Holiday shopping days are flying by “like the down of a thistle,” but you have nothing to dread. There is still time to gather up presents in Southwest Michigan. Our festively decorated towns along Lake Michigan and in our countryside make shopping fun. There’s no need to worry about whether gifts will ship on time (you’ll bring them home, often wrapped). No crowds to wriggle through. No expensive parking lots to devour your gift-buying cash. Come on your own or bring friends. There are plenty of places to stay, so there’s also no need to rush.
Here’s how to wrap up your shopping this season:
For the children and never-too-old adults on your list: Make your first stop the Brass Ring Gift Shop at the Silver Beach Carousel, 333 Broad Street, St. Joseph. Bring home bags of ride tokens (they never expire); carousel-themed books, toys, jewelry, clothing and decorations; plus an all-ages favorite, the Magical Memories Coupon Book. You’ll get more than $50 worth of coupons for ride tokens, popcorn and other treats, gift shop discounts, admission to special events and much more — all for only $30.
In downtown St. Joseph, South Haven and New Buffalo you’ll find toy shops filled with award-winning games, STEM toys, dolls, arts and crafts, puzzles, dress-up clothes, classic and contemporary books. Not sure what to get? Just ask. The clerks have the inside track on what each age level likes.
For your four-legged best friends: You’ll likely find everything your pooch dreams of getting at FuzzyButz Pet Bakery & Boutique, 306 State Street, St. Joseph. Homemade treats in pets’ favorite flavors (yes, liver tops the list). Toys. Chews. Clothing. Gifts for dog lovers, too.
For one-of-a-kind gifts made by regional artists: This area’s art galleries and cooperatives brim with unique treasures to fit every budget. Paintings, photographs, jewelry, pottery, poetry books, cards, tapestry, fiber arts, clothing and more will bring smiles when they are unwrapped. Before you leave the gallery shop, ask for a Creative Connections map so you can play Creative Pursuit and earn cool, artsy prizes you can keep or give away.
For Southwest Michigan gifts: The list of shops carrying made-in Southwest Michigan presents is as varied as the people you are shopping for, but here are a few go-to destinations (there are many more):
- Forever Clean Soap Works, 2603 S. Cleveland Avenue, St. Joseph, has a wide selection of handcrafted, natural-ingredient soaps and body products for women, men and children.
- Froehlich’s, 26 and 19 N. Elm, Three Oaks, offers made-from-scratch breads, homemade jams and preserves, kitchen and home decor, and other food and beverage items.
- The Sandpiper/Hoof-to-Hanger Fiber Mill, 4217 Lake Street, Bridgman, offers unique fashion items, handmade yarns and fibers.
- Makers Trail Craft Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries all offer tastings for a small price so you can try before you buy your favorites as gifts. If you have a Flight Crew Passport, present it when you shop so you can earn fun prizes that also make great gifts. Or shop in Southwest Michigan’s online store for more ideas.
- The Country Store at the Watervliet Fruit Exchange, 7821 Red Arrow Highway, Watervliet, is an off-the-beaten-path gem. Choose from take-and-bake pies, artisan furniture, seasonal produce and honey, lawn and garden supplies and lots of rare finds.
For thrill-seekers and adventurers: Lake Michigan isn’t just a summer destination. Some of the best waves roar to shore in late fall, winter and spring. Find equipment for year-round surfing as well as snowboarding, skateboarding and more at the Third Coast Surf Shops at 212 State Street, St. Joseph, and 110 N. Whittaker Street, New Buffalo.
For hospitality gifts and baskets: Whether you are attending a party, spending the weekend with family or friends, or need gifts for neighbors or your business, the shops listed below specialize in expressing your gratitude. Choose from holiday decorations, delicious foods, flowers, toys and games, and so much more. Purchase gifts individually or ask these shopkeepers to customize a selection for your recipients. It will be just what they wanted:
- The Christmas Tree Shop, 2675 Mizpah Park Road, Benton Harbor (just north of St. Joseph, off M-63)
- Crystal Springs Florist & Greenhouses, Inc., 1475 Pipestone Road, Benton Harbor
- Kilwins Ice Cream-Fudge-Chocolates Shoppe, 217 State Street, St. Joseph
Do you have specific ideas, but are not sure where to find them? Contact the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council or St. Joseph Today. They will do their best to direct you to where your holiday wishes can come true!