With the holiday season upon us, we’re all looking for the perfect gift for that special someone. With so many options available today, it can be easy to forget to look local before shopping. We enjoy supporting local stores and outlets, even the ones moving in from out of town. We believe we need to support all businesses, otherwise, we risk losing valuable members of the community. Here’s a look at some of our favorite retail outlets in the Omaha and Lincoln areas to pursue that elusive holiday present.
RAYGUN opened its newest location in Omaha’s Old Market during the fall. The store specializes in promoting local pride, with shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, just about anything, really, with whimsical sayings, such as “We’ll Mail You Meat” (Omaha Steaks reference), “Omaha: We Don’t Just Chase Storms, They Come to Us” and “Nebraska: Ancient Wonders,” which features a photo of Carhenge. You’re bound to find a great gift for a loved one.
Where: Old Market at 1108 Jackson Street / Omaha, NE 68102
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10-6 / Fri-Sat: 10-7
Books are a nice stress reliever and a great escape. Check off the book lover on your list with a stop at The Bookworm. The Bookworm is a great supporter of local authors and carries choices for all ages.
Where: Loveland Centre at 2501 South 90th Street, Suite 111 Omaha, NE 68124
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Next Chapter Books and Gifts
Next Chapter Books and Gifts celebrated its first anniversary this year. Located in the Farnam Hill district of Omaha, the name of the store is more than just a reference to a section of a book, it’s also is an ode to the origin story of the store itself. Shelly Mutum grew up with parents who owned the Prairie Books and Gifts in Hastings. As her parents aged, she knew she wanted to carry on the tradition of running a book store. Instead of continuing the original store, she chose to open her own version in Omaha.
The store sells books, as well as other gifts, for that loved one on your list. They also serve wine, seltzers and mixed drinks in a can, with most coming from local breweries and wineries. Looking for that cup of coffee for the cooler days? Check out Zen Coffee next door.
Where: Downtown at 2508 Farnam St. Omaha, NE 68131
Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. / Sun: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Salt Creek Mercantile
We discovered Salt Creek Mercantile during a visit to Ashland as part of the 2020 Nebraska Passport. It’s a cute boutique shop that has called downtown Ashland home since 2018. What started as an Etsy shop by one of the owners has developed into a full-fledged shop, full of furniture, goods and tools for the kitchen, bath and more.
Where: 1502 Silver Street, Ashland, Nebraska 68003
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. / Sun. – Closed
From Nebraska Gift Shop
Looking for that gift that says, “From Nebraska with love?” Well, the name of this store says it all, as the items here are From Nebraska. The From Nebraska Gift Shop is not only celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, but it also updated and expanded its store to be able to offer even more Nebraska goodness. Located in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket, the From Nebraska Gift Shop has items including clothing, Nebraska themed gift baskets, gourmet Nebraska food products, books, and much more.
Where: Historic Haymarket at 803 Q St. Lincoln, NE 68508
Hours: Mon -Thurs: 10-6 / Fri: 10-9 / Sat: 9 – 9 / Sun: Noon – 6
If there is a candy deemed as a Nebraska “original,” it’s Baker’s meltaways. Baker’s Candies have been making these chocolate goodies for generations. They melt away in your mouth; thus, the name. Each meltaway is wrapped in a metallic color wrapper with a different color identifying the flavor of the meltaway. At their outlet store in Greenwood, approximately midway between Omaha and Lincoln, you’ll also find tons of other candies to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Any of these would make great gifts, stocking stuffers or basket fillers.
Where: 831 S. Baker St. Greenwood, NE 68366
Hours: Mon – Fri: 8 – 5 / Sat: 9-5 / Sun: Noon – 5
Cooper and Co. Home and Gifts
Looking to gift someone with an item to add to their home decor or for a festive touch to their holiday flair? Make sure to add Cooper and Co. Home and Gifts to your shopping list. Located in Lincoln and open since 2015, this shop has furniture, home decor, holiday decorations and more. The store is a family affair, as it’s owned and operated by a mother and her two daughters.
Where: Rathbone Village – 2211 Winthrop Rd. Lincoln, NE 68512
Hours: Tues – Sat: 10-5 pm / Sun 12-4 pm. / Mon – Closed
On a Whim
On a Whim is located in west Omaha, and is full of treasures that will make great gifts for even the pickiest of loved ones on your list. Offering custom-printed party invitations, as well as unique gifts for the host, On a Whim also features ideas for baby gifts, and more.
Where: Shops of Legacy – 16950 Wright Plaza #119, Omaha, NE 68130
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6 / Sun: Closed
Spruce Interiors and Gifts
Spruce is a home decor and gift boutique located at 50th and Leavenworth Streets in Omaha. Looking for a good puzzle for a gift or yourself to occupy your time? Or how about some wine tumblers or scarves and gloves to keep warm this winter? Spruce has many items for all kinds of tastes.
Where: 5022 Leavenworth Street Omaha, NE 68106or
Hours: Tues – Fri: 10-6 / Sat: 10 – 5 / Sun: Closed
Hollywood Candy is one of our favorite spots to recommend visitors to add to their Omaha bucket list. A variety store of unique proportions, you’ll find a large selection of nostalgic candy, leading to a walk down memory lane. You’ll also find a vintage pinball arcade, a private movie theater, memorabilia and several personal collections of owner Larry Richling, such as classic lunch boxes and pez dispensers. We challenge you not to find something new on each visit.
Where: Old Market at 1209 Jackson St. Omaha, NE 68102
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11 – 9/ Fri-Sat: 11 – 10
Plum Creek Gifts
Often called Lincoln’s best-kept secret, Plum Creek Gifts has something for everyone on your list, featuring country-themed home decor items, scented candles and Nebraska-made products. With 14 themed rooms, each celebrates the seasons of the year with items such as furniture, rugs, antics and more.
Where: 5800 Cornhusker Hwy., Lincoln, NE 68507
Hours: Tues – Thurs: 10-6 / Fri – Sat: 10 – 5 / Sun – Mon: 10 – Closed
Francie and Finch
Opened in 2016 and located in a former telephone exchange building, Francie and Finch is an independent bookstore in Lincoln. Owner Leslie Huerta named her store after two of her favorite literary characters – Francie from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The store has a children’s room in the back of the shop and you can find art for sale throughout the shop.
Where: 130 S. 13th St. Lincoln, Nebraska
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-7:30 / Sat: 12-7 / Sun: Closed
Tannenbaum Christmas Shop
Are you someone who wishes every day was Christmas? Well, you can come close with a visit to Tannenbaum Christmas Shop in the Old Market in downtown Omaha. Open for more than 35 years, it is the place to go for Christmas ornaments, unique gifts and local souvenirs.
Where: Old Market at 1007 Howard St. Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Hours:Mon-Thurs: 11-8 / Fri-Sat: 11-9 / Sun: Noon – 5
Made in Omaha
Made in Omaha, based on its name, has exactly what you would expect, items made by artisans and makers throughout the Omaha area. With the variety and amount of products on shelves and walls inside the store, it’s apparent the amount of talent that resides in Omaha. You can find items such as waffle mix, T-shirts, candles, books, body care products, coffee and much more. Support a local store and the local art community with a stop here.
Where: Two locations: Countryside Village – 8722 Pacific St, Omaha, NE 68114 and Old Market – 1012 Howard St, Omaha, NE 68102
Hours: Mon – Sat: 11 – 6 / Sun: 12 – 5
What started out as selling hand-poured candles for fundraising efforts, has turned into a place where the motto is “We Create Special Moments for Lasting Memories.” Master’s Hand is a candy shop, lunch stop, boutique store, flower shop and more. While we know it’s located in Tekamah, which is approximately 45 minutes north of Omaha, we know you’ll want to add it to your holiday shopping stops.
Where: 3599 County Rd F. Tekamah, NE 68061
Hours: Mon – Sat: 8 – 5:30
Mangelsen’s is an Omaha classic when it comes to being the place to get your art and crafting supplies, as well as home and seasonal decor, custom framing and much more. It is a family-owned business that has called Omaha home for more than 50 years. Don’t forget to grab your bag of their famous popcorn on your visit.
Where: 3457 South 84th Street, Omaha, NE 68124
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10-6 / Sun: 10-5
Found Vintage Market
There could be no better home for Found Vintage Market than the Benson area. This store is full of home decor inspiration come to life. Inside this large shop you will find recycled, repurposed, and vintage pieces that you will want to take home to complete a room. In addition to the bigger pieces, you’ll also find those finishing touches and decorations as well as supplies to complete the look. One great thing we love about stores like this is that there will always be something new to find inside.
Where: 6022 Maple Street, Omaha, NE 68104
Hours: Tues – Sat: 10-6 / Sun: 11 – 2
The Geek Room Hobbies and Games
Do you have a gamer on your gift list? Whether it’s role-playing such as Dungeons and Dragons, boardgame, card, or dice game, The Geek Room Hobbies and Games is the place to go to get your game on. They not only carry a large selection of games that you can’t find anywhere else, but they also have quality hobby supplies.
Where: 1215 S. 180th St., Omaha, NE 68130
Hours: Mon – Sat: 11 – 9 / Sun: 12 – 6
If you’re looking to keep your home and beauty care products green and clean, check out Edens Preserve. It is Omaha’s destination to pamper yourself and help save the planet at the same time. With skincare, beauty, cleaning supplies, and more, you’ll find a unique gift and feel good about it too.
Where: Online now – Retail location coming March 2021
Hours: Mon – Sat: 8 – 5
Main Street Market Boutique
The name Main Street Market Boutique really does describe what this new addition to Blair is all about. If you’re looking to support local, you’ll find plenty of opportunities here with 40 different local vendors to choose from. Follow the Facebook page to learn more about each vendor and new products.
Where: 1526 Washington St., Blair, NE 68008
Hours: Tues – Wed: 4 – 8 / Thurs: 10 – 8/ Fri: 10 – 6 / Sat: 9 – 4 / Sun: 11 – 3