Explore Chicago’s Guide to Last Minute Gift-Buying

Find the perfect last minute gift in Chicago!

There’s nothing like the thrill of a deadline to really inspire you, and this holiday season, whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts, your time is almost up. There are many local shopping options right around the corner, so you won’t have to travel far and wide to get that list crossed off.

For the ladies: Why not pamper her this winter with imported bath oils from Kniepp, a new perfume from L’Aromatheque, or maybe a luxurious treatment from I-Coloniali from Merz Apothecary. Around since 1875, this apothecary’s original location is stacked floor-to-ceiling with every medicine, scent and homeopathic brand you can think of, still embracing its essence from 100 years ago. Their Lincoln Square shop is open late until 8pm on Thursdays through Christmas (their Loop location is always open until 8pm) and they can wrap your item in a gift box for a small fee. (4716 N. Lincoln Ave, Lincoln Square or in the Loop, downtown, inside the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St.)

For the gentlemen: Make him feel like a new man in some fine accessories from Shrine. True to its name, this retailer is a treasure trove for men’s accessories. “Committed to making the world’s finest and most obscure artisan-crafted men’s accessories available to all,” Shrine’s products are entirely handmade, from cufflinks and neckties to headwear and more. Save yourself time and have your store purchases wrapped in special “Shrine” gift wrap. (47 E. Oak St, Gold Coast)

For the kids (of all ages): Don’t worry about getting batteries for any of the games available at Cat and Mouse Game Store. Cat and Mouse has over 600 non-electronic games in stock, including classic board games, brainteasers, card games and puzzles for children and adults alike. They’re currently open on Mondays especially for the holidays and offer free gift wrapping. Holiday hours are: Mon. and Wed.-Sat. 10am-8pm, Tues. 10am-10pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. (2212 W. Armitage Ave, Bucktown)

For the budding art enthusiast: Help your loved ones explore their creative sides through photography, jewelry, or art classes at the Lillstreet Art Center (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave, Ravenswood)Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell Ave, Kenwood), or Little Black Pearl (1060 E. 47th St, Kenwood). The Chicago Park District also has a wide range of visual arts and creative writing classes to choose from. Check out hands-on art instruction with a BYOB component at Bottle & Bottega (2900 N. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview) or choose from a variety of workshops on traditional glassblowing techniques at Chicago Hot Glass (1250 N. Central Park Ave, Humboldt Park).

For the speedy reader: Spend a little time in the aisles at 57th Street Books and you’ll be rewarded. A Michelle Obama favorite, this 26-year-old bookstore, part of the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Inc., is a visually colorful nook with endless stacks and a vast collection of children’s books and cook books. They’re open from 10am-8pm, seven days a week (9am-5pm on Christmas Eve) and do offer complimentary gift wrapping services. (1301 E. 57th St, Hyde Park)

For the home cook: Delight the food-lover on your holiday list with a customized gift basket of Chicago food treats from Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand (66 E. Randolph St, Loop). Choose from local cookbooks, artisanal crackers, cookies, Roof-top Honey, neighborhood-inspired seasoning blends, and more. They’ll turn your selection into a beautiful arrangement.

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