The holiday shopping season is well underway and now is the perfect time to think LOCAL as we all wrap up our purchases and get ready to exchange gifts in the coming weeks. There are so many benefits to shopping local but top on the list is that it’s an easy way to give back and contribute to the businesses that make our community so unique. Not only that, but it’s a thoughtful way to choose a gift for loved ones that is especially picked just for them. The best moment is when you see a person’s face light up with glee from opening a gift they didn’t anticipate receiving.

There are so many lasting benefits to shopping local and supporting local business owners and entrepreneurs in the Rockford region. We have creative people in our community who have made their dreams a reality and at the root of those dreams are all of us. That’s right, see, they are committed to providing quality goods and services to none other than … you and me. So, this year as we organize our Christmas shopping lists let’s consider shopping local as much as we can. Here is a local gift guide to use or inspire you as you find your own unique and customized gifts this holiday season. 

Family-fun Admission Passes and Memberships: We have renowned museums, sites and attractions that are perfect for families to explore together. Consider surprising kiddos this year with a fun experiential gift that keeps giving all year long. Places like Discovery Center Museum provide a way to learn and have fun while doing it.
Photo Credit: Discovery Center Museum 

Discovery Center

Trendsetters will love the variety of boutiques and shops in our community. B Jones at Edgebrook, for example, has an assortment of apparel and accessory items that are fun, classy, trendy and everything in between. Consider shopping around in-person or online at the various shops throughout the region. 
Photo Credit: Bjones

B Jones

For the runner in your life consider getting a gift card to a place like Runner’s Image where they can have a customized consultation and shoe size fitting experience. Then, they’ll be ready to pick out their very own pair to get them training for the upcoming spring season. 
Photo Credit: Runner’s Image

Runners Image

Rocktown Adventures is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts. They have everything one might need to take advantage of the outdoors in the Midwest all year long. They sell everything from kayaks to snow shoes. Gifts that you can “break in” on the waters or trails, paths and preserves in the Rockford region. 
Photo Credit: Rocktown Adventures

Rocktown Adventures

Everyone loves to eat good food…Amirite? When in doubt about what to get someone, a gift card to a local restaurant is always the right choice. Especially if it’s a place like Aero Ale House where you’re guaranteed delicious menu items, fantastic customer service and fun ambiance. 
Photo Credit: Aero Ale House

Aero Ale House

Culture Shock is a Winnebago Buy Local business that’s fun to shop for literally anyone! They have so many cool gift ideas that will definitely inspire you from records to sock monkeys, bow ties, coffee tumblers and the list really does go on. They pride themselves on being very community-focused and work with several other local businesses to add even more to their already vast selection of goodies. 
Photo Credit: Culture Shock

Culture Shock

Sugar Britches in Rockton will satisfy your sweet tooth and everyone else’s too. They have a large assortment of old-fashioned candies and they also learned how to make their own chocolates, caramels, toffee, brittle, marshmallows, turtles and fudge. Yum, yum and more YUM! These are perfect gifts for stocking stuffers or to take along to holiday and New Year’s dinner parties. 
Photo Credit: Sugar Britches

Sugar Britches

P.S. Remember to treat yourself to something extra special this holiday season too. You deserve it!

For more ways to shop in the Rockford region visit: