We know 2020 has been quite a doozy. Although the year has had its challenges, we have one thing to look forward to—the holidays are almost here!
While we won’t be able to celebrate like we normally do this year due to social distancing measures, that doesn’t mean you can’t still invest in a few gifts to give away to your favorite people! The Omaha area is full of fun, locally made products and unique experiences you should gift this year, so we rounded up a few ideas to give you a little inspiration this season.
From a box of Omaha Steaks to a virtual sewing class—you’ll find a plethora of great local gift ideas right here.
Due to the current rapid spread of COVID-19 and local restrictions, we encourage you to visit these local spots online to shop. If you do plan on going in-person, please remember to wear a mask, social distance and check out each shop’s current hours online.
It wouldn’t be a list of Omaha-centric gifts if we didn’t include a box of Omaha Steaks. This iconic business has been providing high-quality steaks to meat-lovers all across the world for over a hundred years. Click here to see their Christmas 2020 selections, which includes boxes full of steaks, shrimp, desserts, sides and so much more.
Tim Maides and Carlos Mendez are just two guys who love soap and the Omaha community. On their online marketplace, they’ve combined their two passions—providing all-natural soaps and beauty products—while using as many locally sourced products as possible. From their ingredients to the product packaging, everything is created by utilizing local Nebraska small businesses, making it the most Nebraskan soap you can buy. Pick out a bar of soap, a bath bomb, or even a bottle of hand soap and give the gift of pampering this season! Click here to shop their stock online.
A virtual screening from Film Streams
Photo courtesy of Film Streams
Film Streams is a nonprofit arts organization in the Omaha area with two wonderful and distinct cinemas: the Ruth Sokolof Theater and the Dundee Theater, showing new releases, independent films and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been closed for in-person showings, but they have started offering virtual screenings so that you and your loved ones can enjoy local cinema from the safety of your own home! Click here to see what is currently playing. If you want to make the evening really special, stop by Film Streams to pick up some curbside concessions so you can have the full “movie-going” experience at home.
Artifact has been crafting briefcases, bags, totes, backpacks and aprons since 2010 right here in Omaha. In 2018, Artifact found a physical home in an old stove retail shop built in 1887 and continues to make each product using domestically sourced materials whenever possible. Peruse their products online to find that perfect gift.
Orlanda Whitfield, Ed.D is a very busy woman. Not only does she work full-time as a communications technician at CenturyLink, but she also owns her own gourmet popcorn business: Still Poppin Gourmet Popcorn. While we don’t know how she does it all, we’re glad she does! Offering up several different kinds of delicious popcorn varieties—including the locally famous “Omaha mix”—Still Poppin is on their way to becoming Omaha’s favorite snack shop. Visit them online to pick out a perfect mix to incorporate into your holiday dinner this year and a few to give away as gifts!
An Omaha-themed t-shirt from Made in Omaha
Photo courtesy of Made in Omaha
Since October of 2018, Made in Omaha has opened their doors to artists and makers throughout the city, giving them a new platform to reach customers. One of our favorite items in their store, both online and in person, is the Omaha-themed t-shirts! Most of the t-shirts and other apparel are screen printed by local printers, including the popular OMA Heart shirt that you’ve been seeing everywhere around town lately. Click here to shop online.
Sustainable dog treats from Love Yo Pup
We all know someone who loves their dog more than anything else in the world, so buying them some treats to pamper their pup this holiday season just makes sense! For sustainable and all-natural dog treats, don’t miss Love Yo Pup, a local independent dog biscuit company. You can find their tasty, gluten-free biscuits all over Omaha at pet shops like The Green Spot and Wag, or you can shop online and have them delivered right to your door. Click here to start shopping.
Locally made jewelry from Etsy sellers
In addition to a plethora of amazing local businesses, the Omaha area is also home to hundreds of amazing makers crafting everything from candles and soap to face masks and beautiful jewelry! You can shop from a selection of these great makers on Etsy, an online maker marketplace. Click here to peruse DIYers in Omaha and here to find some based right across the river in Council Bluffs.
The extensive menu at Soaring Wings Vineyard will please even the most discerning of palettes thanks to their large selection of dry wines, sweet wines, and even beers brewed in house. The winery has scooped up more than 200 awards since it opened to the public in 2004—and it’s not difficult to see why! Owner Jim Shaw and his family have poured so much passion and hard work into their business, which can be tasted in every sip. If you’re opting to stay home rather than go out right now, Soaring Wings actually ships wine all across the country! Click here for all the information.
A local coffee subscription
Some people just can’t live without their signature cup of Joe in the morning (we don’t blame them). If you have a loved one with a particular love of local coffee, we have some good news for you. Many local coffee shops and roasters are now offering subscription services—so your family or friends can have a bag of coffee delivered right to their door every week, two weeks or month depending on the subscription. Check out 6 Coffee Subscriptions in the Omaha + Lincoln Area for some ideas!
Do you have a friend or family member who has always talked about wanting to learn to sew? Why not get them a sewing class as a gift this holiday season? B Star Sewing Studio is a Bellevue boutique and studio teaching the Omaha population how to DIY everything from face masks to pillows and bags! During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have moved all their classes online so that you or your loved one can enjoy learning how to sew from the safety of home. Click here to see their list of upcoming classes and to register.
The Bookworm is a small Omaha gem beloved by readers for its charm and small business feel. The shelves are bursting with newly published page-turners, classic novels, colorful kids’ books and more. As for gift options, you can’t go wrong with a book from their favorite author. Or let them choose their own present by getting them a gift card! Click here to shop online and have your gifts delivered.
One of the oldest art institutions in the state, Joslyn Art Museum is our local headquarters for enjoying art exhibitions, connecting with local artists and learning new art skills. Their virtual education experiences are available for all ages with topics ranging from painting and ceramics to jewelry making and photography! To see upcoming topics and classes, click here.
Photo courtesy of Hot Shops Art Center
Hot Shops Art Center is located just north of Old Market and contains 50 art studios, two art galleries, four anchor “Hot Shops”—including Crystal Forge, Bruning Sculpture, C.K. Fabrications and Hot Shops Pottery—and many other exhibition spaces. This center provides space for artists to work on their craft, therefore supporting the local art community. While they are currently closed to the public right now due to COVID-19, you can explore Hot Shops during their Winter 2020 Virtual Open House! Click here for more information. You can also shop online from some of the Hot Shops artists’ personal websites. Click here for a full list.
It’s All About Bees has a rich history dating back to the 1930s when co-owner Margi Fletcher’s grandfather started keeping bees in Homer, Nebraska. In 2000, the Fletcher family started to make and sell products made from honey and beeswax, developing their recipes using all-natural ingredients. Today you can find them at their shop in Ralston still making their food and body care products by hand, along with a wide variety of bee-themed merchandise. While you can’t go wrong with a bottle of local honey, we recommend picking up a jar of their homemade Nebraska Honey Butter to gift, which is absolutely delicious on anything. You can buy almost any of It’s All About Bees’ items online. Click here to get started!
Are you planning on purchasing one of these gifts to give a loved one this holiday season? Let us know—we promise we won’t tell them!