We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with holiday gift cards. Even the last-minute ones that hit our inbox just as the tryptophan coma is wearing off. But what if you could up your gift-giving game and have fun doing it at the same time? Festive downtown Pittsburgh is the place to do just that.
Maybe it’s the Steel City’s rich heritage of glassmaking and metalworking, but today, there’s no shortage of local artists, designers and innovators. Shopping for holiday gifts here isn’t a chore but an adventure; one that comes with a side of Pittsburgh’s fun vibe and lively community.
Visit Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh’s annual Wintermarket on Small Business Saturday (November 30, 2019) for the ultimate holiday shopping experience—a one-stop way to sample wares from all over the city. Local Pittsburgh vendors will display their unique creations and goods in a temporary winter wonderland, complete with live entertainment. And when you need a break from the shopping, fortify yourself with holiday-inspired cocktails and uncommonly tantalizing bites from The Commoner.
Offering home goods and furnishings from a rotating lineup of local artisans, PG&H is a cozy shop centrally located downtown. Here, you’ll find original handiworks in textile, glass, wood and ceramic—including 3D-printed ceramics. The Redhawk Coffee counter is a welcome enhancement to the browsing experience.
Owned by three Pittsburgh textile designers, this newly opened store in Lawrenceville offers ethically made clothing, jewelry and home goods, with an emphasis on sustainable materials. It spotlights local designers and also curates a selection of ethically produced goods from around the country. The open studio in the back invites shoppers to glimpse the artistic process.
This sweet gift shop, with locations downtown and in Mount Washington, is a go-to for home goods, T-shirts, candles and artwork, but it especially excels in adorable Pittsburgh-themed gifts—think pierogi tea towels and stained glass pickles. If you’re looking for a gift with a strong Pittsburgh flavor, the downtown location is a nice supplement to another local gem, Steel City, just one block away.
If you have young children or expectant moms on your shopping list, Brambler Boutique in Lawrenceville is a mandatory stop for its handpicked pint-sized clothes, gear, toys and books. There’s a cheerful play area, too, if you have a little one in tow.
For a dash of fun Pittsburgh witchery, make some time for Juju in Point Breeze. With self-described offerings of “eclectic goods for magical beings,” it’s the place to go for all your crystal, spell and potion needs. You can even book a tarot reading to round out your visit, or sign up for a workshop on practical magic.
Other stops that will ease your gift-giving stress? Wildcard in Lawrenceville boasts an extensive card selection with fresh designs. Also check out Moop downtown for its timeless waxed canvas bags, The Farmer’s Daughter across the river for its locally sourced floral creations and Von Walter & Funk in Lawrenceville for quirky home, garden and vintage furnishings. Get ready for a close encounter with Pittsburgh’s big character. Shopping small is the ideal way to experience the heart and soul of this friendly, culture-rich city.