Christmas is sneaking up on us fast. With my son’s birthday only a few weeks away as well I have been in full on gift shopping mode. Last year I did a lot of shopping online (hello Amazon, I love you) but this year I wanted to shop in town and find some unique gifts for my kids (ages 1 and 3) before the crowds hit. Each store I found offers something special, for different ages and interests, and prices to fit almost any budget. Join me in supporting local businesses this holiday season! Reno Moms Blog owner, Lynnette Bellin, also added some of her favorite stores to the list!
Buy Nevada Local — Though they don’t have many toys, this is a great place to buy local hand made lotions, shampoos and lip balms for a shockingly low price. This would be a great place to pick up stocking stuffers and some toiletries for yourself! They also have some beautiful hand made jewelry. Located in Reno Town Mall.
Discovery Museum Store – The gift shop inside the Discovery Museum has an ever changing collection of learning oriented toys for babies on up to age 10. Science experiments, building kits, brain teasers, plasma car, art & crafts and small toys. My toddler love the dinosaur eggs that hatch in water. 490 S Center St, Reno, NV 89501
Etsy.com- Did you know you can find local handmade and vintage items on esty.com? Search here for Reno and type of item. You can find custom clothing, adorable knit hats, party supplies, handmade toys, costumes, hair bows, and hudreds more. Since the crafters/sellers are local you can probably arrange to meet up in person or ask if they will be at one of the many Holiday craft fairs coming up next month. Most sellers are moms with kids so your support of them makes a big difference to an entire local family.
Gymboree Play & Music – For babies and young toddlers the small selection of toys at Gymboree Play (not clothing stores) is worth a stop. My kids love the musical instruments, easy grasp balls, crawling tunnel, Jimbo the clown puppet and bubbles. Gymboree bubbles are the most awesome, long lasting, bubbles on the planet. Seriously. You can get bubbles at the clothing stores too. A Gymboree membership is also a great gift to give parents of babies (hint hint grandma.) 3987 S McCarran Blvd, Reno, NV 89502 (Play location) Gymboree clothing located at Legends and Summit shopping centers.
Happy Happy Joy Joy – Right next door to Sippies is a quirky little store stocked with funny gifts., including gag gifts and humorous toys that are better for older kids and grownups. 23 Martin Street Reno, NV 89502
Learning Express – Tons of toys, activities, arts, and science projects for kids of all ages are packed into this little store. The staff is incredibly helpful at finding toys for your kids based on their interests. 5110 Mae Anne Ave #704 Reno, NV 89502 and 197 Damonte Ranch Pkwy Reno, NV 89521
Nevada Museum of Art Gift Shop – If your kid is creative, the art museum is the place to look for art books and projects. The Art school also has classes for babies, toddlers, and big kids which would be a welcome gift certificate in my house. 160 W Liberty St, Reno, NV 89501
Once Upon a Child – They have a mix of used and new toys, puzzles and coloring books. If you have younger kids, this is a great place to pick up some inexpensive used toys to place under the tree and they won’t be the wiser! While you’re there, you can pick up a holiday outfit or snow play clothes at prices way less than retail. 6015 S Virginia St, Ste G , Reno, NV 89502
Sippies – Under new ownership of a mom of four, Sippies, continues to amaze me with their unique selection of gifts. From the wall of tutus in every color of the rainbow to unusual candy (more stocking stuffers,) play swords, dress up clothes, wooden toys, and so much more. I can’t go in looking for any particular gift but I also can’t leave without finding something special. 955 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502
Stone Age Quarry — Located in the Costco shopping center, this place is literally a hidden gem. You can find glass and crystal jewelry for kids here at a very low price, and a much higher quality than the jewelry you’ll find at chain stores. They also have inexpensive fossils and shark tooth necklaces for the boys.
Gift cards make great stocking stuffers or gifts for grandchildren. Here are our suggestions:
Clay Canvas – Pick up a gift card so that your little artist can paint their own choice of pottery at a later date.
EZ Air – Not only is this a great indoor trampoline park for kids to burn energy off on cold winter days, they recently added laser tag as well.
National Chain Stores Located in Northern Nevada:
We get it, sometimes you do just need a chain store for a one stop shop this holiday season. Here are our tips.
Barnes and Noble – Obviously they have books for all ages but they also have a nice selection of learning toys arranged by age upstairs and puzzles, board games and brain teasers downstairs. The bargain book area often has unique craft kits, kids cookbooks, and book+toy combos. I found a guided family history journal to write my memories about growing up. I bought one for grandma too. It may take us a year to fill out but it’s a true keepsake my kids will have forever. 5555 S Virginia St Reno, NV 89502
Costco- This time of year they have a lot of fun toys, big kits of craft supplies and gifts for all ages (have you seen the giant teddy bear?) I really like their boxed sets of wrapping paper and bows. The quality is good enough to wrap around odd shaped toys without tearing and the coordinated colors makes my wrap job look like Santa did it. 2200 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502 and 4810 Galleria Pkwy, Sparks, NV 89436
Outlets at Sparks — This is a great place to get some deals on clothes (we like Old Navy, Gymboree and The Children’s Place), sporting goods (hello, Scheels) and Target (where you can lose yourself and find everything you need and don’t need!) The Outlets at Sparks have been great supporters of this website, so go give them some love for us!
Walmart or Target-The big box stores have supplied most of my kids gifts, toys, clothes, and necessities year round (best prices too.) Of these Target is my go to place. Between daily deals in store and on the Cartwheel app you can score some nice gifts at a serious discount. Did you know that if you buy something and the price marks down anytime in the two weeks following your purchase you can be refunded the difference. Nice! Save those receipts and watch the sales.
Toys ‘R Us is my next stop for toys. When my kids don’t know what they want, I let them loose in the store, traveling from section to section and seeing what holds their interest for longer than a minute. Inevitably they choose things I would never have chosen. Snap a picture of the toy and come back later when the kids are not in tow. Santa’s elves are getting smarter shopping. 5000 Smithridge Dr, Reno, NV 89502
Scheels – For the sport family or outdoor enthusiast look no further than Scheels. Quality snow gear (it will snow enough to ski this year right?) Wolf Pack and national team logoed clothing, hunting, fishing, soccer, cheer. Everything under one roof. What I love most about scheels is not their prices (let’s face it they are a higher end store) but their return policy is amazing. You can wear a pair of shoes and return them if you don’t like them or if a zipper breaks on a jacket a year after you bought it you can return it. Fabulous! 1200 Scheels Drive, Sparks, NV 89434
There are many more places to shop for kids in the Reno area. Where are your favorite spots to find gifts?
Debbie Sessions, work at home mom of two, Autumn (3) and Nicolas(10m), found her way to Nevada 10 years ago (really has it been that long?) A transplant from the bay she came to Reno in search of affordable housing, jobs that don’t require a PHD and prince charming. All three eventually happened but in the process Debbie turned her own her and her husband’s hobby of dressing up in historical and vintage costumes into an online business. Now they both work from home (ha ha, like we can get anything done!) while wrangling the little ones. Among
friends we are known as the family who do things. We keep informed of fun events and happenings in the area and get out of the house to do them all!