Unique Shopping

Nothing beats the smile on someone’s face when they receive a present that perfectly reflects their tastes and interests. But unique, hand-picked gifts can be hard to come by. In Baltimore, there are many great places to peruse this holiday season—and you’ll also give the gift of supporting locally owned small businesses.

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aMuse Toys

Located in: Fell’s Point
Perfect gifts for: Inquisitive children

This independent toy store in Fell’s Point has toys and games that are high in quality, responsibly manufactured, and safe. The staff is happy to help find age- and interest-appropriate gifts. From baby toys to brainteasers, there is something any child—and their parents—will enjoy.

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Atomic Books

Located in: Hampden
Perfect gifts for: Independent readers

Stop by this independent bookstore in Hampden for graphic novels, art books, zines, toys, and kitschy collectibles. There’s also a “Marylandia” section stocked with books by local authors and books about Baltimore and Maryland trivia and history.

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B&O Railroad Museum

Located in: Hollins Market
Perfect gifts for: History hounds and rail fans

Anyone who loves railroading or Civil War history will enjoy a unique gift from the B&O Railroad Museum. There are books and DVDs about the B&O Railroad, railroad history, and the Civil War, as well as tons of railroad-themed ornaments and other memorabilia. Conductor hats—just like the ones worn on the B&O Railroad—are also for sale.

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Charm City Cakes

Located in: Remington
Perfect gifts for: Budding bakers

If you’re looking for a holiday gift for your favorite baker, Charm City Cakes (of Food Network reality television show Ace of Cakes fame) is now offering decorating classes. The studio and bakery also has bakeware, aprons, T-shirts, and other goodies for sale. You can also consider bringing dessert to your holiday party—use this discount code to buy 3 cupcakes and get 1 free.

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Ma Petite Shoe

Located in: Hampden
Perfect gifts for: Chocolate (and shoe) lovers

Ma Petite Shoe is an independent boutique that specializes in two great gift items--chocolate and shoes. Check out the handcrafted and vintage-inspired shoes at the front of the store on your way to the back chocolate section, which has artisanal chocolatess from around the globe, as well as locally produced caramels.

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Mahogany Exchange/Out of Africa Boutique

Located in: Mount Vernon
Perfect gifts for: African art admirers

For authentic African fabric and attire, head to Mahogany Exchange/Out of Africa in Mount Vernon. The shop also has African-inspired bags, sculptures, books, artwork, and collectibles, as well as many traditional Kwanzaa items and cards.

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The Museum Store at the Maryland Historical Society

Located in: Mount Vernon
Perfect gifts for: Maryland history buffs

For Maryland-made jewelry, soaps, cufflinks, and home decor, check out The Museum Store at the Maryland Historical Society. There are also thousands of hardcover books, stationery, t-shirts, and a children’s section. For something truly unique, the store has a consignment shop with antiques and other collectibles.

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Museum Store at the Walters

Located in: Mount Vernon
Perfect gifts for: Art and antique collectors

On sale at the Museum Store at the Walters are distinctive gifts, jewelry, and books inspired by the museum’s collections. You’ll find posters and prints, clothing and apparel, stationery, home and office decor, and gifts for young artists.

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Located in: Federal Hill
Perfect gifts for: On-trend women

This locally owned women’s boutique specializes in shoes, clothing, and accessories. For a small shop they have a wide variety of styles, from cute and sweet to edgy and sexy. Be careful: If you go in shopping for someone else, you may end up buying something for yourself!

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QG Classic Department Store

Located in: Inner Harbor
Perfect gifts for: Sharp-dressed men

Inspired by classic department stores of bygone eras, this menswear shop is full of handpicked items like shirts, suits, shoes, and bags. It is one of only 11 stores in the country that carries Scabal suits, which were worn by iconic characters like Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Daniel Craig in the recent James Bond films. Patrons can also get a haircut, shave, and massage,or grab a craft cocktail at the store’s bar.

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Red Emma’s

Located in: Station North Arts & Entertainment District
Perfect gifts for: Radical thinkers

This worker-owned and collectively managed bookstore and cafe is stocked with books on political, social, and cultural issues such as feminism, pan-Africanism, environmentalism, organizing and activism, and labor studies. There is also a variety of poetry and books on Baltimore history. You can buy bags of coffee that have been roasted in-house.

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SIDESHOW at the American Visionary Art Museum

Located in: Federal Hill
Perfect gifts for: Connoisseurs of kitsch

SIDESHOW is not a typical museum gift shop: It’s a treasure trove of off-the-wall toys, jewelry, sculptures, books, ornaments, and other knick-knacks. You’ll find everything from whoopie cushions and other gag gifts to high-end coffee table books, and you don’t have to pay admission to the museum to enter the store.

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Sound Garden

Located in: Fell’s Point
Perfect gifts for: Audiophiles

Since 1993, Sound Garden has been a haven for music lovers. The award-winning independent store stocks an eclectic selection of music and movies in a variety of genres. They also sell posters, t-shirts, stickers, and other memorabilia that are perfect finds for the audiophiles in your life.

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Su Casa

Located in: Fell’s Point
Perfect gifts for: New homeowners

This trendy furniture and housewares store carries classic and contemporary gifts. Its MADE Gallery features handmade pieces that were crafted in the Baltimore area. In addition to housewares like candles and frames, there are also plenty of fun items for the kitchen or office.

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The Baltimore Museum of Art Shop

Located in: Charles Village
Perfect gifts for: Art and craftsters

This shop sells all the typical items you’d expect in a museum—posters, art books, and greeting cards—plus plenty of unique, crafty gifts like jewelry, textiles, needlework kits, and cookbooks. There are also lots of gifts, games, and books for children.

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The Doll House Boutique

Located in: Mount Vernon
Perfect gifts for: High-end fashionistas

Going strong in Mount Vernon for more than a decade, this chic boutique is owned by celebrity-wardrobe and red-carpet designer Natalie Karyl. The store has a goal of making women feel like a doll playing dress up as they try on original clothing, including tops, dresses, outerwear, and accessories.

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Located in: Hampden
Perfect gifts for: Hip homeowners

It would be easy to spend hours perusing the well-organized displays of trendy home goods and trinkets at this independently owned shop in Hampden. There are plenty of locally made items and Baltimore souvenirs, as well as children’s toys, cards and paper products, cookbooks, coloring books, and more.

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Under Armour Brand House

Located in: Harbor East
Perfect gifts for: Workoutaholics

At Under Armour’s flagship brand store in the Legg Mason building in Harbor East, you can purchase a large variety of the athletic company’s gear as well as Baltimore-exclusive products that you won’t find at anywhere else.