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Made in Novato: 10 Great Gift Ideas

From toys to threads to services, we've crowd sourced our readers to come up with 10 great gift ideas from local merchants. Check 'em out.

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Why not shop local this holiday season? It keeps cash circulating in the local economy, supports Novato merchants and provides more revenue for essential city services.

We asked Patch readers to give us their ideas for locally sourced gifts and they didn’t disappoint. Here are a few suggestions, culled from suggestions on our Facebook page, emails and Novato’s Shop Local campaign. Have others? Please add them in the comments below!

1. Got a cyclist in your life? Grab some accessories at Bicycle Brüstop, 830 Grant Ave. Stock up on bike shoes, hydration packs, apparel and Garmin cycling computers. The cool part? Pretty soon you’ll be able to have a beer and a snack at this one-of-a-kind bike store in downtown Novato.

2. What do you get for someone who has it all? How about a photo shoot? Personally Yours, 840 Grant Ave., will coordinate a professional photo shoot of your family, pets or special occasion. Rates start at $65.

3. If you’re shopping for a child, Five Little Monkeys is a must. The toy store, located at 852 Grant Ave., is teeming with stuffed animals, games, and toys, many of them designed to get kids thinking and being creative. One of our favorites is Crazy Forts, a kit that allows children to construct their own fort/play structure using 25 geometrically precise balls and 44 sticks. Another is the Magformers Wow set, that allows children to construct mini vehicles using squares, triangles and wheels. A little known fact about this store? You can order online and have your item delivered straight to you.

4. Most people are juggling too many things: work, children, after school sports, taking care of elderly parents and countless other commitments. Treat the stressed out person in your life with a gift certificate to the Rolling Hills Day Spa. Besides massage, there are body wraps, hot stone therapy, head to toe exfoliation and other other treatments. One hour massage $85.

5. Know an aspiring musician or someone who always talks about picking up an instrument? Help them take the next step with some lessons from the Marin Music Center. Not ready to commit to an instrument? Owner Jesse Harms, a musician who’s jammed alongside Eddie Van Halen, Huey Lewis, Billy Idol, David Lee Roth, Tom Jones and other greats, will help you pick out what you’re looking for. Private and group lessons available.

6. A hardware store may not be a place you think of when it comes to Christmas gifts. But Pini Hardware is no ordinary hardware store. The Novato institution, located at 1535 South Novato Blvd., carries tools and drills every handyman or woman needs along with interesting kitchen appliances, grills, lawn and yard items and much more. You'll see so many things you like, the challenge will be staying within budget.

7. A slinky dress, lacy lingerie or a good leather bag: a girl can never have too many of any of them. Wow the discerning woman in your life with a gift certificate from Carolina Boutique, located in Pacheco Plaza. The store is owned by Carolina Loiacono, wife of Mother Hips frontman Greg Loiacono, and carries major brands.

8. If you know someone who bends over backwards for their pet, consider a gift certificate from Klyde Street Pets, located at 834 Grant Ave. The store carries toys, food, snacks and even books aimed at dogs, cats and the humans who love them.

9. Back in the day before iPads, kids played with dollhouses and train sets...for hours, unleashing their imagination and thinking skills. So it's nice to know that a store devote to both still exists right here in Novato. It's called Dollhouses, Trains & More and is located at 300 Entrada Drive. Yes technology is wonderful, but it's no replacement for tactile toys that let kids' creativity soar.

10. Know someone who's into art? Check out Sage Gallery which has a wide selection of glass sculptures, elegant jewelry, bowls and other items that are both decorative and practical. 828 Grant Ave.

Craig Belfor December 11, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Try North Bay Art Works, at the end of Redwood Bl near the fire station. They have lots of good art from many people, and they're all made in Novato.

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