Our Favorite Holiday Gifts 2022


If you struggle with gift shopping, these places are sure to do the trick. This holiday season, check out our favorite shops, whether you’re buying for a Secret Santa or for someone who has everything.

CAC Design Store

The Chicago Architecture Center’s Design Store has the coolest gifts this holiday season. Created by and for Chicagoans, CAC Design Store is your one-stop shop this holiday season. These gifts are perfect for any architecture enthusiast or design junkie on your Christmas list. Plus, their Gift Guides are curated by Chicago artists and will give you inspiration for every person on your list, from the boyfriend to the hostess. These gifts honor Chicago’s history while keeping gift-giving fun. If you want to meet the artists behind your gifts, check out Shop Chi, happening on Saturday, December 10th, 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

Art Effect

Since its opening in 1984, Art Effect has become Lincoln Park’s general store. Complete with fun knick-knacks and a changing selection of gifts, Art Effect creates a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for browsing. Their Holiday Collection has everything you need to get in the spirit, complete with festive holiday cookie dough, Nutcracker mugs, and holiday puzzles. They have many other gift options as well, including trendy apparel, affordable accessories, and home goods for every room. When you shop at Art Effect, you know you’re getting quality and personalized gifts, so complete your Christmas shopping today!


Shop small this holiday season with Neighborly! Located in Lincoln Square, Neighborly curates ethically-made home goods, gifts, and artwork. Neighborly’s style is inspired by the Mid-century Modern era, complete with colorful, graphic, affordable, and functional gifts for everyone on your list. For the holidays, transform your home into a comfy cozy winter wonderland with their holiday decor, ornaments, cards, and gift wrap. When you’re shopping for someone on your list, check out their gift guides, perfect for any budget or style. This holiday season, shop local and show your support for our Chicago businesses!


P.O.S.H. is inspired by “something that feels authentic,” and that’s exactly what you’ll get this holiday season! Most of their pieces center on antiques of the past, highlighting a one-of-a-kind ambiance that can’t be mass-produced. Their holiday collection features festive tea towels, handmade ornaments, and table decor. Besides this collection, P.O.S.H. has a variety of gifts, including vintage cookbooks, restaurant ware, and kids’ puzzles. No matter what you choose, P.O.S.H. will make Christmas morning one to remember.

Alice & Wonder

For the fashionista on your list, Alice & Wonder has the gifts for them! From glitzy glam to comfy cozy, Alice & Wonder prioritizes optimistic and affordable pieces that are perfect for any budget. These fun and pretty pieces can elevate your wardrobe and make your day! Their holiday collection has it all, from matching PJs to themed beer glasses. Plus, their holiday candles and pillows will make you want to curl up in a blanket and sit by the fire. No matter what you choose, Alice & Wonder has the gifts to upgrade your home and wardrobe this holiday season!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Find gifts for your loved ones right at Lincoln Park Zoo! From gifts to multiple festive experiences, look into Lincoln Park Zoo when doing this year’s holiday shopping. Get your friends and family a unique gift that they for sure won’t get anywhere else! Explore the variety of plush animal adoptions, their craft beer, their different winter camps, and so much more! You are sure to find something for anyone! With their holiday decorations, one is completely emerged in a winter wonderland. Whether you’re planning on buying a gift or not, you must visit to see their annual holiday lights! Join the zoo’s membership and enjoy Lincoln Park Zoo’s perks, benefits, and exclusive events! Bubble tours are now available! Click here for more info.

The Inkling Shop

This quirky gift place sells various curiosities and fun gifts. Whether you’re curious about candles or art, owner Stephaine Keller knows her craft and is bringing her knowledge to you. Everything ranges from quirky to super cute, and everyone needs some new knick-knacks for decoration. Picked specifically for their designs, these gifts are good for stocking stuffers or main presents. The beauty of these gifts is what makes this spot even more special. 

Urban General Store

After eating at a nearby restaurant, Urban is a great visit and place to pick up gifts. There are more than 10,000 gift selections! Novelties, candies, and even humorous gifts can be found here. Jewelry, accessories, home decor, and so many more heartfelt items will make the perfect Christmas gift. Plus, if nothing pops out to you at the store, you can visit the store’s website.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Appreciate the arts? Then this winter, you’re going to love sharing this incredibly unique gift experience. This holiday, surprise your loved one with a night of fine music. The Chicago symphony orchestra is an iconic Chicago landmark that has gained respect since its opening in 1891. Some of Chicago’s well-known composers present their best work, and can act as an affordable, yet imaginative gift this holiday! Guests can also check out the Symphony Store for ways to support the symphony.

The Violet Hour

Check out one of Chicago’s best cocktail bars with The Violet’s Bar’s incredible drink options. The bar’s expert mixologists work to curate the most perfect drink for you and your friends! This winter, get a loved one a Violet Hour subscription. This holiday, explore The Violet Hour’s “There and Back Again” series which centers their taste around different eras of boozy fun! So if you know someone that has an appreciation for fancy drinks, then you must introduce them to the world of The Velvet Hour.

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

This holiday, check out the Holiday Market at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre or give the gift of entertainment. Stop by Navy Pier’s well-known Shakespeare Theatre as it presents some of their winter performances. Known as the biggest Chicago theatre, grab your friends and/or family, and explore some of Shakespeare’s most iconic plays. This family-friendly theatre will be an absolutely perfect experience this winter. With the pier’s primal location right in Lake Michigan, one is sure to see an authentic glimpse of Chicago’s winter skyline. So consider a trip to the theatre a gift!  Think about it. What better gift than a memory one will remember forever?  

Looking for fun things to do this holiday season? Check out our guide to Chicago’s holiday events!

By: Maddie Belland, Mariah Sturdivant, and Paulina Czupryna

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