handcuffs, magic kits, toy buzzers and bow and arrows are just a few of the dozens of items that will awaken memories from your childhood. There are stocking stuffers for every age not to mention the mind-boggling amount of inventory in this tiny retail location. 

Museum of Art
600 N. Woodland Blvd, Deland
Every artist on your list would be happy with a little something from the Museum of Art gift shop. The most delightful finds included multiple origami how-to kits, a book on cardboard box engineering, the Buddha board, beautiful, unique books and art supplies, games and crafts not found in any big box store. You may also walk away with a collection of trendy one-of-a-kind ornaments.

Pat and Toni’s Sweet Things
124 N. Woodland Ave, Deland
It would not be Christmas without candy! Whether you are after everyday favorites or something just a little special, this is the spot for you. Truffles and fudge are made in-house, lollipops in all shapes and sizes and candy kits by the decade will satisfy every sweet tooth. 

Florida Workshop
209 S. 2nd St, Flagler Beach
Just a short drive down the road in the quiet beach town of Flagler Beach, you will find a little space dedicated to all things Florida. Their tag line “Local Goods Made by Local Folks,” speaks to the heart of this small champion of the handcrafted movement. A local toymaker supplies the store with handmade toys alongside their lines of locally made jewelry, locally inspired stickers and handmade goods. If you love all things local, it is worth the drive and tell them that Parent Magazine Florida sent you. 

The Alligator Farm
999 Anastasia Blvd, St Augustine
Animal lovers in your life will love something from the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. Plush toys, trendy socks, pencil topper stocking stuffers, aprons and so much more are on display in the gift shop. As a bonus stop and grab tickets to the alligator farm for a fun holiday excursion. 

Declaration & Co
63 San Marco Ave #3257, St. Augustine
Declaration is your stop for boutique basics for the moms and babies on your list, with locally inspired swaddling clothes, candles, jewelry and BPA-free teethers. Don’t forget a cute hat and cozy sweatshirt for the busy new mom. On your way out grab a candle or local stickers to add a thoughtful detail to your loved one’s stocking.  

When you step off the beaten path of big box store shopping you will find satisfaction knowing you are supporting small business owners with stake in their own community. Many of these local stores also support local philanthropic efforts during the holidays and beyond. This means, when you choose to make this a “Local Christmas,” you will serendipitously find more than just the perfect gift but a satisfying experience of keeping dollars circulated in the local economy and that is something to feel good about.

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