Whether you’ve got an exceedingly long gift list, or you’re tightening the purse strings this holiday season, or if you’re just plain cheap… Milwaukee has plenty of great options for the gift-giver on a budget. Here are nine fun, low-cost gift ideas with a local focus.
$25 and under
For the person on your list who wants to be a tourist in their own town, check out this set of pocket-sized, self-guided walking tours. The set includes ten different tours as well as eight highlights of Milwaukee’s Downtown skyline. The cards are handsomely illustrated and feature easy-to-follow maps.
Give someone the gift of wheels with a 30-day pass that allows for unlimited 60-minute Bublr Bike rides. It’s a great way to see the city, especially once the snow melts. For an extra five dollars, you can add a Bublr key fob that gets you in and out at the bike dock with ease.
For the head-nodder in your life, get a membership to the Bobblehead Hall of Fame, soon to open on South First Street. Membership grants free admission to the Hall for its first year of operation, voting rights for the annual Hall of Fame ballot, a custom membership card and more.
$10 and under
Got a name on your list who wants to show off their local pride? Check out Too Much Metal and their line of 414-branded gear, which features the Milwaukee area code in the classic address tile font. For less than ten bucks, you can pick up some stickers, patches or even a wooden Christmas ornament or a pint glass.
For someone who likes a touch of kitsch, check out these fun items featuring some playful lakefront artwork from HanMade Milwaukee. Pick up a small frameable print, a set of drink coasters or a find-and-count paper map.
$5 and under
For the friend who wants to keep their hand warm and their beer cold, pick up one of these great local-themed beer coozies. These pay tribute to everything from the origins of the word Milwaukee (“The Good Land”) to our more, um, infamous residents (“Wisconsin: Home of Cannibal Killers and Happy Days!”).
Memberships with 88.9 Radio Milwaukee start as low as just $5 a month. Make a donation in someone’s name and help to support great local radio.
Take a pal out to the lakefront this New Year’s Day for the always fun and always free Cool Fool Kite Festival presented by the Gift of Wings kite shop in Veterans’ Park. An annual alternative to the Bradford Beach polar bear plunge, the fest is a great idea for those who want to do something unique, but a little less than crazy.
For the reader in your life who appreciates a good deal, grab a used book from one of the city’s many Little Free Libraries. You’ll find a decent variety of fiction and nonfiction, and browsing these libraries is a whale of a lot less stressful than maneuvering through the mall during the holiday season.