Take your finger off that Amazon button for the day. This Saturday – and continuing all holiday season – your Huntsville neighbors need you to #ShopSmall more than ever. If they are lucky enough to have survived 2020 so far, many small business owners are depending on a busy December just so they can stick around in 2021. And they need their fellow Huntsvillians to shop EARLY as well, so they can provide a Christmas for their own families. Lucky you, Small Business Saturday in Huntsville is coming up!
Are you up for the #SmallBusinessSaturday challenge? It’s a lovely way we can all come together to fight the negative impact 2020 has had on our local economy.
Here at Rocket City Mom, we are ALL ABOUT LOCAL. We eat, sleep, and breathe local. We cover local events, share information about local resources, and help our readers find local people and businesses to connect with. So here’s our favorite ways to shop local and small in Huntsville and North Alabama.
Awesome Attraction Gift Shops
I have found some truly unique gifts for friends and family at our area museum gift shops. These places tend to curate their inventory very carefully each year, and often have things you just can’t find anywhere else. (Do you know what that means? They also create additional jobs by having gift shop staff to coordinate that!) They’re also a wonderful place to look for really nice holiday decorations.
Josie’s Gift Shop at Burritt On the Mountain
Housed in the Burritt Welcome Center is Josie’s Gift Shop, named in honor of Dr. Burritt’s wife. They showcase toys, garden items and home accessories. This is a great place to find bridal and baby gifts, Huntsville souvenirs, and goods from local artisans. Gift wrapping is available at no charge.
Located right in the lobby of the entrance to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, this shop features a collection of gifts for the home and garden, delicious southern gourmet gifts, books, plush toys, and jewelry – all with a distinct nod to Mother Nature. You don’t need to pay admission to shop!
The museum gift shop of the largest space museum in the world does not disappoint. Boasting an out-of-this-world NASA apparel collection, you’ll also find space-themed models, STEM toys, science kits, limited-edition souvenirs, and yes – space ice cream.
With unique items from the surrounding areas and all over the world, the Huntsville Museum of Art’s gift shop is the perfect place to check off your holiday shopping. You’ll find gifts for all the important people in your life AND support your local art museum this year. They even put together a 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for you!
This place is part history museum, party general store that carries globally conscious, handmade, fair trade gifts, jewelry and novelty items. You’ll also find great old-fashioned candy perfect for stocking stuffers and vintage toys. Located on the grounds of Stovehouse.
DID YOU KNOW? The Huntsville Madison County Chamber created a website to empower people to purchase gift cards directly from local, independently owned small businesses. GetYourGiftOn.org is easy to use – and these gift cards are a great idea for teachers, essential workers, friends and family. Why not get all your shopping done at once?
Locally-Owned Kids Toys & Specialty Gift Shops
Do you miss Toys ‘R Us? Shopping small and local for kids doesn’t have to be tricky. These small Huntsville toy shops and game stores have a great variety of things kids will love AND you can feel good about buying from small business owners that live right here.
Maybe you’ve spent an afternoon at this arcade, but did you know RCA has a huge variety of retro video games, game-themed gifts, and gaming consoles too? Plus, you won’t find nicer people that own the shop – Herman and Anita have a wealth of game knowledge between them that they’d love to share with you. You can even shop online!
The common misconception is this is a store just for teachers. While it’s true Schoolcraft is a great place to get a gift for the teacher in your life, they also have an extended section of kid’s toys, games, plush, puppets, STEAM kits, and more. Definitely worth a stop in or shop online.
This local talented duo have a space at Lowe Mill and specialize in handmade games and toys, but you can also order directly from them online. If you haven’t played Hedge Lord, you’re totally missing out – it’s like if Chinese checkers had a baby with the characters from Jumanji in a hedge maze, all in one awesome handmade wooden game. Tell Molly and Dustin Rocket City Mom sent you!
Kids in Five Points Huntsville know to head to Susan’s store for fun and carefully curated toys of all sorts. If you’ve never been to this quirky shop devoted 100% to toys and toys only, this is your chance! We love the very affordable price ranges.
This family-owned toy and gift store is another spot you can find something special for the kiddos. Everything from board games to craft kits, chapter books, inflatable forts, and hot items. Check out their Holiday Catalogue!
Comic Shops, Tabletops, & RPGs
Teens that are into IRL games would love a gift from one of these local shops. You’ll find Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, the latest Marvel comics, and tons more here.
Where to Find Unique Gifts By Local Artists & Makers
Space put Huntsville on the map, but STEAM has elevated it to a whole new level. Our city is full of innovative artists and makers, and many of them have really had a tough year. Luckily you can find local art at several different places throughout Madison County. Like these…
Part gift shop, part art gallery, TLGS on Monte Sano is a fantastic place to find local artists. Shop online or make an appointment to avoid the crowds. I love the delicate handmade jewelry or wall art to hang on that blank spot in your living room.
You’ll find over 100 small businesses – many of them makers and refurbishers – in this big shared-space shopping center. The owners are moms and wives who love what they do and love to help other small businesses grow. Featuring items you can’t find in big box stores and local, handmade and unique gifts.
Twisted Tree Vintage Market has over 80 vendors and offers furniture, home decor, boutique clothing and unique gifts. They have a great selection of holiday decor as well to help you deck your halls.
#DineHsv Restaurants & Treats
A few of our RCM foodie favorites for gift-giving in case you were wondering…
- Mason Dixon Bakery – Order your holiday cakes, pies, cookies and more from this family-owned and 100% gluten free bakery.
- Pizzelles Confections – Our favorite chocolate witches can make you hot cocoa bombs, homemade marshmallows and caramels, and a huge variety of other mouth-watering chocolates and confections!
- Zion Gourmet Popcorn – This small but mighty popcorn & homemade candy store is one of our favorites.
- Piper & Leaf Tea Company – Family owned & operated, this local tea shop have gifts that taste like home.
- The Moon Bake Shop – Go for the cruffins. Stay for the bacon cheddar scones.
- Hamley Bake Shoppe – Pre-order your holiday pies and desserts now from this small batch Meridianville bakery.
- Canadian Bakin – Specializing in hand-rolled bagels and artisan breads, you can order online and pick up the day these tasty carbs are baked.
- Dolce Pan Bakery – A local gem, you won’t find better Puerto Rican food in all of North Alabama!
- Good Company Cafe – An amazing pastry chef and impressive brunch spread makes this a South Hsv favorite.
Neighborhood-Supported Mom & Pop Shops
If you’re going to try to shop local and small as much as possible this year, what better way than to shop in your own neighborhood? You could even be supporting a mom or dad in your child’s class at school!
Shop Downtown & North Huntsville
Skip the Starbucks… DarkSide Coffee is the new coffee shop in North Huntsville & they have gift cards!
Shop South Huntsville
The South Huntsville Holiday Gift Guide – Created by the SHBA, this is a great guide to supporting small businesses in the 35802/03.
RCM Pick: The Cottage Collective, Spoiled Rockin’ Kids Salon & Spa
So… what did we miss? Let us know your favorite in the comments so we can add it to the list!
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.