Hoping to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-please New Yorker in your life? We can help, with our NYC-themed holiday gift guide. Pick from gifts that celebrate New York City, are made in New York City, benefit NYC museums and institutions, and support local restaurants and businesses. Gifts for dads, for moms, for kids—and for anyone who loves NYC, from the Bronx to Brooklyn and everywhere in between. Get gifting!
For the NYC History Buff
From an RBG ornament to a kid’s book about Bill Cunningham, the inimitable New York Times street photographer, you’ll find it all, either in-person at the New York-Historical Society’s museum shop or online at shop.nyhistory.org.
New York-Historical Society
170 Central Park West
Upper West Side
For the Brooklyn Loyalist
Since over half of holiday shopping is spent on gift cards (mostly from Amazon), the shopIN.nyc platform (powered by Cinch) is introducing The Brooklyn Gift Card to shift $1 million of gift card spending back to New York City during the holiday season with an ever-growing list of stores joining the platform each week.
For the Culture Vulture
It has never been more important to support our outdoor spaces—we need them more than ever. Have a friend who could use some time walking through our gorgeous gardens? Why not gift him/her with a membership? For more information, visit the New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden sites.
For the Aviation Enthusiast
Since we’re traveling anywhere right now why not dream of the retro-glam TWA Hotel at JFK with some fancy schmancy swag, like retro-glam sneakers, purse, bags and tracksuits that are all part of the TWA Hotel’s Retro Glams collection. Any one of these items will take moms and dads on a trip down memory lane with the classic looks from New York City's past.
For Handmade & Unique Gifts
If you’re like most New Yorkers, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the many holiday markets that make shopping easy. The Grand Central Terminal Virtual Holiday Fair has kicked off already and will be completely online, showcasing gifts from over 40 artisan vendors using locally and ethically sourced materials to create men’s and women’s accessories, children’s clothing and toys, home goods, and more. The Virtual Holiday Fair will also feature select Grand Central lifestyle and food retailers, which means 60+ curated stores to choose from.
For a Sweet Treat From Sugar Hill
From Tell it to the Block (Cinnamon with Mike’s Hot Honeycomb) to Harlem Sweeties (Salted Caramel and homemade butterscotch and brownies), the flavors being dreamed up on the daily at Sugar Hill Creamery, Harlem’s handmade ice cream shop, are ready to be tasted and can be shipped right to your door.
Here are the details: Sugar Hill delivers in upper Manhattan—they have an Ice Cream CSA that enables you to receive three pints per week for one to five weeks or they’ll deliver a la carte through GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash and Postmates. For holiday, get your order in for sweet potato ice cream pie, bourbon pecan ice cream pie with candied pecans and peach cobbler ice cream pie. Visit this link to pre-order and pick-up in store.
184 Lenox Ave.
For Customized Cookies
Want to send your friends a message lovingly stamped on a delish butter cookie? You’ll hit the gift bonanza with a box of fresh on demand cookies created by Mariane Ruso, a New York City mom of two and founder of Maison Sable. Best of all, she’s launching a bunch of new flavors, including cocoa, coffee, pistachio and lemon. A box of 16 cookies is $31.
For the Carb-loader
We can’t get enough of the coolness that is Bread Basket, a home bread delivery company that was born out of the pandemic with a two-part mission: to support the best New York bakeries whose businesses are at risk of closing and to deliver fresh, unique breads and baked goods to people’s homes across the country. Frankly, we can’t think of anything better than sending a favorite family some goodies from Grandaisy Bakery, Amy’s Bread and Pain d’Avignon. Best of all, this holiday season Bread Basket is committed to serving the local community. They have already delivered over 100 baskets to front line workers at NYC hospitals throughout the spring and now they are donating a loaf of bread to Feeding America for every Bread Basket sold. To order, visit the site and opt for a one-time basket ($45) or a subscription of $39.99 per week (with flexible deliveries every one to four weeks).
Give Fresh-Baked Goodness
If you’ve been missing giving gifts of homemade cookies to friends and family this year, consider this: Chip City is the next best thing. Just send Chip NYC’s frozen cookie dough—these are large, gooey cookies in nostalgic and unconventional flavors—and you will make your giftee very happy. Instructions for baking (a 12-pack of dough shipped frozen is $74.99) are included in the package so customers can experience the glorious smell of freshly baked Chip NYC cookies in their own homes.
For Authentic Italian From the Bronx
For over 40 years, Joe’s Italian Deli has been serving some of the neighborhood’s finest imported cheese, Italian meats, oils and vinegars, pastas and homemade mozzarella–while treating customers like family. The Deli’s gourmet gift baskets (prices start at $150) can be customized, and all items are authentic imported Italian dry sausage, cheese, chocolates, figs, torrone, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto, pasta and more. For holiday, consider sending the Christmas Carol basket, featuring Italian dry sausage, dry soppresata, Italian Torrone and assorted imported Italian cheeses.
Joe’s Italian Deli
685 East 187th St.
Gifts for Kids
For a Fearless Girl
When twin sisters, Carlissa and Laken King, set out to launch Worldgirl Dolls the Brooklynites wanted these 18-inch dolls to help children identify with the dolls’ unique passions, not their looks. Each one is assigned one of five traits: Warrior, Healer, Explorer, Rebel and Scholar and each package ($89) comes with a doll, two embroidered self-adhesive patches, an inspiring book and a canvas tote to carry the doll. Couldn’t we all use a doll like this right now?
For Little Lads and Lasses
Supply the fanciest tea party ever with a luxurious, scratch-made afternoon tea meal from our city’s finest. We’re talking tea, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, spreads and mini desserts—all sent in an afternoon tea box. Included on the list of afternoon tea purveyors, Tea & Sympathy, Patisserie Fouet and Kings’ Carriage House.
For the Cool Kid
The world famous Empire State Building, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, a yellow cab, can be reimagined into all sorts of cityscapes with this Kiko+GG set ($62) of eco-friendly blocks that attach via magnets to a chalk base—a perfect space to draw and imagine a busy day in the city.
For Tactile Fun
Ever wonder how to make Play Do? Thanks to Chelsea Milkman, founder and CEO of The Dough Project, you and your kids can DIY your own dough for nonstop giftable fun. The DIY Mix Variety Pack ($29.00) includes three colors (it arrives as dry mix), which is enough to make three batches of fresh play dough at home.
For the Kid Who Can't Wait to Open Presents
Count down the days with this adorable advent calendar that doubles as a play house for a reindeer family ($28). There's truly something for everyone at Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store (check out the shop's curated gift guides) including lots of made-in-NYC giftable items.
Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
232 Fifth Ave.
For the Newborn
Welcome a holiday baby with a bespoke onesie, embroidered by hand. A portion of the profits at 1981 NYC are donated to support causes such as social justice and combating global warming.
For the Budding Artist
Private Picassos, a Brooklyn-based art studio, is offering some of the most creative DIY art kits in town—and there’s something for everyone, kids and adults included. Select from a make your stuffed animal kit ($20) or DIY faux stained glass ($35). Curbside pickup at this Park Slope shop is available, too!
237 5th Ave.
For the Family of Gamers
Yes we’re all homebound but if finding new things to talk about continues to be a challenge, worry no longer. With Poohbah: The Conversation Game ($25), each of the 250 cards will foster thought-provoking conversation and hilarious non-tech-related activities.
For the Inquiring Mind
Meet Shivers the Penguin. This inventive toy’s got fun down to a science. Shivers the Penguin ($24) comes to life when your little one follows the included instructions to create an electronic motion board and sew felt together. Once Shivers is all assembled, just give him a squeeze and watch as he proves his name true. Behold: A screen-free, stay-at-home activity that sneaks in a little education, too. Bonus: the parts are all reusable so the fun doesn’t need to end after just one afternoon.
Gifts for the Home
For a Dog's Best Friend
We’re pretty obsessed with Stellar Villa, a custom artwork company located in Brooklyn, that offers custom pet portrait illustrations. An added plus: Every piece is hand illustrated in Brooklyn and printed in the US using gallery quality materials.
For the Plant Parent
This stylish, locally-made planter by Franca ($58) comes with a cute basin that hides underneath and catches any drips post-watering. It's one of many downtown shop SHOWFIELDS' mission-driven brands that are minority-owned and/or locally made. (Franca is based in Brooklyn!) If you're looking for other mission-driven gift ideas, check out the specially-curated gift guide from SHOWFIELDS' and American Express, encouraging people to shop small and support Black business owners this holiday season. More than 40+ Black-owned brands are featured, many with local roots. See the whole collection here!
For the Next Generation
We can’t get enough of Piccolina, a New York City-based mission-driven lifestyle brand that’s all about empowering today’s young girls and boys to become tomorrow’s trailblazers. One item in their diverse line: Trailblazer Art Prints ($20-$44) that will bedeck your child’s room with inspirational leaders like RBG, Malala, Amelia Earhart and more.
For Drama Queens
If you’ve been missing theater more than ever, there’s now a way to breathe in all those shows you’ve been missing. How is this possible? By lighting a hand-poured candle created by Caskey Hunsader, a New York City stage manager and founder of Stagedoor Candle Company, each of which is inspired by characters from some of the most popular Broadway musicals. This holiday season, the Spectacular Holiday Collection draws inspiration from one of NYC’s most iconic Christmas shows. Best of all, a portion of every sale (prices vary) will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
For a Bit of Rockaway Hospitality
Designed for the brand-new Rockaway Hotel, Goldie’s Tangerine Lime Shower Gel ($24) will transform your daily shower into a luxurious moment of ‘me time’ when you can daydream about lounging on the boutique hotel’s outdoor deck with views of the Atlantic Ocean.