The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to give all of the special people in your life. Don’t know where to look? We have you covered with our 2023 Syracuse Holiday Gift Guide. This year, shop something unique and shop local for all of your loved ones.
For the Trend Setters
To find that one-of-a-kind gift for the person who has everything, visit one of the area’s many boutiques. Skaneateles, NY is loaded with both quaint and chic shops selling everything from Christmas décor to women's clothing, leather goods, wine, Finger Lakes gifting finds, candles, jewelry and anything else you can think of for those hard-to-buy-for friends on your list. Peep The Wandering Kind boutique for gorgeous womenswear, men's clothing, jewelry and other perfectly picked boutique items. And who says you have to be a certain age to be a trendsetter? Swing into Pride + Joy for Skan-centric baby clothes and unique items that are just as cute as the kiddos you're buying for. Downtown Syracuse offers a bunch of different shopping options, including Floridella Boutique and La Veranda Lifestyle Boutique, both featuring exclusive women’s clothing with colorful dresses, evening and formalwear, leisure and more. Know a guy looking to update their look? Head to Projex 214 or Mr. Shop, both upscale menswear stores offering fitted denim, sport coats, custom suits, even custom tailoring. Hundreds of other boutiques can be found throughout Onondaga County, including well-known upscale women’s clothing shops such as Jet Black and Apricot Lane in Fayetteville, Boutique Joycé in Manlius and the newer Salt Point Shop, also in Fayetteville and featuring a wide variety of home décor, apparel and fun Upstate New York flair.
For the Crafty One
We all have that one friend or family member who possesses the seemingly effortless skill to make something out of nothing, or one who just loves to tackle the job themselves. So why not lean into their crafty side this holiday season with a gift that’s as distinct as they are. Head to the new Camp Candle Bar in Armory Square for a DIY candle experience. Create your own custom fragrance candle to gift, experience candle making together or opt for a gift card so they can experiment in their own time! Head to historic Tipperary Hill to visit BeeKind Syracuse where you can peruse gifts that are crafty and so Syracuse, they even sell hand-poured custom candles. And if you know exactly what your crafty friends love but feel like giving them the freedom to do with their gifts whatever they wish, swing by The Station 603 in Manlius where you’ll find home décor, pots, vases and urns, houseplants, kitchenware, specialty foods, wall art, giftware, accessories, and anything else you can think of.
For the Art Lover
Mixed Methods is a gem for the art obsessed — a cross between gift shop and art gallery, shoppers can find striking ceramics, pottery, glass, woodwork, stationary, jewelry and dozens of other upscale crafts, all made by artists across the United States. In the heart of Downtown Syracuse, stop into Wildflowers Armory for art prints, candles, jewelry, knick knacks, apparel and more – all brought to you by artists that reside within the community. Find quirky, retro fun stuff at Marketplace on James in Eastwood — this little shop houses one-of-a-kind vintage items, handmade, hand-picked and even hand=painted goodies that add a little something special for the special ones in your life.
For the Foodie
The CNY Welcome Center located in Destiny USA sells a variety of locally-made artisanal snacks, candies, sauces and seasonings. These make the perfect gift for someone who loves Syracuse and wants to be reminded of the Salt City all year long. Stop into Epicuse on historic Salina Street Downtown to scope out their assortment of foodie fixings sets and incredible themed gift baskets including ones that give the gift of tasting Syracuse and New York State, or hand-picked assortments to please coffee lovers, chocolate lovers, cookie lovers, wine lovers and lovers of everything else in between! For the craft beer connoisseur, pick up some goods at one of our Sip On Syracuse beverage trail stops. Or give the gift of a quaint dinner for two or for the entire extended family — check out all of our extraordinary restaurants in Syracuse to help make your decision just a little easier.
For the Music Junkie
Everyone loves the sounds of music around the holidays, but for the serious audiophiles in your life, give them the gift of music all year long. Syracuse is known for some long-running underground music outlets such as The Sound Garden in Armory Square, which sells eclectic vinyl, CDs, and other music merchandise throughout the decades. Bonus: they have a killer DVD and Blu-Ray section, perfect for filling up those stockings. Books & Melodies on James Street in the Eastwood neighborhood is another hidden gem with not only a massive collection of hard-to-find vintage records and music collections, but books, movies and more. Fun fact: filmed in Syracuse, the movie Adult World, starring Emma Roberts and John Cusack, features scenes from within this shop. Prefer to piggyback onto their gift and share a musical experience together? Stay up to date with concerts and musicals throughout the year at venues including the Empower Federal Credit Union Amphitheater at Lakeview, The Landmark Theatre, Sharkey’s in Liverpool, or The Westcott Theater.
For the Kids
“But the children love the books.”- ELF. So why not take them to Parthenon Books, a charming and new independent bookstore in Downtown Syracuse. Let them choose their next favorite story or give them one of your favorite reads. If you’re looking to keep your little ones entertained over winter break, then gift them with a family-fun experience with tickets to the MOST or Rosamond Gifford Zoo, or even a ticket to one of the many magical Christmas or winter events at The Oncenter complex throughout the season (did somebody say Snow White, Champions of Magic or Disney On Ice?). Another fun way to share tons of quality time with the kids is by checking out Destiny USA. Team up with your significant other or a group of friends, and while some of you do your shopping, the rest of you can take the kids to Billy Beez, Apex Entertainment, Get Air, Museum of Intrigue or one of the many other places Destiny has to offer.
For the Pet Lover
Remember that the holidays are also a time to cherish and spoil our four-legged family members. Make sure your good boy or girl is on your list this year. Check out Mother Nature Pet Supply in Manlius for a massive selection of treats and toys they’ll love. Or perhaps a trip to run and play with other four-legged friends at the Wegmans Good Dog Park is your pooch’s idea of the perfect gift. Afterwards, swing over to The Lucky Pupp in Liverpool or Happy Tails Dog Shop in Dewitt for some unique pet items and fun treats.
Looking for your new best friend? Then perhaps the best gift you can give this season is the gift of a forever home. Check out Helping Hounds to find rescues who are in need of a loving family this holiday season.