Tis the season for giving gifts, and it’s more important than ever to support local shops during the pandemic. Visit Champaign County has some recommendations on unique gifts to delight your friends and family, while supporting the community.
Why should you shop small?
There are so many benefits to buying from locally owned retailers. It stimulates economic growth, provides more new jobs to the community, reduces environmental impact, and keeps our community unique and prosperous.
Keeping safety protocols in mind, let’s talk about some possibilities.
1) For Love of Community—Show your Champaign-Urbana pride with a tee shirt or tote from ChambanaProud.com. We have eight tees designed from local artists, and this cool tote with a map of CU, also available in a print, perfect to hang in an office or at home!
2) Staying Entertained—2020 and likely 2021 are all about staying entertained at home. From games to books to puzzles, there are so many local options to pick up a gift. Dr. G’s Brainworks in Market Place Mall will help you find challenging games based on ages and interests, and Titan Games on Neil St. will help with all of your Magik and Dungeons & Dragons needs. Art Mart offers a large kids section with toys, games, and puzzles. And for your bookworms, try Jane Addams and Hartfield Books in Monticello.
3) For the Home—We’ve all been making home improvements throughout the pandemic, so now it’s time to decorate. First stop is local art to really make your home unique. Check out the Local Art Gift Guide from 40 North connecting you with dozens of artists. Or stop by local galleries, Cinema Gallery and the Gilbert Gallery, both in downtown Urbana. Shops like Texture Home, Bohemia, or Country Chics in St. Joseph will help you find the right home décor for various tastes. Or make it easy and pick up house plants from Plant Mode or Plantify both in downtown Champaign.
4) To Eat—We’re so fortunate in this community to have locally-grown and raised options for food and it’s always fun to share with people who aren’t in the area. You can gift local cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, or the world’s best tasting honey from Curtis Orchard. If you have a coffee lover, get them some coffee beans from Page Roasting Company, or for beer drinkers, get a growler from one of our six breweries. Homestead Bakery in Arthur also has fantastic gift boxes with their homemade bread, butter, cookies and other treats.
5) To Stay Active—We’re all a little restless so time outdoors, or exercise in our homes is keeping us sane. Pick up some gear at Body & Sole, great for runners and walkers, or try Champaign Outdoors for all your cold weather outdoor gear so you can be active this winter. Want to pick up yoga? Pick up mats, blocks and other gear from various yoga studios around town.
For more information, check out Visit Champaign County online.