The holidays will be a bit different this year, and many of us will be celebrating without the people and traditions that usually mark the season.
The good news: Gift-giving is a tradition that can easily overcome the distance between us and our loved ones. And it’s a great way to support your favorite local makers and small businesses.
Read on for 51 (and counting) of our favorite local gift ideas in our comprehensive 2020 Orlando Gift Guide.
We’re starting with everyone’s most favorite topic: food.
For all the foodies who know staying home is no reason not to eat well
🍊 Give the gift that keeps on giving: Support local farmers and sign up for a CSA box, or in other words, have your produce delivered straight to your home. Now that’s what we call farm-to-table.
🍳 Help your friends level up: Try a cooking session with local chef Lynn of Orlando Cooking Classes or the husband-wife duo behind Butcher and Baker.
🍞 Bread baking got really trendy since the start of the pandemic. And we’re all for it, but if you’d rather limit your gift recipient’s time spent in the kitchen, Nomad Bakehouse delivers the goods when it comes to a nice, organic loaf.
🍪 For your sweet tooth: Reader Betsy J. said George’s Gourmet restaurant in Winter Park makes the best cookies ever. We’re adding to the list: sour orange pie from Hungry Pants, coffee crumb cake from Foodies Cafe, pecan pie from Sister Honey’s, cookies from Gideon’s Bakehouse, anything from Light on the Sugar, and macaroons from Whisk and Sugar.
For the Orlandoan who wears their city pride on their sleeve
📸 Get that special someone a gift that’s worth more than a thousand words: A Steven Madow print of their favorite Orlando landmark. And be sure to use code PULPTOWN for 15% off.
🕯️ Give the gift of some City Beautiful snark and purchase a Swan City original poster, a Christmas in Orlando limited edition candle or an I-4 eyesore tee. (While you’re at it, peep their new swan ornaments!)
⚽️ Speaking of city pride, shop the Orlando City and Orlando Pride online merch store for new gear proclaiming that you put on for your city.
🏀 Or maybe you have a die-hard Orlando Magic fan in your life, here’s proof that the new city edition jerseys are a good look.
For the artists, makers, and creatives in all of us
🎀 Grab a DIY kit from Macrame Momma and make your own macrame candy cane or Christmas tree.
💐 Give the gift of a virtual floral design workshop courtesy of InBloom Florist. The lucky recipient will learn how to make a winter-themed centerpiece just in time for the holidays.
🥣 Support local maker Alyssa Makes Something by purchasing one of her many hand-lettered or wood-burned gift ideas. Hopefully one day soon, she can bring back her awesome workshops.
🎭 Sign ‘em up for an improv class at Sak Comedy Lab and tap into their funny bone.
For the person whose woes are only cured through retail therapy
😻 Have you seen the new Hellcats store? All we can say is meeeee-wow! The aesthetic is dark and moody but boy, is it equal parts oh-so-delightful.
👖 The House on Lang is new on the fashion scene here in Orlando, but we’re loving its selection of vintage tees, leather jackets, and fun fringe.
👢Etoile Boutique is our longtime go-to stop for something funky, eclectic, and previously-worn. (Double whammy, they’re venturing into more vintage furniture too.)
👗 The coordinating pants suits from Wynn Styles, a local Black-owned boutique in Apopka, has us wanting to twin with our bestie.
👘 Retromended’s monthly subscription service, The Wardrobe Society, will keep someone dressed to the nines while turning heads… on Zoom.
For the bibliophile and melophile in your life
📚 Did you know your local library has a used book shop? Why give your money to Jeff Bezos when we have libraries, Writer’s Block Bookstore, and Spiral Circle Bookstore at our disposal?
📚 Buy a book from a local author. For history buffs, try Rick Kilby’s “Florida’s Healing Waters”. For book club, try Kristen Harmel’s “The Book of Last Names”. For something suspenseful, try David James Poissant’s “Lake Life”. For an Orlando-themed read, get your hands on Nathan Holic’s “Bright Light, Medium-Sized City”.
📚 Support Burrow Press, Orlando’s longtime local independent publishing company, with a paid subscription.
🎶 If you haven’t been to Bynx, the new coffee shop/record store/bookstore in the 420 building in Thornton Park, don’t walk, run. It boasts rare, one-of-a-kind books and records that will have you in your giftee’s good graces forever.
🎶 For new and used vinyl and all sorts of different audio formats, check out the music-lovers’ longtime, go-to stop, Park Ave CDs.
For the folx in need of some rest and relaxation (hey, that’s everybody this year!)
☀️ Our 10-year-old buddy Michael P. launched his own bath-bomb-making company this year called Sunshine State Minerals. As long as we’re being honest, we’re big fans of the Sunshine State Box.
🖍 Color your stress away with this Orlando-themed coloring book from @HelenHenneyDesign.
🛁 The girls from Naked Bar Soap Co. grace this list yearly, because who doesn’t love toxic-free body scrubs, bath bombs, and soaps?
🌸 Relax and reset with this gift box from Janet’s Dry Humor. The floral company partnered with Wool & Indigo — a woman-owned business specializing in sustainable decor, candles, and soap — to pair its dried flowers with W&I’s sustainable goods.
♻️ And speaking of sustainable, shop Zero. an online shop that specializes in vegan, plastic-free and zero-waste gifts like reusable grocery bags, bamboo toothbrushes, and vegan hand-made soaps.
For the winos and beer aficionados
🍷 Get in the holiday spirit with this Christmas-spiced wine from Brix & Mortar Urban Winery, or find other unique wines at Tim’s Wine Market, Swirlery, Digress, Eola General, and Quantum Leap Winery.
🥛 Get cozy with a bottle of delicious, homemade, traditional Puerto Rican Coquito by Rodriguez.
🥃 Or snag a couple of these infusion flasks from Curious Botanicals at Maffrey’s, our new favorite shop in Ivanhoe Village.
🍻 Grab a sixer (or a crate) from one of our many local breweries or package stores. There are too many to list here, but a few suggestions to get you started: Whippoorwill, Sideward Brewing, Orlando Brewing, Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co., or Persimmon Hollow.
🥃 And you’ll need something to drink the wine and cocktails out of. Try this new insulated cup from Corkcicle in collaboration with Rifle Paper Co.
For our coffee and tea connoisseurs
☕️ Get your coffee-loving friends the gift of unlimited coffee consumption by buying them a gift card or coffee coin to any of our great coffee shops: Try old faithfuls like Drunken Monkey, Credo, and Barnies; opt for comfort from Cafe Linger, Gratitude Coffee, CFS Coffee, or Paloma; go even trendier with Lineage, Craft + Common, Deeply Coffee, Easy Luck, or Axum; or try something new at Lobos Coffee Roasters or Bynx cafe.
🍵 Give the gift of matcha from Matcha House, fruit tea from RoyalTea, or bubble tea from Vivi.
For the outdoorsy types
⛸ Our friend Dorsa at WOW Rolling combined two of our favorite things and made it a business: thrifting and skating. Shop her online store for second-hand skate and cool vintage finds.
☀️ Give the gift of the great outdoors, starting with the Florida State Parks Passport, which doubles as a guide to the “real” Florida and an annual membership to all state parks across the state. Or opt for an annual pass to the Central Florida Zoo, a membership to Leu Gardens, or an annual pass to Wild Florida’s drive-through safari.
🧗♀️ Get a monthly membership to Blue Swan Boulders, the newish rock climbing gym in Parramore. Although it’s indoors, it’s taking COVID-19 precautions seriously and masks are always required.
For the pet-lovers among us
🐶 Grab some holistic dog treats from OhMyWoofness.
🐶 Help ‘em take their precious pups with them wherever they go. The Orlando Dog Mom Club is selling jewelry now.
🎄 And speaking of perfect gifts for pet-lovers, our friend Maggie over at Do Tell Stationery and Designs makes the sweetest pet-adorned keychains and ornaments. (She also makes these ridiculously cute plant ornaments and unique just married, new home, and new baby ones too!)
For all the green thumbs and plant parents out there
💐 Consider purchasing this holiday subscription deal from Black-owned florist Bloom In Glory. It includes seasonal flower delivery for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, making your life so much easier.
🌱 So many plant shops, so little time: Buy a succulent friend from our pals over at Bros with Hoes in the Hourglass District, a pointy guy from Ouch Plants, a planter from Hello Happy Plants or lose yourself in the plant haven that is The Heavy.
For the friend who’s always looking for ways to level up
🥂 Expand a loved one’s palette with an introductory course to the world of vino (or champagne) with a Kcuvée class, Orlando’s newest wine-tasting experience. Good news is that classes are also offered virtually.
📸 Could your friend use a new headshot? Are they launching a brand? Hire a local photographer like Chris Glenn, Arlene LaBoy, David Lawrence, Kartsie Photography or Anna Labeau Caibio to get the job done. Take it a step further and sign ’em up for styled photo sessions at Wall Crawl or The Heavy.
💻 Sign them up for a class with General Assembly. They’ll be learning code, programming, and UX design in no time.
For the one who knows a thing or two about arts and culture
🎭 Support our local arts scene and grab tickets to an upcoming show. Check out Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires at Dr. Phillips Center’s Frontyard Festival, Opera Orlando’s upcoming presentation of “Die Fledermaus”, Mad Cow Theatre’s Holiday on Church Street event, or a Dickens-inspired walkthrough performance by Orlando Fringe.
🎟 Sign up for an annual membership at Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, or Orlando Science Center. They’re all conveniently located in Loch Haven Park — so technically you could buy a membership to each and give the ultimate trifecta. 😉 Memberships range from $65 to $200.
🍿 A real movie buff will appreciate a membership to Enzian. And a real history buff will gladly lose themselves in the Orange County History Center.
Looking for something more whimsical? More unique?
☕️ Shop these handmade watercolor designs by Lemesto Art.
✨ Or these Disney-inspired stickers, tees, and calendars from Brandelane.
💎 Get ‘em something shiny and bright and totally unique at Dora Mae Jewelry.
🖼 Buy line art from local visual artist and storyteller Tasanee of Visories.
📺 For Schitts Creek references and other quirky gifts, shop That Cute Lil Gift Shop.
👜 Or step up your wall game with these multifunctional hanging floral purses from local powerhouse creative Anna Labeau.
Wanna shop in one stop?
🎁 Can’t decide? Get a hodgepodge of gifts when you buy a curated box of local goods like these from Good Crowd Shop Co.
🛍 Catch-all stores like Yay! Tiny Shop + Misc. Market + East End Market + The Heavy are good places to shop — and they carry many of the local brands mentioned above, all in one stop.
Last but not least…
🎁 Wrap it all up by visiting Paper Goat Post. They’re offering discounted gift wrapping for any products purchased locally from one of our many small businesses! Talk about a win-win!
Big thanks to our Pulptown+ members for making big projects like this possible and to our loyal readers for submitting your ideas.
Didn’t see a gift or small business you sent our way? Think we missed a must-shop store in any of the above categories? Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us who we missed and why we should include them and we’ll do our best to give them a shout on IG.