The holiday shopping frenzy has begun. And, as we all know, searching for the ideal gifts for those on your list can be exhausting to say the least. However, we have the perfect solution: shop local and turn holiday shopping into a fun and satisfying experience. For starters, you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds at the smaller businesses. Plus, parking is often easier. Both of these qualities make shopping in Tempe less stressful and more enjoyable. But the main reason for staying in Tempe is that you’ll find some truly unique gifts for everyone on your list. An added bonus–you’ll feel good about supporting our local businesses.
To get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite local merchants who make finding the perfect gift fun any time, but especially during the holidays. And, don’t forget, you can also purchase gift cards from many local Tempe merchants and local restaurants too.
Buy gifts made by local artists
In addition to these brick and mortar stores, you can also search for handmade gifts and treats at 6th Street Market, held in Downtown Tempe at 6th Street Park on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through November 29, 2020. Face masks are required. Check their website for more information about safety protocols.
514 S. Mill Ave., Ste 101, Tempe, Arizona 85281 | (480) 894-1278
Owned and operated by ASU alums since 1992, Cactus Sports is your one stop shop for ASU Sun Devil gear and garb. For those ASU fans on your list, you’ll have no problem finding the coolest t-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, jackets, hats, blankets and all kinds of accessories that make perfect stocking stuffers. You can also order from their website and have items sent straight to your door.
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
225 W. University Dr. #101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 225-3899
Cartel Coffee Lab brings in some of the world’s most intriguing coffees, roasts them delicately and brews them with precision. They offer bags of these fine coffees and nifty coffee accessories that will delight all the coffee addicts on your list.
Hours: Everyday 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 730-0205
This legendary local independent bookstore goes way beyond books when it comes to gift ideas. Along with the thousands of new and gently loved books, you’ll find lots of lovely other items, including pottery made by local artists, fun and functional kitchen accessories, lotions and aromatherapy bath products, greeting cards, calendars, jewelry, wind chimes, kids’ toys and much more.
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 448-1687
Creations is a boutique located in The District at Tempe Marketplace. Their apparel, all designed in Tempe, has a breezy bohemian vibe. Think dresses, flowy pants, activewear, jackets in jewel tones and sweaters that are cozy, but made for warmer Arizona temperatures. They also sell accessories like sunglasses and necklaces and they even have a kids’ section. Their staff is super helpful and will help you find the perfect gift for someone on your list. And, you will want to pick up a few cute things for yourself too.
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (480) 941-1225
You can’t go wrong finding the perfect gift for the gardeners, plant lovers and anyone who enjoys anything with a desert theme at the Desert Botanical Garden Shop. There are beautiful succulents, cacti and other desert plants, seeds, pots, patio ornaments and accessories, clothing, jewelry, books, prints, unique outdoor lighting, prickly pear food items and more. Plus, they’ll ship your gifts to your family and friends who can’t be here to experience the holidays in the desert.
227 E. Baseline Rd., Ste. J2, Tempe, AZ, 85283 | (480) 553-7006
Be a good steward of the environment and find really useful eco-friendly products and gifts at Ecomended. They carry fair trade apparel, vegan bags, wallets and accessories, home good, kitchen tools, teas and personal care items from bamboo razors to vegan shampoo bars. They also have sustainable kids’ toys and even plant-based glitter. You can also order items from their website.
Hours: Tues.-Sat. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1340 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 303-9967
Four Peaks has been a Tempe staple since 1992 and is nationally recognized as one of America’s Favorite Craft Breweries by the Travel Channel. You’ll feel the good cheer during the holidays and year-round from the moment you step inside their original 8th Street location housed in a 100-year-old building that was originally a creamery. Your craft beer drinkers will love the gift that keeps on giving, a refillable Four Peaks growler. Other gift options include t-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, hats, dog treats and lots of Four Peaks swag.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
1730 E. Warner Rd., Suite #1, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-1141
Who wouldn’t be delighted with the gift of homemade bread? At Great Harvest, you’ll find loads of loafs (including gluten-free) plus shelves full of fun and tasty items such as bread warmer trivets, spatulas, mustard, nuts and nut butters, fruit butters, olive and avocado oils, teas, soup mixes and baskets. Here’s an idea: create a bountiful basket filled with bread and other goodies on Great Harvest’s shelves.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
95 W. Fourth St., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 350-818
Housed in Tempe’s historic first bakery, the Hackett House gift shop specializes in one-of-a-kind gifts, including a large assortment of Christmas ornaments and decorations. Additionally, there are lots of other great gift items such as jewelry from around the world, tea sets and accessories, seasonal home décor, clothing and pet accessories. You’ll feel extra good about your purchases, knowing that all proceeds benefit Tempe Sister Cities programs.
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping on Friday, November 13th at their Holiday Kick Off event. Tickets for timed entries beginning at 4 p.m. are available online. The $25 ticket includes shopping time, sweet treats and tapas and a cash bar (each ticket includes one chocolate martini with vodka sponsored by Roxx Vodka).
Hours: Monday, Wedsnesday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
420 S. Mill Ave. #105, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (800) 462-7595
Lotions and Potions is a treasure trove of gift ideas. True to its name, there are loads of fragrant, soothing soaps and other bath products, lotions and essential oils. But, the store is also packed with fashionable accessories, jewelry, greeting cards, items to enhance your space and other fun stuff.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-10/11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6/7 p.m.
1325 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 376-9021
This cozy bake shop has a tempting selection of yummy cookies, cakes, muffins and assorted pastries, aprons, homemade s’mores, brittle, sauces, Fossil Creek Creamery goat’s milk fudge, Desert Provisions Sonoran Sea Salt, green and red Hatch chili powders and lovely wines curated by owners Tracy and Chuck Dempsey. You can order holiday stöllen, pies and other holiday treats which are also wonderful gifts. New this year, Tracy and her team are offering custom gift baskets. The store isn’t open for walk-ins, but they do offer curbside pick-up. Call or email the team to order your treats or gifts, or schedule a time for a private shopping trip, in-person or via phone or FaceTime.
Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.