We’re so excited to bring you our first ever holiday gift guide, featuring some of our absolute FAVORITE local shops and businesses! Below, you’ll find more than FORTY gift ideas from right here in the Milwaukee area, including both physical items and experiences, for everyone on your wish list.
This year, as you’re making your list and checking it twice, we want to encourage you to THINK LOCAL. Milwaukee is an incredible city for artists, makers and small business owners and even we were surprised (and inspired!) by the number of great options we were introduced to while putting this guide together!
So before you hop onto Amazon and zip through your holiday shopping, maybe, this year, try something new.
Maybe you’ll find something a little different. Something you’d never come up with on your own. Something that a certain someone on your list would be genuinely surprised and thrilled to receive.
(And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!)
CityTins’ mission is to encourage and incentivize community support of locally-owned and operated restaurants and businesses that contribute to the culture and community that make every city unique.
For each of our Restaurant and Bar & Lounge editions, we’ve selected a group of 20 iconic locally-owned and operated venues to give you a sampling of the unique Bar & Dining scene your chosen city has to offer. Each destination is featured on its own coaster. Each coaster is worth $10 off your tab of $25 or more (pre-tax/gratuity) when relinquished to your server and is valid during the year issued.
Our Performing Arts edition sets you up with 20 Buy One Ticket, Get One Free offers at some of the best arts venues in Milwaukee. See each coaster for details.
Red Bunny Designs
A mother/daughter-in-law team creating quality, handmade and custom-designed for your little ones. A custom Red Bunny lovie is one of our most popular gifts for newborns to toddlers, with super-soft minky backing and hand-sewn binding. Red Bunny Designs was created in honor of one lost, little red bunny belonging to Darcie’s daughter, Emma. Together, owners Bev and Darcie have been creating handmade gifts for family and friends for years. We believe that handmade gifts are the BEST gifts for any occasion. We love mixing playful prints and pops of color to create our handmade burp cloths, bibs, accessories, blankets and nursery decor. We hope we can help you find (or create) the perfect baby gift for you or someone you love!
Cracked Designs is a greeting card and design company born in the magical land of beer and cheese. All of our designs are hand drawn and inspired by the midwestern world we live in. We turned our popular “Wisconsin Drink Local Beer” print into a t-shirt and was created to show our love of craft beer and the local breweries who make it. The design features all hand drawn fonts of Wisconsin breweries, making each one different and unique. The shirt is locally screen printed by Orchard Street Press for us on soft tri-blend unisex t-shirts.
Use code LOCALLOVE to get 10% off your purchase in the Cracked Designs store!
Pin-It LIVE is an Etsy-infused & Pinterest- inspired DIY studio that invites people to gather to take projects from the screen and bring them to life. Forget Pin-trosities, Pin-It LIVE! Also offering birthday parties, private events, and fundraisers for schools and community groups. Need to break out of the date night rut? Why not try a DIY Date? Don’t just buy a gift this year — create a gift they will truly cherish.
“What’s on YOUR wish list?”
That’s the question we asked our Contributor Team and we are so excited to share four of their Wish Lists with you! These are gifts from all over Milwaukee and appeal to a variety of lucky recipients so your holiday shopping will rock! If you dread coming up with gift ideas every year (for others AND for you), we hope you find our Milwaukee Wish Lists helpful.
Sarah's Wish List
Big White Yeti — Warm Flannel Soy Candle ($10)
- Obsessed with Yeti candles! The scents are wonderful, the names are clever and fun, and this particular variety smells like the warmth and coziness of enveloping yourself in your favorite blanket while watching a fire crackle in your fireplace. It’s delightfully cozy and comforting.
Float Milwaukee — 60 minute Float ($75)
- “Floating” is the common term for experiencing flotation therapy. You spend an hour or more in a back float inside the float pod, allowing your mind to slow down and your body to fully relax without fighting gravity. CLICK HERE and use code MKEMOMS to get your first float for only $40! (Yup, they do gift cards!)
Square One Soapworks — Lavender Shave Soap ($11)
- Never again will I buy a can of shave gel at the store. This lavender shave soap has been a game-changer for my dry skin, especially in Wisconsin winters. This shave soap combines essential oils of lavender and a pinch of patchouli for a refreshing yet calming aroma. Square One Soapworks luxurious shave soaps have been created to have a full lather, excellent razor slip and moisturizing properties.
Orchard Street Apparel — Wisconsin Forward Navy Triblend Sweatshirt ($40)
- Oh, if only you could reach through the screen and touch this sweatshirt! This design is a hand-drawn ode to our beloved state and we picture it going perfectly with the aromas of a Big White Yeti candle!
Tara's Wish List
Allison Beilke Design —”My Merry Milwaukee” Holiday Notecards ($20)
- Allison Beilke always nails the perfect retro mod pattern. Her “My fair Milwaukee” pattern is so fun and the holiday version is the perfect pattern for getting in the holiday spirit. $20 for a 10 pack of cards and envelopes.
The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel —A Night Stay at a Boutique Hotel ($179+)
- A relaxing night away with the significant other is just what every parent should get, am I right? And a night away at the stylish new boutique hotel in Milwaukee’s Third Ward would be a dream. The Kimpton Journeyman hotel features luxurious rooms, fine dining and a rooftop bar with spectacular views of the city. Rates start as low as $179 through the end of the year.
Soul Boxer —Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail Mix ($20)
- I love a good Old Fashioned, and Soul Boxer mix is the best. It’s quick, easy, and the bottle itself is beautifully designed. All you have to do is mix in either sour or sweet (I recommend using Jolly Good’s Sour P’wer!) And a bonus- it’s made in Wisconsin! 750 ml. bottle for $20.
Stone Creek Coffee — Travel Mug ($23)
- Stone Creek has been long brewing some of the best coffee in Milwaukee. They’ve been re-vamping their brand and cafes, and it’s spot on. This travel mug is so pretty and super durable too – perfect for showing off your love for local coffee. As a bonus – if you use this mug in any of their cafes, they’ll give you a $0.15 discount! 12oz. travel mug is $23.00
Dolores's Wish List
Permanent Baggage — Leather Wristlet ($58)
- This wristlet purse will let you keep all your essentials in one without worrying about carrying a huge bag. The chevron detail is what makes it my favorite! Plus, look at these colors!
Hen House Hats —Knot Work Cloche ($260)
- This awesome hat is warm enough for the winter and stylish enough to wear throughout the day. It’s an indulgence, to be sure, but it’s just so classy and pretty! The Hen House is the women’s version of the The Brass Rooster, a men’s hat house in Bayview. Come see what John and Kate have going on today!
Soap Passion —Lavender Soap
- I’m in love with anything that Soap Passion makes. They’re soap is the only one that has been proved to work with eczema in our house. We love everything about them!
Sparrow Collective — Great Lake’s Women’s Shirt ($26)
- I love a comfortable t-shirt. It’s even better when it represents where I live. Sparrow Collective has a great collection for anyone who is proud to be from here.
Megan's Wish List
HANmade Milwaukee —Milwaukee Hostess Apron ($21)
- I love the retro-inspired design of this hostess apron. I think I would bake much more if I was wearing this. The detail in the print is so fun, too!
Barre District —10-pack of Classes ($145)
- Whether you are at the gym every day, or haven’t been for months, Barre District is my favorite place to work out in Milwaukee. You’ll get a kick-butt workout, while making new friends. Also: FREE CHILDCARE!
Liddle Handmade — Baby Bunny Ear Teether ($12)
- With our second baby on the way, I am so much more conscious of the quality of the baby items we purchase this time around. This teether is a perfect example: organic wood, designer cotton, and locally made! Plus, it is just so much cuter than a chain of those rubber rings.
The Busy Bee Creations — World Changer Baby Shirt ($22)
- This shirt is so, so soft and makes the perfect statement for your new arrival. Also loving the Green & Gold raglan tee and the Wisconsin onesie is suuuuuper adorable.
More Local Faves
CREAM CITY GROOMING ESSENTIALS BEARD BALM
BABY JACK LOVEY
MILWAUKEE CANDLE COMPANY
THIRD SPACE BREWING GROWLER
TAILORED SALON GIFT CARD
FERN AND NETTLE SOAP
LIZZIBETH BLANKET SCARF
LITTLE GYPSY FINERY
PAPER PLEASERS WI WOOD SIGN
YOGA SIX MILWAUKEE CLASSES
PARKSIDE 23 GIFT CARD
TRADES OF HOPE ACCESSORIES
JAMES STEENO GALLERY
HIGH BROW WAXING BOUTIQUE GIFT CARD
LITTLE SPROUTS PLAY CAFE PASS
BON BREE CHEESE BASKET
AVOCA MASSAGE CERTIFICATE
TACTILE CRAFTWORKS MILWAUKEE MAP TRAVEL MUG
ARTERY INK COLORING BOOK
HONEYPIE PIE-MAKING CLASS
LINDSAY LETTERS RELAX COOZIE
We hope you enjoyed shopping our holiday gift guide! Now please feel free to enter the sponsored giveaways below to win a bundle with some of the featured items from some of our favorite #ShopMKE2016 businesses!
Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 4th!