Christmas in the Twin Cities: 2016 Christmas Shopping Guide

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Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe this year you are hoping to support local businesses or other family businesses. We want to do the same, so we have collected some of our favorite local businesses and artisans as well as some of our favorite ethical companies in this Christmas Shopping Guide.Christmas Shopping Guide

Local Shopping Events • FFTC’s Top Picks for 2016 • Gifts For Babies/Kids • Gifts For Grown-ups


This advertorial shopping guide, curated by FFTC, is sponsored by Vocal Essence’s Star of Wonder Concert.  It takes place on Saturday, December 10 at 9:30 and 11 am.  Use the code STAR16 for discount when you order tickets here.




Local Shopping Events

Nature Arts and Crafts Fair
Richardson Nature Center, Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington• Saturday, November 5, 10 am- 3 pm • Kids under 17 must be accompanied by adult

 The fair includes local artisans and crafters of jewelry, felting, painting, natural beauty products and more. Enjoy the atmosphere of the 1,000-acre park reserve with a hike after you shop or relax in rocking chairs overlooking our backyard bird feeders. All vendor fees donated to the VEAP-Bloomington Food Shelf. Please bring a canned or boxed food item to donate to VEAP.

-Three Rivers Park Website


Christmas Shopping Guide

Image Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

Textile Center’s Holiday Gallery Shop
Textile Center, 3000 University Ave SE, Minneapolis • November 1-December 24, Artist Trunk Shows Every Saturday, 11 am-4 pm

The Textile Center Shop features exquisite handmade fiber art, from luscious wearables of every hue to home decor and gift items, along with books, professional art supplies and tools, fibercraft kits, and other unique finds. Your purchase supports local and national artists!

-Textile Center Website

St. Paul European Christmas Market
Union Depot, 200 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul • December 1-4, December 8-11

The European Christmas Market in St. Paul is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European inspired food and delicacies during the first two weekends in December.

-St. Paul European Christmas Market Website

Christmas Shopping Guide

Image courtesy of the Wedge

The Wedge Table, 2412 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis • December 3, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Our Local Holiday Gift Market has something for everyone. Come do your local holiday shopping that supports Minnesota and Wisconsin artists and producers, bring the kids out for some holiday gift-making, or spend an afternoon with friends sampling product from local producers.

 – The Wedge Co-op Website

Loring Park, Minneapolis • November 25-December 23

Holidazzle is all about the people, places and products that make our local scene so special, and that includes the sensational foods, beverages, crafts and merchandise scene.

-Holidazzle Website

Christmas Shopping Guide

Grand Meander
Grand Avenue, St. Paul • Saturday, December 3, 8:30 am-3 pm

Experience the fun of Grand Avenue on this special day by making your Christmas shopping memorable.  Start the day out at a Breakfast with Santa at Tavern on Grand.  From 8:30-10:30 receive two free pancakes, coffee, milk, or juice.  See website for more details.  Carolers, Reindeer, Santa, special storytime at Red Balloon, Fire Truck Rides, Soup tasting.  So much to make this shopping day memorable.

West St. Paul Secret Holiday Shop
West St. Paul City Hall, 1616 Humboldt Ave, West St. Paul, MN 55118 •  December 10th, 2016  9:00 am – 11:00 am

Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.  Shoppers will enter our “no parents” zone while they shop for their family and friends (there will be volunteers on hand to assist the younger shoppers).  A wide variety of gifts will be available to choose from.  Presents will be wrapped and labeled for shoppers at the end of their shopping experience.  Don’t miss the opportunity to do your Holiday shopping in a fun and safe environment.  A waiting area with refreshments will be available for parents and shoppers.  The first 250 kids will receive a mystery ticket wristband to Nickelodeon Universe.  Upon arrival, parents can create a shopping list and budget with their child.  Tickets can then be purchased for $0.50 each.  Gifts range from $0.50 to $12.00 and include items such as jewelry, coffee mugs, specialized gifts for grandparents and aunts and uncles, stuffed animals, knick-knacks for the home or holidays, and toys for all ages.

-City of West St. Paul

Christmas Shopping Guide

FFTC’s Top Picks
for 2016

FFTC is proud to be an affiliate of YOXO.  YOXO is an eco-friendly building toy.  It’s like  cardboard LEGOs.  My kids love playing with YOXO, and the company keeps coming out with new links to make even more intricate designs.
With any purchase you make through our affiliate link, a percentage of the sale is paid to FFTC at no extra cost to you.
And YOXO has given FFTC readers a special discount. 
Use the code fftc16 for 15% off your order.
Valid for orders on through 01/08/2017. Cannot be used with other offers. Some limitations apply.

Christmas Shopping GuideStoryology

This portable and sustainable–this is becoming a theme–social game is great for any party.  And it’s super fun to play together as a family.
After Jake and Katrina sent us a game, my boys, ages 6 and 8, played it with me. We kept it fairly simple and instead of telling a story, we said one phrase answers.  I’m excited to play with adults during the holidays.
This is a great little gift for $15.


Christmas Shopping Guide

My Reading Adventure Journal
Recommended by FFTC BookHounds
 by Lu & Bean Read Podcast

Tracy Babler, the founder and genius behind the Lu & Bean Podcast, has created an incredible companion for the reading family (aka a family of BookHounds).  This  journal is  5 1/2 inches by 8 inches and fits easily into a book bag or a shoulder bag.

It’s a super fun way to interact with the books you are reading by answering a couple of simple questions like  who was your favorite character?  And what happened in the story.  There are also places to draw and make lists of favorite books and not-so-favorite books. My 11-year-old really enjoyed it.

And Joy’s 11-year-old said that this was exactly what she was looking for.

jam box


For your kiddos in sizes 2T-8, a pajama subscription box.  Choose between once a month or every other month or four times per year.   All the pjs are 100% all organic cotton.  Tested by the owners’ 6 year old triplets, JamBox only carries the ones to which they gave their stamp of approval.

Gifts for Babies/Kids


shop home for the holidaysToys:
Creative Kidstuff
 • Mischief •  kiddywampus • Choo Choo Bob’s • JM Cremps • Lakeshore Learning • Pacifier • Totally Kids Furniture • 

There is every kind of toy store you could imagine around the Twin Cities. In malls or on street corners, we do not lack for fun here in Minnesota.

Wild Rumpus • Addendum • Red Balloon • Magers & Quinn • Excelsior Bay • Common Good Books

You can never go wrong with a lap, a drink, and a good book with your little one.

Youth Fiber Art Guild 
 Heartfelt  • Way Cool Cooking School • Simply Jane Studio

Do you have a little one who loves to create?  Maybe a not-so-little one?  The Twin Cities offers amazing opportunities to do just that.

Christmas Shopping Guide

Image courtesy of Red Balloon Bookshop

Ethical Online Brands

The Whimsy Factory • Well-crafted, washable, real kids dress-up clothes!

Narranest • Organic Baby blankets, bibs, and accessories.  Beautifully handmade with love.

Little Goodall • Artful children’s clothing (and a few things for mama).  Think classy animal coats (NOT fur coats, but animal-style coats)

Wildly Co.• Stylish clothing for you kiddos at fairly reasonable prices.  I just wish my kids were still this size.

• Lambkin Creative • Looking to make soft toys for your sweeties?  Elissa has a pile of easy patterns to purchase. And some made to order items as well.

Fairy Finery • Costumes made with love!

Gifts for Grown-ups

Christmas Shopping GuideLocal

Egg|Plant• 1771 Selby Ave, St. Paul • If you know someone who likes gardening, this is the perfect spot for them.  So much goodness packed into their little space.  I had to be dragged out of the store and I’m not even a gardener.

Wood From the Hood • Online shop of items created by felled trees in the metro and turned into beautiful wooden works of art.

Candyland • Locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Stillwater. See website for more details.  We can’t get enough of their Chicago Mix Popcorn and the sweet treats are incredible as well.

Games by James • Locations in the metro found in Burnsville Center, Southdale, Rosedale, and Mall of America.  We LOVE this shop and the different types of games we find there.

Northern Clay Center • 2424 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis • Amazing ceramics–some are goofy, some are beautiful, some unusual.  Something for everyone

Gifts  Especially for Moms


One Posh Closet • 7800 Metro Parkway, Suite 104, Bloomington • Tuesday-Thursday, 10 am-5 pm or by appointment • One Posh Closet is more than a store, it’s a pampering experience.

Christmas Shopping GuideOnline

• The Bath Bird • Soaps and oils and bath bombs and so much more.

Tokyo Blossom • crocheted scarves, cup cozies, coasters, and more.  Julie is awesome and her stuff is beautiful.

Gabriel’s Good Tidings • key fabs and awesome chapstick holders

By The SEA Soaping• Elena is originally from Bulgaria, but moved to Minnesota as a child.  Then, she grew up in the house that is now next door to me.  Every summer, she comes to visit her dad and my kids and her kids play and have a blast.  And I’ve been using some of her soap since she was here.  I love it!

Gifts Especially for Grandparents

Make a Movie with the Kids

More Christmas FUN

• 10 Early Holiday Fun • Top Ten 2016 Twin Cities Holiday Experiences

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids--Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.


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