Your Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide

What to get everyone on your list, from Milwaukee-area makers and stores

SO YOU’VE MADE YOUR LIST and checked it twice. And you’ve even remembered that shopping local is always nice. Now you just have to decide what you’ll actually be buying your nearest and dearest. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas, and organized them by price.


$20 Brewers Joe Journeyman Puzzle


Putting together a puzzle can be a great way to while away a snowy winter weekend. And we love the look of this 500-piece design, which depicts Miller Park chock-full of cheerful fans. We’d give it to a baseball lover who’d appreciate a memento of the soon-to-be-renamed stadium. 

$20 Face Mask


Did you know that the Milwaukee Art Museum now sells face masks? Some of our favorites feature bold, graphic designs from artists like Milwaukee’s own Reginald Baylor and the late Andy Warhol, both of whom are represented in the MAM’s permanent collection.

$22 Crate Club


Introduce a beer-loving friend to a gift that’ll keep giving: the Milwaukee Brewing Company’s Crate Club. It costs only $5 to sign up and receive a reusable plastic crate, and you can fill that crate with 20 mix-and-match bottles for $17. And your friend can keep bringing it to the brewery month after month for regular refills.

$19 Milwaukee Magazine Subscription


Our annual holiday sale is happening now! You can get a FREE YEAR of Milwaukee Magazine when you buy a year. This offer is good on gift subscriptions too – so get one for the whole family!


$25+ Gift Certificate


While gift cards are nearly always appreciated, they can also seem a bit impersonal when they’re purchased from the same big box stores that everyone shops at. So shake things up a little, by gifting friends and relatives cards from local institutions that you know they love to frequent. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, for instance, offers gift certificates that can be put toward upcoming shows, in denominations as low as $25.

$30 Fab Flight


In 2016, entrepreneur Katelyn Carlisle started selling “saving passports” – cute coupon books that can be stamped like passports – around town to encourage Milwaukeeans to shop local. We love the lineup she and her team have created for their beauty and fitness-themed passport, the Fab Flight. It contains vouchers to nearly 30 spas, gyms and salons (like a free brow wax and tint from Arch Apothecary), and would be a great gift for anyone in need of a little R&R.


$58+ Decorated Custom Cookies


Have you ever met anyone who didn’t like cookies? No? Then consider these artistically decorated sugar cookies – which come in 12-cookie sets featuring 3-4 distinct but complementary styles – a surefire holiday hit. You can also work with the owner of the bakery to customize the colors and styles included in your set.

$65 Rope Belt


Simple? Yes. Boring? Never. This lightweight leather belt, which features copper-bound tassels on both ends, is as bold as it is easy to wear. It also comes in four different colors and can be adjusted to fit any size. 



$84+ Couples Night Out


Change up your evening routine by purchasing a couple’s class from this West Allis pottery studio. Over the course of two and a half hours, you and your special someone will learn how to shape vessels on a wheel, and you’ll be able to glaze them too – as long as you don’t waste too much time trying to reenact that steamy pottery scene from Ghost.

$100+ Wine Subscription


The popular wine subscription service Bright Cellars is based right here in Milwaukee. If you opt for one of its gift packages (prices start at $100 for six bottles), you can customize it to your recipient’s tastes. Or encourage them to expand their palate a bit, by choosing to purchase well-reviewed mystery bottles. 

$149 The Pfister


You know what never goes out of style? A perfectly supple, handmade pair of leather boots. This rugged, lace-up style with a welted rubber outsole just happens to be named after a legendary Milwaukeean who made a fortune in the tanning industry. How fitting!



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.