Presents for Your Pets

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

“Is your cat constantly stomping around driving you crazy?” Probably not, but wouldn’t it be cool to knit your cat a pair of “Kitten Mittons”? As adorably hilarious and Philly-oriented as that may be, your cat might not have so much fun wearing them. That’s why you could always buy some yarn for your cat to play with. Or, you could make a soft blanket for your pet to sleep on. Bundles of yarn can cost around $10 – $15 each. You won’t have to worry about finding the right yarn, because Ewe and I has yarn in great numbers and varieties.

Eew and I

221 Haverford Ave.

$$

Dogs love food. It’s all they really want—other than your attention. So, the best gift for your dog is some treats. If you visit Ardmore’s Farmers Market, you’ll find The Bark Avenue Boutique towards the back of the market. It has a range of pet gifts, but one particularly great deal: if you buy a fancy little tin, you can add a mix of different dog treats of your choice until the tin is full. For that, you’ll only have to pay $9.99. Your dog probably won’t care about the tin, as they’ll go right for the goods. But you can always reuse it for more doggie gifts in the future.

The Bark Avenue Boutique

120 Coulter Ave.

$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

Your pet deserves the best. Those puppy dog eyes are asking for something more gourmet than Kibbles and Bits. Plus, even animals can appreciate the healthy nature of organic food. For the discerning pet owner, the family-owned Superior Pet in Haverford is the place to go to please your pet’s palate. All its food products are organic, and its cleaning supplies and cat litter are all-natural, too. If you get lost in the store’s great selection, track down an employee and tap into their expertise. Your pet will thank you!

Superior Pet

234 Darby Rd.

$$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

Humans are not the only ones who like treats during the holiday season. The Bone-Appetite has all kinds of food for your furry or feathered friends. It sells everything from bones and biscuits to seed and catnip, so no pet is left unsatisfied. This place is best, however, for dog gifts. It has different kinds of baked dog treats that make great stocking stuffers for human’s best friend. But, there’s plenty for cats and birds in the store, as well. Most treats are sold individually, so it won’t cost too much to make your pet happy for the holidays. Besides being a bakery, the store also sells affordable pet products, like leashes, feeders and toys. Whether you want to spoil your pet or just give it something new, this store is a good find.

The Bone-Appetite

8505 Germantown Ave.

$$

Want to give your rabbit some love this winter? Why not give it a new hand-made cage for the holidays? Killian Hardware has all the tools needed to make a new wooden living area for your pet. Since there’s not much to making a rabbit crate, it’s inexpensive. All it takes is some 2×4 pieces of wood, a saw and some nails or screws to put this together. Plus, you can make it as big as you want, so your bunny will appreciate the space. This isn’t the typical animal gift, but it’s a way of doing something nice for your pet during the holiday season.

Killian Hardware

8450 Germantown Ave.

$$

Chinatown

During the warmer days of the year, you can enjoy mini golf at Franklin Square. But, if you have a dog and live in the city, it’s a perfect open space for play year-round. All you need to do is grab a tennis ball or Frisbee, and bundle up. Be sure to put your dog on a leash before you embark on your trip to the park; it’s very close to the Vine Street Expressway. This excursion won’t cost a penny, and it’ll be something you and your pet will enjoy.

Franklin Square

200 N. 6th St.

free

Let’s not forget about the historic Reading Terminal Market, which is located extremely close to Chinatown. It sells a variety of different foods there. But, did you ever think that maybe your pet would enjoy a holiday treat from the market? If you have a cat, and love to spoil it every once in a while, why not cook for it? You could get some fresh fish from Golden Fish Market and cook it up for your beloved kitty. Animals deserve some home-cooking, too! For the sake of your cat, cook fish thoroughly, and only prepare something if you know it’s okay for them to eat. Believe it or not, you can find cat food recipes online. Contact a veterinarian just to be on the safe side.

Golden Fish Market

51 N. 12th St.

$$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

You do everything possible to keep yourself healthy. This holiday season, why not do the same for your pet? At The Chic Petique, you’ll find everything possible to keep your pooch or kitten right as rain. From healthier pet food to dental-friendly treats to grooming supplies, this is your one-stop-shop for a fantastic gift for your real best friend. It’s also stocked with tons of toys to keep your pet happy for hours. The best part? The healthy options in this shop aren’t as expensive as human organic food—so you’ll be able to afford it!

The Chic Petique

1040 N. 2nd St.

$$

Show your canine or feline friend how much you love them with a day at the spa! At Spot’s Spot & Spa, your little one will be treated like royalty, primped and groomed by trained specialists in pet care. Or, if you don’t think your pet needs a full treatment, stop by on a Sunday afternoon for a simple (but luxurious) bath to keep your pet fresh and smelling great. This dog and cat salon also offers one-day training courses, helping to teach your stubborn pet good habits. Don’t forget to pick up a holiday gift basket for your buddy, including yummy treats your pet will love.

Spot’s Spot & Spa

123 W. Girard Ave.

$$
$

Old City

Looking for something extra special for your pet this holiday? Browse through BONeJOUR for dozens of gift ideas your pet will love. Get your dog into the holiday spirit with festive Holiday Gingerbread Flavor Buddy Biscuits—that’s right, cute little doggie biscuits shaped like gingerbread men. And your kitten will be occupied for hours with Da Bird Cat Teaser, an interactive toy that mimics the movements of a real bird in flight. And we won’t even mention the Phillies baseball jerseys for dogs…whoops! Make your pet merry over the holidays with a special gift from this Old City shop.

BONeJOUR

53 N. 3rd St.

$$

The best present for any pet is being adopted by someone that’ll love them. Why not make a puppy or kitten happy this holiday season by adopting one from PAWS Adoption Center? Sure, it won’t exactly be cheap. But, if you have some money to spare, it could be life-changing—for both you and your future pet. Don’t worry: at this spot, you won’t have any surprises when purchasing a new pet. A detailed history of each animal’s medical background is provided, and you’ll have the opportunity to pick a pet you bond with before deciding. Consider this a gift for two—your pet and you!

PAWS Adoption Center

100 N. 2nd St.

$$$

South Street

Looking for something to stuff your pet’s stocking with? With Accent on Animals, you’ve hit the jackpot. This store is home to tons of pet toys, clothes and pet care products. It also offers treats for pets, including a small animal bakery! If you were going in unsure of what to get your pet for the upcoming holidays, this place has the answers. Plus, most of the small items in this store are inexpensive. Although you have plenty of people to shop for, it is important to show your pet some love. A treat from the bakery and a new chew toy will cost you very little. Humans are not the only ones who want to enjoy the holidays, so make sure you take care of your pet amongst all the festivities.

Accent on Animals

804 South St.

$$

Has your dog lived up to the title of man’s best friend this year? Reward it with a brand new dog house this holiday season! Cohen & Co. Hardware and Home Goods has all the materials you’ll need to build a good home for your dog. The lumber is fairly inexpensive, so giving the gift of shelter shouldn’t be an issue. This store also sells tools, screws and paint, so if you don’t already have these things, you can easily get them here. You dog will be so happy to get cozy in its new home just in time for the holiday season.

Cohen & Co. Hardware and Home Goods

615 E. Passyunk Ave.

$$

Christmas Village

For your pet, Christmas Village has an huge section of stuffed animals. You can’t miss it; there’s a giant stuffed bear at the entrance. Your pet will be thrilled to have a new toy (but make sure you pick out a good-sized one—not too big, not too small). If you want to head in the food direction, there’s several stands filled with dog treats. There are treats in different festive shapes and sizes. Some also have treats made from several different recipes. You can easily walk away from the village with a few items for your pet, but without spending a fortune.

Your Roomie Gift Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

Is your roomie constantly reading? You’d find a wide selection of books at Junior League Thrift Shop. Book lovers always appreciate used books because they have character. So, don’t worry that you didn’t buy something from a chain bookstore. Since even hardcover books cost only a few dollars, you’ll probably be able to buy something else while you’re there. It has a large selection of clothing, but it also sells household items, such as lamps, that range from $4 to $30. A lamp would be the perfect companion gift to a book, especially if there isn’t enough lighting in your residence hall. A lamp and a book is all a hardcore reader really needs.

Junior League Thrift Shop

25-27 W. Lancaster Ave.

$

For that earthy, free spirited roommate of yours, Mood Swings will surely supply their perfect gift. If your roommate is a tea or coffee drinker, they’d totally appreciate a funky mug (this store has a lot of those). If not, another highlight of the store is its cool candles and nick-nacks. You’d probably be able to buy two items and stay beneath $25. Your roommate will be happy to know that most of the items in this store are green, made from either recycled or renewable materials.

Mood Swings

2 Station Circle

$$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

If your roommate’s an avid runner, pick them up something special for the holidays from Bryn Mawr Running Company. With an expansive selection of running clothes and other running equipment, the prices are shockingly reasonable. If you don’t know exactly what to get your running roommate (since they’re always running, it’s hard to find time to ask them!), BMRC’s knowledgable staff can assist you. Just make sure you can catch your roomie to give them your gift!

Bryn Mawr Running Company

828 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Gold Million Records isn’t an ordinary vinyl record store, although you’ll be able to find rare and unusual LPs and 45s. From the likes of original Bill Haley pressings to Olivia Newton-John’s “Totally Hot” EP, you’ll be surprised by its eclectic collection. Even if you’re not looking for a Joy Division or Dizzy Gillespie record, Gold Million Records has record-themed gifts and crafts, like wall clocks crafted from actual records and record sleeves. For the roommate that loves to crank out some tunes on their phonograph, Gold Million’s where it’s at.

Gold Million Records

851 Lancaster Ave.

$$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

For the Philly sports loving roommate, Chestnut Hill Sports is the perfect store to find a gift. It’s loaded with Philadelphia sports team apparel, such as hats, shirts and signs from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, as well as some Union stuff. The professional sports apparel can cost a decent amount; you can find an Eagles throwback jersey for around $60. That jersey, along with an Inter Milan drawstring bag, is among the hidden gems of the store. The hats, signs and t-shirts are all affordable. The store also sells some sports equipment, so if your roommate likes soccer, you can get them a ball for $25. If you are looking for something thoughtful, inexpensive and sports-related, this store is right for you.

Chestnut Hill Sports

8628 Germantown Ave.

$$

Looking for a thoughtful gift for your roommate? Why not get them some sweets from Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor? It has all sorts of pastries, cookies and cakes that are delicious, especially around the holidays. Its treats aren’t expensive at all; you can get a box of pastries for under $20. Bredenbeck’s is known for its cakes, especially its carrot, black forest and red velvet ones. Its small cakes are not expensive, so that could be a solid idea for a gift. This bakery’s treats could be a sweet way of saying goodbye to your roommate after a successful semester as roommates.

Bradenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor

8126 Germantown Ave.

$

Chinatown

Nothing says roommate bonding than a night out for some sushi and karaoke. This is a great idea if you don’t know what to get your roommate. Plus, you’ll be able to hang out together outside of your residence hall. It’s also a good way to have a fun night out before you go your separate ways for winter break. All the sushi at Yakitori Boy is extremely affordable. An order of 3 sushi rolls are $3.50 or less. Or you can order a sushi platter for around $13. You probably get away with spending only $25 or less for the two of you. Once you’re in a sushi stupor, sing the night away together.

Yakitori Boy

211 N. 11th St.

$

Rent Fair Video looks like any other craft shop in Chinatown. It sells little do-dads, jewelry and various other items. But, the pot of gold is actually located in the back portion of the store. It has the absolute mother-load of foreign films. Specifically, any kung fu lover would have a complete heart attack. If this sounds like your roommate, you could either purchase or rent a bunch of movies for them. As a part of the gift, you could put together a kung fu movie night (with your roommate’s favorite snacks, of course).

Rent Fair Video

931 Arch St.

$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

Think of the ultimate five-dollar store. You’re thinking of Five to One…And Then Some!, aren’t you? For small, inexpensive nick-nacks for your roomie, this shop will offer you plenty of options. Pick up some cheap hardware products for the roomie who likes to fix things up, or buy a cute holiday teddy bear along with a picture frame filled with your favorite photo together. Gifts from this shop may not be expensive, but it’ll sweetly let your roommate know you’ve been thinking of them. Don’t forget to pick up some gift bags and greeting cards while you’re there!

Five to One…And Then Some!

707 N. 2nd St.

$

 

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Old City

Sometimes, roommates exhibit interesting tastes. It can be hard to shop for someone who has posters depicting the Philadelphia Eagles, Betty Boop and Benjamin Franklin. If your roommate’s tough to shop for, check out Xeno’s Souvenirs on Chestnut Street. If your roomie’s living in a retro age, there’s plenty of old-school gear, like the Betty Boop stainless steel water bottle for $14 or the Empire Strikes Back lunch box for $18. And for the history buff, Xenos carries an array of historic flags, from the Betsy Ross classic to the flag for the U.S. Air Force.

Xenos Souvenirs Gifts and Candy

231 Chestnut St.

$$

South Street

For the environmentally-conscious roommate, Big Green Earth Store is perfect. Everything in it is made from natural products, and the prices are fair. This store has tin canteens and backpacks—good for any college student. It also brings unique items to the table, like the Might Wallet. This is a tear resistant, durable (not to mention affordable) wallet made from recyclable items. It also sells environmentally-friendly school supplies, perfect for getting your roommate ready for next semester. If your roommate is “green,” they’ll be sure to see it as a very nice gesture. This store is filled with unique objects that cannot be found just anywhere. This holiday season, accommodate a earth-friendly roommate.

Big Green Earth Store

934 South St.

$$

Does your roommate good like to cook? World’s Most Delicious Hot Sauce has different hot sauces in multiple flavors and levels of spiciness. These sauces are great for adding to foods or making dips. For any roommate who likes to get creative with their meals, but already owns all the typical spices, this is a great gift. The best part is, you can buy up to three sauces without exceeding $25! No matter what the preference, this store has enough options for you to pick out one of their favorites, as well as allow your roommate to try something new.

World’s Most Delicious Hot Sauce

1212 South St.

$

Christmas Village

Is your roommate into art? Christmas Village sells a number of cool folk art items that could be a great gift idea. The art is presented in various different mediums, such as paintings, figurines, clothing, jewelry and wood panels. No matter what your roommate likes, they’ll be happy with a folk art item from this village. It has a number of different stands that sell art, so if you don’t think your roomie would like something in particular, keep looking! Its options are also inexpensive, especially if you’re getting a figurine or wood panel; these could run from $5 to $15. But, even some clothing and jewelry won’t cost you more than that. Take advantage of the village, and surprise your roommate with a unique gift.

Sibling Shopping: A Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

For the bro or sis who’s always on the way to team practice, give Sneaky Pete’s a go for their sporty gift. This shoe store has a decent selection of shoes for every sport. Your sibling might love a pair of basketball shoes, but shoes like that can exceed $50. If you’re shopping for a young-one, though, you can find sneakers for as low as $20. If you’re looking to stay under $30, a cool duffle bag is a good option for your sporty-spice sib. Or, you can get them a sweet pair of sweats to rock at the gym. Athletic sandals are also among the more affordable options.

Sneaky Pete’s

5 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$$

Want to make your coin-collecting sib drool? Main Line Coin & Stamp Inc. is the place to look for their gift. Maybe their collection is getting too large for their current storage system. This store has tons of coin holders. For example, it has wooden coin boxes, and most are priced around $25. Or, for the newbie collector, you could go for smaller, less expensive holders. You can even buy them some rare coins or stamps, which don’t cost all that much apiece. It has everything from colonial coins and three-cent pieces to early American commemoratives and Civil War Tokens. There’s a coin for every era of interest.

Main Line Coin & Stamp Inc.

16 E. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

Some families bond over a shared meal. If you come from one of these, your sibling would surely appreciate a delicious gift from Bryn Mawr Farmers Market. Here, you can buy raw ingredients for your brother or sister to whip up something fantastic for future family meals. Or, you could surprise your sibling by cooking a meal especially for them. Pick out their favorite foods at this market, and cook up a meal they’ll never forget. Just don’t forget to tell your sibling about each ingredient’s freshness; everything at this farmers market is locally-grown! You can’t beat that.

Bryn Mawr Farmers Market

Lancaster & Morris Aves.

$$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

Is your sibling into music? Hideaway Music isn’t your ordinary music shop—it sells a wide variety of music, in almost every genre. It offers plenty of old records from bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, to smooth jazz, soul or rhythm & blues, so not matter what your sibling likes, you’re set. It has a solid, however limited, DVD collection, as well. In addition to the music itself, it sells band posters and some t-shirts. This store kicks it old school with most of its products, but that’s what makes it cooler than your ordinary record shop.

Hideaway Music

8612 Germantown Ave.

$$

Looking for a present for your little brother or sister? Get them a cool toy or game from O’Doodles. This store sells a ton of toys and games for children, from toddlers to over 10 years of age. Some of the cooler things it sells are Bubble Gum Factor, in which your sibling can make their own gum, and a Deluxe Magic Set, with all the necessary items for learning magic tricks. This store also sells sets of toys that could inspire the imagination, like a toy doctor set or dress up clothes. Inspire your sibling’s imagination this holiday season with a toy from O’Doodle’s.

O’Doodles

8335 Germantown Ave.

$$

Chinatown

Lots of little kids aspire to be firefighters when they’re young. If this sounds like your little sibling, take them on a walk through Chinatown to see the Engine Company 20 fire station. Not only will they be excited by the sudden shift in culture, they’ll be even more excited to look at the fire trucks. Usually, firefighters are willing to give little kids a look around the station, as well as inside the trucks. This outing won’t cost you a penny, and it’ll turn you into your little bro or sis’s new favorite person in the family. Make sure to call in advance to get the okay from the engine company!

Engine Company 20

10th & Cherry Sts.

free

Shanghai Bazaar is one of the most popular gift shops in Chinatown, known for its wide variety of Asian crafts and clothing on its elaborately decorated ground floor. Expect to be blown away by the size of the place and its endless options—from neckties and scarves to hanging dragon decorations and framed artwork. But, on the top floor, there is a rather impressive book, movie and music selection. Plus, everything is extremely inexpensive, and you can find things in English, Mandarin or Cantonese. You could find a ton of things in here for your sibling—especially if they’re interested in Chinese culture.

Shanghai Bazaar

1016 Race St.

$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

For a little brother or sister interested in magic, there’s no better shop in Northern Liberties than Trick Zone, located right in the Piazza at Schmidts. Its wide collection of small gifts for tricksters—like flowers that shoot water at you—make fantastic stocking stuffers. Or, if you want to do something extra special for your lil’ bro or sis, take them to a $10 magic show—there’s one held at the store every Sunday afternoon and Thursday night! You could always ask Seth, Trick Zone’s owner, to teach you some illusions to show your kid sibling—then, perform them for your family in a holiday magic show.

Trick Zone

1050 N. Hancock St.

$

Look at your brother or sister, channeling Tony Hawk in the driveway. Now, they’re doing ollies over the curb and onto the street. Soon, who knows? Maybe they’ll be in the X-Games, thrashing up the street course with the best. Equip your favorite shredder with the best gear: get them something from Exit Skateshop. Local skateboard shops have struggled thanks to big chains stepping into the skateboard gear business. But once they use a custom Exit Philadelphia skateboard, with trucks and wheels and the works for only $99, your bro or sis will never use a Wal*Mart board again. Still out of your budget? No worries! This shop also sells load
s of gear for skateboarders at any level.

Exit Skateshop

825 N. 2nd St.

$$$

Old City

Got a brother or sister interested in comics? You can’t go wrong buying a holiday gift from Brave New Worlds! With thousands of comic books, paperbacks and magazines, your sibling’s favorites can’t be too hard to find. And, if something’s not immediately available, the friendly staff will order it especially for you. Plus, this shop sells dozens of card games, manga and figurines for the sibling who collects. Why not also encourage your bro or sis to start creating their own comics by gifting them with supplies? Pretty soon, they’ll have you to thank for bringing out their artistic side!

Brave New Worlds

45 N. 2nd St.

$$

South Street

Has your sibling never had the pleasure of eating an authentic Philly cheesesteak? This is the perfect opportunity to give them a delicious gift for the holidays. If you live in the Philadelphia area, take your sibling to Jim’s Steaks, and let them take in the experience. Not from Philly? No problem. Jim’s ships its famous steaks to anywhere in the continental United States. Just give the shop three days, and it will make, freeze and send your sibling a steak via Fed Ex. A normal price for a cheesesteak is $7.50, so even with shipping you won’t spend too much money. If you live in a different state, this gives you a chance to bring a bit of Philadelphia culture to your sibling. Don’t deprive a loved one of the joy that is a cheesesteak; get your sibling one from Jim’s!

Jim’s Steaks

400 South St.

$

Does your sibling have a guitar? Help them improve their strumming with lessons from Bluebond Guitars. Whether it would be your sibling’s first lesson, or if it’s just to improve their skills, a guitar lesson could be a great gift. While lessons at other places are normally expensive, Bluebond has them for only $24 a lesson. Even if you only get them one or two lessons, it’s a thoughtful gift that could increase interest in the instrument. You can pay for the lesson weekly if you like, or if you are planning to purchase a month’s worth, you can pay at the end of the month. If your brother or sister is no good at playing guitar, get the rest of your family earplugs for the holiday. Make your sibling’s holiday rock!

Bluebond Guitars

511 S. 4th St.

$$$

Christmas Village

Want to find an interesting toy to get your sibling this holiday season? Christmas Village has your answer. There are a couple of vendors in the village selling unique, non-electronic toys; a refreshing thought! You could buy 3 to 5 small puppets for under $25, and have your sibling put on a holiday puppet show! There are also headbands and bows available, as well as plush toys and flying mobiles. These toys take a break from the typical new-age toys, sparking a child’s imagination. Give your sibling the chance to play with toys that have been long forgotten. Make your sibling’s holiday a fun and enjoyable one with a toy from the village!

Buying for your BFFL

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

Your artsy best friend will love Past Present Future. It has tons of handmade jewelry, glass, wooden and ceramic pieces, lamps, pillows, mirrors… the list goes on! Bottom line: everything in this store is a unique work of art you can’t find anywhere else. In particular, it has an impressive collection of clocks. Some may be a bit pricy, but it also includes affordable clocks in the $18 – $25 price range. There are so many to choose from, you’ll definitely find one that’s as awesome as your best friend. After you pick out a clock, take your bestie to Main Line’s First Friday—Past Present Future hosts performances on these days. It’ll be a great way to spend time with your best friend in a setting you know they’ll dig.

Past Present Future

15 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Your best friend is an aspiring rock star. All they do is play guitar (other than hang out with you, of course). That’s why, as their future roadie, you should buy them some guitar-related items from Danny’s Guitar Shop. For example, guitar players are always in need of new strings and picks. Both of these items are not expensive at all, so you could probably get both for $10 – $20. Or, if they could use a flashy new guitar strap for when they play gigs, it has those, too. If your friend is at the beginning stages of rock-stardom, maybe they’d enjoy a book that teaches them how to play their favorite band’s songs. There are tons of options to mix and match with for your musical best friend, and Danny’s is the place to look.

Danny’s Guitar Shop

102 Forrest Ave.

$$$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

Is your best friend always dragging you to the movies? This holiday season, pick them up a year-long student membership to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. This community theater is constantly rated as a phenomenal spot to catch the latest movies—both mainstream and indie. With a $35 student membership, your bestie will receive discounts to any film screening, invitations to exclusive free screenings and discounts at local Bryn Mawr businesses. If your friend lives in the region, this could be an exceptional holiday treat!

Bryn Mawr Film Institute

824 W. Lancaster Ave

$$$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

Is your best friend into photography? If so, Chestnut Hill Camera Shop has great gift ideas. Although buying a camera for your friend could prove pricy, this shop sells useful, inexpensive camera accessories. It has gadget/camera bags—the smaller ones being around $25. It also sells batteries, film, flashes, picture frames and photo albums—everything an avid photographer could need. A cool idea: buy a small camera bag and a photo album filled with pictures (of you and your bffl) to put in the bag. This is an inexpensive way to show your best friend how much you value their interests, as well as the friendship you have. If your friend prefers being behind the camera, they’ll love anything you pick out from this store.

Chestnut Hill Camera Shop

8614 Germantown Ave.

$$

Wissahickon Cyclery is a great place to find a gift for a ‘cycling best friend. At this store, you’ll find all sorts of biking apparel and equipment from major cycling retailers, so you’ll know what you’re buying is official. For something inexpensive, get your friend a HydroPak water bottle holder for their bike, a cycling hat or even a clip-on pouch to carry stuff when riding. You might be low on cash, but you can still get your best friend a cool gift from this cyclery.

Wissahickon Cyclery

7837 Germantown Ave.

$$

Chinatown

If your best friend is totally into music, what better holiday gift than concert tickets? Trocadero Theatre is one of the best places to go for shows in Philly, and it always brings in interesting crowds of people. If your best friend loves the ska band Less Than Jake ($15), they’re playing the Troc on January 30th. Or, if your bestie really loves to dance, electro-rock-fuck duo Ghostland Observatory ($20) might sound more appealing. That show is on December 16th. But, if “Wu-Tang!” is the only thing that comes out of your best friend’s mouth, they’ll be at The Troc on December 30th ($41.50).

Trocadero Theatre

1003 Arch St.

$$

If your BFFL is into astrology, taking them to Philadelphia Psychic Center would be a fun way to spend a day together. You’ve probably known your best friend for many years, and you might be running out of gift ideas. Going to a psychic/astrologist will save you from the perfect-gift search, and it will probably be one of the most unique holiday gifts they’ve ever received. You never know—it could turn into an experience you’ll never forget.

Philadelphia Psychic Center

1217 Race St.

$$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

For the best friend who loves all things vintage and artsy, Jinxed is a no-brainer for finding a holiday gift. From 70-year old typewriters to loads of old-fashioned photography equipment, this specialty shop offers up plenty of unique gifts that your BFFL will adore. And, did we mention this stuff is pretty cheap? The typewriters, for instance, range around $30. Plus, everything’s in fantastic working order, so the purchases will be worth it. There’s also tons of art prints for sale, although these can be pricier. But, then again, isn’t your best friend worth it?

Jinxed

1050 N. Hancock St.

$$

Old City

Show your best friend you can read them like a book by finding a fantastic literary gift for them at The Book Trader. With two floors and thousands of used books, you could spend hours perusing its selection. And, since it has so many options, you’re bound to find a book that makes your bestie happy as a clam. If you’re looking for something specific, this isn’t the store for you; but, if you’d like to hand-pick something that sho
ws your best friend how well you know their taste, stopping at this shop is your best bet. Did we mention that books are also extremely cheap? In fact, the shop sometimes keeps a “free books” batch outside. But, we’ll keep that just between us.

The Book Trader

7 N. 2nd St.

$

If your best friend has an adventurous taste in music, surprise them with some obscure CDs from AKA Music. Sure, this shop has a huge selection of new CDs and vintage vinyl records to peruse. Yes, you can buy tickets to R5 Productions concerts, showcasing great up-and-coming musicians, here too. The truly surprising part of AKA Music is its dollar bins. These aren’t your Wal*Mart style discount CDs, either. The discount section has surprisingly good music (and hilariously bad music) for $1 a CD. If your homie’s down for some new tunes, AKA Music’s the place to find it.

AKA Music

27 N. 2nd St.

$$

South Street

For the skateboarding best friend, Nocturnal Skateshop is a great spot to find a gift. This skate shop has many skateboard products and clothing, so if you’re on a budget, you can still find something good. It sells a variety of different t-shirts, tools and stickers to put on your friend’s board. If you want to get creative, picking out a number of different stickers would add a personal touch to your gift. Its t-shirts are all made by major skate labels, so no matter what brand your best friend prefers, you can find one that suits them. In addition, this store sells skate posters, so a combination of stickers and posters, or a poster and a t-shirt is an inexpensive, quality gift idea.

Nocturnal Skateshop

610 S. 3rd St.

$$

Is your best friend known for thinking outside the box? This might make it tough to find a great gift. Mineralistic may be the answer. This distinctive store has a wide variety of unique items perfect for a unique friend. With a focus on mythical items, you can find plenty of stuff themed with mermaids or gnomes. One of the cooler gift ideas are Potbelly Historical keepsake boxes—boxes shaped like historical figures. There are boxes in the likeness of famous authors like Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens. So, if your best friend is big on reading, but you don’t want to buy them the typical book, get them a keepsake box of their favorite author.

Mineralistic

319 South St.

$$

Christmas Village

There are way too many things that your best friend would like in Christmas Village. If they’re an ornament or holiday figurine collector, there’s a plethora of those to choose from; there’s an entire indoor section filled with different ornaments. If that won’t appeal to them, there are plenty of scarves and hats to keep them warm (and to also keep them looking stylish during the cold months). At a particular booth in the village, you can purchase three scarves for $20, or just one for $8. The knitted hats are also inexpensive, made with different colors and designs. If you want to pick them up some Danishes, that wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Philly's Newest Museum

The National Museum of American Jewish History is finally open.

Philadelphia’s newest museum had its grand opening weekend on Nov.12th- 14th. Celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler performed at a dinner on Saturday night, while Vice President Joe Biden delivered a keynote speech on Sunday. Singer/actress Barbara Streisand was also in attendance.

The museum was built to celebrate the history of Jewish people in America. It offers many educational exhibits, so visitors can understand more about American-Jewish history. This includes periodical symposiums and events to teach people about Jewish culture.

One of the museum’s main purposes is to help bridge the gap between Jewish people in America and their culture. Also, it strives to help other people appreciate Jewish heritage while furthering their knowledge about it. There are many things to see in the museum, so going only once will not capture it all.

This museum is the only one in the country dedicated to telling the story of Jews in America. Although there are museums with galleries devoted to Jewish history, none of them are quite like this one. It’s located on Independence Mall, alongside the Liberty Bell, National Constitutional Center and Independence Hall. Surrounded by Philly’s most historical buildings only adds to its purpose. It’s affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and its recently-completed building is state of the art. It will include 25,000 feet of gallery space and a 200-seat education center. This structure, soon to be a Philly favorite, is unlike anything else in the city.

The museum has over a thousand artifacts from American-Jewish history, and it will have changing exhibits.

There was a time when it was uncertain whether the museum would be located in Philadelphia, as New York City and Boston were other possible destinations. However, Philly was seen as the best choice, so the city got the museum. Tickets are only $11, so it’s fairly inexpensive to attend. It will be well worth it to experience this new and exciting museum.

This museum just adds to the historic atmosphere in Philadelphia, as the city continues to expand the breadth of cultural experiences. The National Museum of American Jewish History is a great addition to the tradition of historical sites in the city. This museum is a must-visit, especially if you are interested in history.

You can contact Nick Iuele at nick_iuele@yahoo.com.

Photo:

Awesome Acts!

There are so many reasons to stick around Philly just a little longer during your winter break. Acts like Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, Disney On Ice Presents Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and the Mummers Parade will be bringing their talents to Philly. You might be able to catch more than one of these acts before you leave for home!

Starting with the earliest scheduled, Cirque du Soleil will be right on Temple’s campus at the Liacouras Center from December 22nd until January 2nd. They’ll be performing their show, entitled “Dralion,” which is inspired by ancient Chinese circus tradition infused with contemporary creativity.

“Dralion” refers to the combination of the Chinese symbols for East and West: the dragon and the lion. This show strives to portray a oneness between humankind and nature. If you’ve never seen or heard of Cirque du Soleil, their performances include acrobatics and mind-blowing artistry. They always put together different shows with different themes. There are currently many shows touring around the world, along with permanent shows in Las Vegas. Tickets can range from $49 – $99 for adults, so now’s a good time to start saving your pennies! For show times and ticket sales, click here.

Another artistic and audience-pleasing performance will be by the Blue Man Group, performing from December 22nd until January 2nd at the Merriam Theater. Blue Man Group is audibly, visually and hilariously entertaining. They’re famous for their greasy blue body paint and their paint-splattering percussion. If you’re sitting close to the stage, you’ll be given a poncho just in case some of the materials reach the audience, so don’t wear anything too fancy. Regardless, Blue Man Group uses music, technology and comedy to put on the best show possible for everyone in attendance. Click here to get your tickets and to see show times.

Okay, the Toy Story movies have to be among your favorite movies of all time. If you loved Toy Story 3 (who didn’t?), then you cannot miss Disney On Ice Presents Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3. Performances will be going on from December 23rd until January 2nd at the Wells Fargo Center. Experience Toy Story 3 in a whole different way, as talented ice skaters portray the characters flawlessly. This show is priced affordably, from $15 to $85 (only if you want to sit in the front row). If you want to go, click here to pick a date and buy tickets.

And, finally, if you’re planning on sticking around to celebrate the new year in Philly, then you should go to the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. The Mummers are a group of musicians dressed in elaborately flashy outfits, taking the idea of a marching band to the next level. Specifically in Philly, they are a historic aspect of the city. The Mummers’ website mention that the New Year’s Day parade has been taking place since the 1800’s, but began as an official event in 1900. It doesn’t get much more traditional than that.

The Mummers are divided into five divisions: Comics, Wench Brigades, Fancies, String Bands and Fancy Brigades. To see the Mummers in action on New Year’s Day, the parade begins on Broad and South, and will end at City Hall. You can watch for free, but make sure you get a good spot!

These four events should convince you that Philly is the prime place to be for winter entertainment. Huge acts such as Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, Disney On Ice Presents Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and the Mummers Parade will supply you with monumental events to look forward to during these cold months. Don’t miss them!

You can contact Gia Lombardi at giamlombardi@gmail.com.

Photo:

Usher Stops by Philly

This year’s hottest rhythm and blues artist will be hitting the stage at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Usher Raymond, known as Usher, is bringing his OMG Tour to Philadelphia. The show is part of a world tour that will hit the U.S., U.K., Australia and parts of Asia and Europe. He is bringing the reigning BET R&B artist of the year, Trey Songz, along with him. The smooth duo has had songs bumping on the radio this year, making this concert a “can’t miss” event. No matter where you go, there’s a good chance you hear Usher’s “DJ Got Us Falling in Love” or Trey Songz’s “Bottoms Up.”

Usher has had much success as of late—especially with the release of two albums in the past year. The first one, Raymond vs. Raymond, came out last March. Versus came out in July. The two albums are packed with smooth hits like “There Goes My Baby” and “Daddy’s Home,” as well as club bangers like “DJ Got Us Falling in Love” and “OMG.” Trey Songz has also had many popular songs within the past year, like “Bottoms Up” and “Say Ah.”

Usher is notorious for putting on good shows. Not only is he known for his vocal talents, but for his ability to dance. However, he doesn’t go on tour very often, so the OMG Tour is certainly a hot ticket. The last time he went on tour, it was the One Night Stand Tour, and it was only 15 dates, one of which was at the Electric Factory in Philly. Prior to that, he was featured on one of P. Diddy’s tours, as well as a Janet Jackson tour in 1997. For some time now, Usher fans have had to settle for spot performances on award shows.

It’s a big deal that this show is being performed at the Wells Fargo Center. The former Wachovia Center is known for hosting big name recording artists that come to Philadelphia. Earlier this year, it hosted growing sensation Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Dave Mathews Band. The OMG Tour just adds to an impressive lineup that the home of the Flyers and Sixers produce.

Even though the tickets are a little pricy, it will certainly be worth it. A tour like this does not come to Philly very often, so take advantage of it. The night will be filled with classics and new hits, so whether you have been an Usher fan from the beginning or just recently started to like his music, you will enjoy it. Usher will have you dancing in your seat.

For ticket information, click here.

You can contact Nick Iuele at nick_iuele@yahoo.com.

Photo: © http://philly360.visitphilly.com/news/2010/11/15/enter-to-win-usher-trey-songz-tickets-1

Shopping for that Special Someone

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

Merion Art & Repro Center is an artist’s heaven. It has loads of painting, drawing and printmaking supplies—which is an understatement. It basically offers anything an artist can think of: paint brushes, canvas… it even does custom framing, if you want to have a cute picture of the two of you framed. Among the plethora of art supplies is a plethora of pens. If your significant other likes to write, a nice pen would be a very thoughtful gift to give. It has fountain pen sets for $22.50, or the classy Signature Series Pen & Ink Sets for only $9.99. With that price, you can probably afford to get a notebook along with it.

Merion Art & Repro Center

17 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Despite its dainty title, Princess Nails is open for men and women alike. It’s extremely affordable compared to most spas in the area, but it’s also one of the best. Of course, it does manicures and pedicures, but it also specializes in massages. If you think your significant other needs to take a day to relax, the perfect gift would be to buy them a massage at the spa. You won’t have to pay a ton of money, either. The 30-minute massage will be more in your price range. The different types of massages include Swedish, deep tissue and heated stone, or a combination of different types.

Princess Nails

20 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

Nothing can bring a couple closer than a little bit of exercise. If you both like working out, this could be a great way to share a fun experience with your partner. And if you both hate exercise, it’ll be great to bond over something challenging. At Focus Fitness of the Main Line, you and your partner can partake in a relaxing yoga class that won’t break the bank. Its Main Line location is easy to access and provides multiple yoga styles. And, with its student discounts, one yoga class for you and your partner will only run $24.

Focus Fitness of the Main Line

1111 E. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Saying “I love you” says it all. Whether it’s on exquisite letterhead or a custom designed card, Pen & Paper has everything you need to write a long, flowing romantic letter, or a quick note of affection. Cards, invitations, stationary and even fancy pens are all on display. Pen & Paper’s selection ranges from artsy to chic. The staff is small but very knowledgeable, allowing them to provide amazing service to get the right piece of paper for you. This holiday season, let your feelings flow on perfectly designed paper for your sweetie!

Pen & Paper

28 N. Bryn Mawr Ave.

$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend love coffee? Chestnut Hill Coffee Company is the answer to your gift-giving needs. This store sells in-house roasted coffee packets, as well as dessert treats, like cookies and pastries. A package of coffee and a giant chocolate chip cookie is very inexpensive, but it could make a perfect holiday gift. It’s a good alternative to the typical coffee chain, and it tastes delicious—especially the espresso. Whether you’ve been dating this person for years or weeks, you can find something appropriate. Warm up your significant other during the winter holidays with coffee and treats from Chestnut Hill Coffee Company!

Chestnut Hill Coffee Company

8620 Germantown Ave.

$$

Looking for a unique gift for your significant other this holiday season? Artisans on the Avenue could be the one for you. This store is known for its handmade clothes, gifts and accessories. Get your special someone one of the many scarves and gloves this store sells to get ready for the cold months. Although there are items for women, this store has a men’s department that sells some pretty cool stuff, like button-up shirts and winter hats. It’s a good alternative to shopping at a huge department store like Macy’s, while paying half the price. Since the clothes are handmade, they make for unique gifts that will show your boyfriend or girlfriend that you looked outside the box when buying their present.

Artisans on the Avenue

8440 Germantown Ave.

$$

Chinatown

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend love to cook? If they do, lucky you! Surprisingly, Wayne Kee Hardware has tons of cooking supplies alongside its typical hardware selection. Among them are bamboo Asian steamers. Your significant other would be psyched to receive a new toy for the kitchen. With the steamer, you can cook things like vegetables, meat and fish. You could even use the steamer to make rice—perfect for sushi. Making sushi is a really fun experience—if you’ve never done it before, suggest that you make a date of it!

Wayne Kee Hardware

936 Arch St.

$

For the art-loving couple, a visit to Space 1026 would be the perfect gift for your other half. Plus, it participates in First Friday. Be prepared to witness some crazy art, which can definitely be a fun experience. You never really know what you’ll get when you walk upstairs. Sometimes this spot hosts performances, but sometimes you just might browse screen prints and drawings. On December 10th, there’s an art auction taking place there. Maybe that would be a good opportunity to pick up a surprise gift for your loved one!

Space 1026

1026 Arch St. (upstairs)

$$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

A couple can truly bond over a shared learning experience. One interesting thing to learn is the fine art of glassblowing. Glassblowing is fun and physically active, and let’s face it: there are few romantic activities that involve molten glass and fire. Philadelphia Glass Works can make a “hot” date night with private, affordable glassblowing lessons that teach the basics of glassblowing. You and your special someone will both leave with a unique glass memento that you’ll both treasure together.

Philadelphia Glass Works

908A N. 3rd St.

$$

Old City

This holiday season, surprise your sweetie with a beautiful floral arrangement from Seasons Flowers. Seasonal winter bouquets are available for as low as $35, including red tulips and white poinsettias. Buy a cheerful wreath, tree or centerpiece for festive holiday decorating. With specific Christmas and Hanukkah floral options, you’ll find something beautiful to complement your special someone’s favorite holiday. And, of course, if your sugar likes sweets, check out this shop’s fruit and candy baskets. And the best part? You can have this special present hand-delivered to your special someone’s doorstep. What a fantastic way to show how much you care!

Seasons Flowers

211 Arch St.

$$$

South Street

Sometimes a picture says 1,000 words. If you’re looking for a gift for a special someone, Millennium Art Gallery could be the perfect spot. This store is filled with prints and posters from many different genres. If your significant other is a Philly sports fan, you could get them a print of Love Park or a poster of the 2008 Phillies World Series victory. The prints can be bought with or without a frame, though the ones with frames normally cost more than without. A print of your significant other’s favorite city, band or sports team could be a perfect gift this holiday season.

Millennium Art Gallery

217 South St.

$$

Is your significant other stressed with the rigors of schoolwork? Why not give them a gift that can help them relax? Equilibrium Pilates offers sessions that can help your special someone relax in time for finals. Even if they haven’t done Pilates before, it’s not a problem: the instructors will teach you based on your experience level. The studio offers three “Beginners Workshops,” in which each session costs $25 a piece for six consecutive weeks. This is a relatively good price, considering that some Pilates classes can cost into the hundreds of dollars. Since Pilates and yoga are growing trends, this could be a very cool gift. Pilates could also be used as bonding time between the two of you, so it works in more ways than one. Give your significant other the gift of relaxation this holiday.

Equilibrium Pilates

604 S. 2nd St.

$$$

Christmas Village

It’s the little things your partner will find truly romantic. At Christmas Village, you could buy your significant other scarves or figurines, but will that really make their holiday season shine? Instead, why don’t you head to the village together, grab some hot chocolate (it’ll be chilly!) and a cookie, and head over to Love Park. It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from the village. Take some pictures while you’re there. This is something you’ll both want to remember for a long time.

Have any comments regarding our 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide? Feel free to drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

Family First: A Shopping Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s easy to rely on chain stores. But, don’t you want to add some originality to your gifts this year?

With Campus Philly’s 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide, we’ll direct you to the best locations to find presents for the most important people in your life. And, since we’ve scouted local shops for you, you’ll be supporting Philly businesses, saving money and giving unique gifts this holiday season. What more could you ask for?

Here are our top favorite shops to buy holiday gifts this year, for neighborhoods in and around Philly.

Note: Use the following keys to determine the general price range of each shop:

$ – Under $10

$$ – Under $30

$$$ – Splurge

Ardmore/Narberth

If you have an aunt or uncle who’s into extreme sports, try Aqua Hut Dive & Travel for their holiday gift. This store has a ton of scuba diving equipment—not to mention scuba diving lessons. As you may not be able to afford to buy your scuba-diving family member anything too pricy, it offers an assortment of items that are under $25. You can choose from a spare parts kit or a first aid kit (just in case something unfavorable happens while they’re diving), travel books, gloves, socks or hats to keep their extremities warm. You can even get them a scuba diving-themed license plate frame for their car. It’s a scuba diver’s paradise in there.

Aqua Hut: Dive and Travel Services

51 Rittenhouse Place

$$$

If one of your family members just had a baby, you might be thinking about getting a little (literally) something for them. If you’ve never shopped for anyone less than one year old before, an easy option for a baby is to get them a soft blanket. At Nurture, blankets are reasonably priced, and it has many different types. If you want to get cute about it, there are little animal-themed blankets for only $13.99 each. You can pick from 16 different animals, including giraffes, cows, monkeys, dogs and raccoons, and the blanket has a stuffed-animal head attached to it. It has tons of other adorable stuff too, like cute little socks, personalized t-shirts and toys for various age groups. It also has a funky selection of rubber-duckies.

Nurture

19 W. Lancaster Ave.

$$

Bryn Mawr/Haverford

If a certain family member likes to take the weekend to go fly fishing at their cabin in the Poconos, maybe giving them some new fishing equipment would float their boat (pun totally intended). TCO Fly Shop has tons of fishing rods, reels, lines and other gifts that would fill out any serious fisherman’s (or fisherwoman’s) collection. If you don’t know the first thing about fishing, its friendly staff can help you pick something good, or you can pick up a TCO Gift Card and let your outdoor-lovin’ family member round out their own collection.

TCO Fly Fishing

895 Penn St.

$$$

Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy

Looking for a unique gift for a family member this holiday season? Windfall Gallery will help you out. Not only are a wide variety of items for sale here—everything in this store is handmade. While it sells colorful earrings and bracelets, as well as holiday ornaments, this store also sells garden art, like gnomes and other statues. Windfall also offers unique pieces of folk art that would look great in a relative’s house, like iron wall hangings with interesting designs. It also has books and journals for sale, so if your relative is into writing, you can purchase them a handmade book to write in. There are many interesting things in this store, so no matter what your family member likes, there’s something for everyone.

Windfall Gallery

7944 Germantown Ave.

$$

The Philadelphia Print Shop sells historical prints that could serve as a great gift for your history-buff relative. This store is filled with old books, maps and prints that can bring your family back to the old days. Maybe they’ll enjoy a print for their wall, or a map for their study. Some of them don’t come cheap, but smaller-sized prints are generally cheaper. There are also portraits of important people from the past, so if your relative has a favorite historical figure, like Abraham Lincoln or Napoleon Bonaparte, you could probably find a print of that person. Give your relative a gift that’ll go down in history this holiday season.

The Philadelphia Print Shop

8441 Germantown Ave.

$$

Chinatown

If you’ll be attending a holiday party sometime this winter, you’ll probably feel the need to bring a food item or two. This is a great opportunity to give food as a gift to some of your family members. Chinese pastries are especially delicious, and those from K.C.’s Pastries seem to be a favorite in Chinatown. If you pick something out to bring to the holiday dinner table, your family will like the change in typical desert foods. One uniquely delicious option is pineapple buns. They are round and baked to resemble the outer pattern of a pineapple. The outside is crunchy and is reminiscent of a sugar cookie, but the inside bread is soft and sweet. This pastry actually doesn’t contain any pineapple, so it could turn into quite a conversation piece. You can’t really go wrong with sweets during the holidays!

K.C.’s Pastries

109 N. 10th St.

$

Nothing says I love you like acupuncture. If you have a mom or dad who is in need of some healing, why not take them for some acupuncture? If they aren’t crazy about the needle idea, Long Life Chinese Herbs Inc. also specializes in herbal remedies, complete with a variety of natural teas and ginseng. An assortment of natural Chinese tea would make a perfect gift for the holidays; it’ll keep your parent healthy and warm, and it will give them something to enjoy throughout the winter.

Long Life Chinese Herbs, Inc.

1011 Arch St.

$

Northern Liberties/Fishtown

For that family member who loves fancy soaps and smelly things, you’ve gotten used to picking out gifts from Bath & Body Works. This holiday season, try something different for a change: all-natural, cold-processed soaps from Beekman’s COPA Soaps, made from coconut, olive, palm and almond. The soaps themselves are unique and homemade, and they come in different scents, like honey oatmeal and mango. Each bar falls in the $4-5 range, and a 2-pound sampler basket is $25. Its showroom in Fishtown has erratic hours, so call ahead if you want to pick up something fantastically smelly as a gift.

Beekman’s COPA Soaps

438 E. Girard Ave.

$$

If you’re lucky, your family is filled with culinary geniuses. Whether they’re slinging steaks on the grill, whipping up tasty stews or la
ying spices on veggies, they undoubtedly need the best ingredients to make their great food absolutely fantastic. Stop by Almanac Market in Northern Liberties for the perfect holiday gift. This gourmet boutique specializes in tasty treats for the discerning chef. One of Almanac’s signature hallmarks is its selection of artisan cheeses. From creamy buttermilk cheeses to sharp parmigiano, these cheese logs will give your family new tricks in the kitchen without breaking the bank.

Almanac Market

900 N. 4th St.

$$

Old City

Sometimes the best presents are experiences. Give your family the experience of Philly theater, then, by surprising them with tickets to a show at Arden Theatre Company! Throughout December, “The Borrowers,” a family-friendly production, will be featured. This show follows a small girl’s journey…living in a dollhouse! For something more adult-oriented, Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten” will be performed throughout January and February. Tickets range from only $16 to $48, depending on age. You could even purchase tickets to a Family Fun Day, giving your family the opportunity to tour backstage. This would be an experience your family would never forget!

Arden Theatre Company

40 N. 2nd St.

$$$

South Street

If your relative is old school, why not give them a hat as a holiday gift? Sports, Caps & Hats is a hat goldmine! Whether your dad or grandpa rocks a fedora, or your sister or mom wears baseball caps, this store has something for everyone. These come in many different colors and fabrics, so no matter what your relative’s style, there’s a hat especially for them. Pick out something new and happening for your family member. If your relative is into sports, this store has a select amount of professional team caps. Although some of them can be expensive, there are some nice ones that are not too pricy. Family members can be hard to shop for, but Sports, Caps, & Hats makes it easy to get a great gift!

Sports, Caps & Hats

524 South St.

$$$

Struggling to find the right gift for a family member? Eyes Gallery may be a good place to look. This store is owned by Julia Zagar, the wife of Isaiah Zagar, owner of Magic Gardens. This place is packed with items to buy; there are even items lining the walls! With a decent amount of affordable antique and handmade jewelry, you could pick out a great gift for a relative. Being a gallery, this store also sells artwork. The art is quite cool, so that may be something to consider for a gift. Also, its items are mostly handcrafted, making it an interesting conversation piece when having company over. A gift from this store would be seen as thoughtful, and it won’t hurt your wallet. Think of this place as a diamond in the rough.

Eyes Gallery

402 South St.

$$

Christmas Village

Does your family absolutely love the fact that you go to school in Philly? Why not get them something Philly-oriented that reminds them of you while you’re away at school? There’s a stand at the Christmas Village that prints Philly-related patterns on to canvas bags. These bags are not expensive, and there are a few different Philly patterns to choose from. They’re not cheesy, tourist bags, so your family member will feel pretty hip carrying one around town. It also sells a lot of Philly sports memorabilia, along with holiday ornaments. Give your family Philly-pride this holiday season!

Have any comments regarding our 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide? Feel free to drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cute Lil' Bookstores

As a lover and owner of an Amazon Kindle, still nothing compares to the old book smell.

There are tons of little books stores scattered about the city. They may not have as many books as Borders or Barnes and Noble, and they usually don’t have the newest, best-selling books readily available. But, for readers out there who are always on the prowl for unique finds, look no further than that cute little bookstore on the corner.

There are so many benefits to shopping at non-chain bookstores. Coming across one accidentally can be an exciting experience. Since they’re literally all over the city, this could happen to you. If you’re on your way to Rittenhouse Square, for instance, you might run into Whodunit?, located on 19th and Chestnut. The owner of this store is usually seated at his wooden table at the entrance, and he’ll answer any questions you have about books, will make recommendations and will help you find what you’re looking for. The store is organized by genre, and then alphabetically by author. So, if you’re looking for another Hemingway novel to add to your collection, head on over to the literature section, and look under H. There, you might fall in love with a unique copy of The Sun Also Rises. Or, you might find that John Dos Passos book to complete your USA Trilogy. Another benefit: Since the books are used, they’re normally older, less common copies. For serious book lovers, this could add more character and personal value to the book.

Also, used means less expensive. Mostly Books, located at 5th and Bainbridge (easily reachable if you’re hangin’ out on South Street), has a rather impressive quantity of books. The store owners estimate they have near 100,000! If the number of books doesn’t astound you, you’ll be glad to hear most of these books cost around $5. It also has a 3/$1 section