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The holidays are almost here, and you know what that means. It’s time for you to figure out what the heck everyone in your life wants and what you can do to make it happen in some meaningful and realistic way.

When buying gifts for loved ones, buying local goes a long way. And thankfully, Omaha has several impressive local businesses that you can share with your loved ones this holiday season. So sit back, relax, and take notes. Here are some great options to add to your holiday buying guide in 2021, Omaha.

Gift books, board games, and comics

  • The Game Shoppe: 4014 N 144th St |(402) 991-8699
  • The Bookworm: 2501 S 90th St #111 |(402) 392-2877
  • Half Price Books: 12355 W Center Rd | (402) 330-0640
  • Legend Comics & Coffee: 5207 Leavenworth St |(402) 391-2377
  • Dragon’s Lair Comics & Games (Blondo): 2311 N 90th St |(402) 399-9141

While so many folks wait unwaveringly for the newest video game consoles to become available, remember this; many still appreciate the simple thrill of an old-fashioned book, board game, or comic book.

And choosing one of these mediums for someone else can reflect what the holiday season best represents: the perfect opportunity for you to give through discovery and entertainment. 

Get your board games at The Game Shoppe, books from Bookworm and Half Price Books, and comics at Legend Comics and Dragon’s Lair. They will be in good shape and can provide countless hours of entertainment this holiday season and beyond!

Fuel a music collection

  • Recycled Sounds: 322 N 76th St | (402) 991-6311
  • Homer’s Record Stores: 1210 Howard Street | (402) 346-0264

Thanks to these stores, fueling a music collection is a no-brainer this holiday season. Get your new and used CDs, vinyl, and other cool merch at Recycled Sounds and Homer’s Record Stores. Both stores sell gift certificates, too! 

Recycled Sounds, which recently moved from Lincoln, imports new music and posters daily, buys/sells/trades quality music from the last 70 years, and will be open late all through New Year except Christmas Day. And of course, Homer’s has been a mainstay for fifty years, proving itself as a one-stop-shop area for several such finds.

Ultimately, music in the traditional physical format has connected people for generations. Get to the best local shops for your chance to experience this phenomenon this holiday season. Help a music lover find their missing puzzle piece or kickstart a music collection!

Inspire them with an instrument

  • Ground Floor Guitar: 4009 Farnam St | (402) 614-6888
  • Keyboard Kastle: 7013 Dodge St | (402) 680-3351
  • Schmitt Music: 7355 Dodge St | (402) 391-5588
  • Sol’s Jewelry & Loan: six area locations
  • Dietze Music Omaha: 13015 W Center Rd Suite 1A-B | (402) 333-1535

If you think you know someone destined to become a musician, or you know a struggling musician on the ground, inspire them with a new or used musical instrument this holiday season. The following local music stores have you covered for various circumstances.

Ground Floor Guitar is one of the best guitar retail and repair shops, while Schmitt Music offers a wide selection of modern and orchestral instruments. Dietze Music Omaha has nearly everything, including an impressive acoustic and electronic drum collection, while Keyboard Kastle specializes in high-end acoustic and electronic pianos and keyboards. And lastly, you could find anything in the used instrument section at a Sol’s Jewelry & Loan, at least usually some quality gear.

Gift something from your favorite museum

  • Great Plains Black History Museum: 2221 N 24th St | (402) 932-7077
  • Joslyn Art Museum: 2200 Dodge St |(402) 342-3300
  • El Museo Latino: 4701 S 25th St | (402) 731-1137

If you know an art or history museum buff, gift them something from their favorite museums this holiday season.

The Great Plains Black History Museum, located in the Jewell Building, features gift certificates, critical literature, posters and other excellent merch reflecting their cultural vision. 

In the gift shop at El Museo Latino, the first Latino art and history museum and cultural center in the midwest, you can find unique books, catalogs and gifts picked up along the way from Mexico or other Latin American countries. 

Joslyn Art Museum has the Hitchcock Museum Shop for you to peruse, featuring gift certificates and other great finds, including jewelry, pottery, glass, prints, woodwork, and fabric art made by 20 unique artists predominantly from Nebraska and Iowa.

Gift tickets for live and local entertainment

  • Barrel & Vine: 1311 South 203rd St. | (402) 504-1777
  • Waiting Room Lounge: 6212 Maple St | (402) 884-5353
  • Dubliner Pub: 1205 Harney St | (402) 342-5887

With New Years celebrations right around the corner, there are plenty of excellent events coming to the city that you should know and could make the perfect gift for an avid nightlife-loving local. Get your loved ones advanced notice and tickets to some stellar live and local entertainment to help ring in the new year and remember the holiday season fondly with jams or laughs.

The recipient of your holiday gifts can catch David Kousgaard at Dubliner Pub on January 7; Starlette’s Web at Barrel and Vine on January 14 and 15; Flatland Cavalry on January 14 and WellRED Comedy Tour on January 21-22 at Waiting Room Lounge. Those tickets will service a wide array of interests for anyone who loves going out and having a good time.

Visit the best local antique shops

  • The Imaginarium Mercantile: 1113 Howard St |(402) 594-7061
  • Joe’s Collectibles: 1125 Jackson Street | (402) 612-1543
  • Junk-n-Treasure Thrift Store: 3504 Leavenworth St |(402) 657-0302

There are plenty of valuables to be found in these antique treasure troves. Walk the stores before the holidays hit and find the unexpected.

The Imaginarium Mercantile is a fun and family-friendly fixture in the Old Market, the biggest store, and has a variety of collectibles, comics, old toys, and more.

Joe’s Collectibles is another store with peculiar finds at reasonable prices, and the owner’s sweet and tiny dog is a treat, too. Junk-n-Treasure Thrift Store is the place to find genuine vintage treasures of a wide assortment for a fair price. 

Find hidden gems: apparel, and jewelry

  • Flying Worm Vintage: 1125 Jackson St | (402) 932-3229
  • Lion’s Mane Vintage: 6107 Maple St | (402) 968-8015
  • Weird Wild Stuff Vintage Clothing and Gifts: 4905 Leavenworth St | (402) 551-7893
  • Beauty-Rama: 8604 N 30th St | (402) 677-9362
  • Scout Dry Goods and Trade: 5018 Underwood Ave and 1404 S 13th St. | (402) 964-2270

Though what is considered vintage, or more appropriately the hip kind of vintage, changes, vintage itself remains cool. That’s why scoring some awesome gifts from different eras that your loved ones can wear is something you should consider. 

You can find a variety of apparel, jewelry, and other accessories at Flying Worm Vintage, and you can bet it will be hip and generally affordable. Lion’s Mane, located in Benson, is perfect or bold and stylish men’s clothing from back in the day.

Scout Dry Goods and Trade is a sustainability-minded consignment shop that offers hip, pre-loved threads. You can opt for the in-person shopping experience in either of their two Omaha locations or shop online.

Weird Wild Stuff has brilliant tapestries, jewelry, and a wide variety of costumes. Beauty-Rama has vintage tops and dresses for women you must see.

The holidays call for calming vibes.

  • Exist Green: 4914 Underwood Ave, Suite A | (402) 502-0880
  • Greenlight Natural: 6112 Military Ave | (402) 670-8429
  • Magical Omaha: 3141 N 93rd St | (402) 393-1121

It is perfectly human and natural to crave relaxation, and gifts that encourage others to kick back and tap into their inner peace are a mainstay during the holidays. Thankfully, several stores specialize in products perfect for setting the chill vibes, making for excellent stocking stuffers!

Exist Green has a bulk selection of eco-friendly reusable products like soaps, dried and fresh foods, jars, and tins. The mom-and-pop metaphysical shop, Magical Omaha, has different rocks, crystals, candles, incense, sages, and plenty of other dazzling chill vibes items. 

Greenlight Natural has a host of legal CBD (the non-psychoactive part of cannabis) strains and products, including gummies, oils, creams, and drinks for different body relief sensations. It’s not for everybody, but those who love it swear by it.

Arts and sensibility

  • Blick Art Supplies, 7829 Dodge St | (402) 397-6077
  • Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, 1001 S. 6th St, CB Iowa | (712) 890-5600

There’s only one Blick in Omaha, and if you’re an artist, you likely know where to go. But if you aren’t an artist, fair enough. If you’ve never perused their aisles, you will find a candy stores for adults, with a rainbow of mediums for for practicing and would-be artists alike. Also think about framing for kid’s art, crafty items for DIYers. Maybe you’ll be inspired to make your own personalized gift!

While it’s a little outside our usual coverage area, there is a hidden gem next door in CB that you need to know about. Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment (PACE) is a new comprehensive arts center that has partnered with local theater and dance organizations as well as local artists. There are myriad options for experiential gift giving – consider tickets to a show or a painting or ceramics class for the art-lover in your life.


Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

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