Seven Places to Christmas Shop for Kids in Almonte…

Sometimes I feel like a “preacher on a soapbox” because I am so patient about encouraging people to shop local. The more we can support our local economy by purchasing from our own stores in town, the more services we get to enjoy and the less need for any of us to travel to the city for shopping.

Kentfield Kids – Located on Mill Street in Almonte, this shop is owned by two local moms/business women and they sell high quality clothing like Hatley pyjamas to Gusti snowsuits, for newborn to size 14 (or so), as well as beautiful toys including such
brand names as Melissa & Doug, Schleich and Snapcircuit.
L.G. Lee and Sons – Located at the lower end of Mill Street and a division of the now famous Lee Valley Tools. The vintage feel of the shop adds to the wonder of what you will find for your young one – from puzzles and games to models to build to small toys like slinkys and gyroscopes. As a side benefit, they also have mail-order drop-off for Lee Valley Tools!

Gilligallou Birds – In the Heritage Court Mall, Gilligallou offers gifts for that nature-loving kid on your list. Ideas include window-mounted bird-feeders (and don’t forget to get a starter bag of their quality non GMO bird-seed if you actually want the birds to come), to “tracking sheets” with footprints of local animals (makes for a great winter outdoor hiking activity), to bird colouring books with a guide-page to get the colouring just right, and finally a build-your-own house-wren kit.Home Hardware – Yes, it’s a franchise, but it’s still owned by a local family who employs local people, so I am counting this one as shopping local! They have a great assortment of toy car and trucks and John-Deere tractors (this is farm country!), to a variety of popular board games, to popular television toys like Paw Patrol and Lego. This is also a great place to check out winter-activity toys like sleds and toboggans, and with the weather we have been having so far, this could be a great year for this is a gift!

Wee Bee Growing (aka Y’s Owl McLure) – An old favourite with new owners who are
offering employment to autistic youth in our community. This shop offers clothing like Burt’s Bees Fam Jam (pj’s for the entire family) as well as a great selection of toys and games and puzzles including Melissa & Doug quality toys.JB Arts – If you have a budding artist on your shopping list, you won’t go wrong with a stop to JB Arts, mid-street on Mill Street. They offer an array of art supplies from coloured pencils, to charcoal, to pastels and paints, with sketch pads, canvases, paper and frames. Not sure what supplies to pick up? Then a perfect gift might be one of the many classes or programs they offer.

Mill Street Books – I think everyone should have at least one book under the Christmas tree, and what better place to shop than Mill Street Books. Mary and Terry offer a carefully chosen selection of children’s books and games and craft kids including the popular Klutz Kids kits. If you don’t find the book you are looking for, they will even order it in for you.

During the month of December, many of the shops are open late on Thursday and Friday evening, for your shopping convenience. Battling the “crowds” of shoppers even during the busy weekend shopping is still far more pleasant and enjoyable than heading to a shopping mall! It’s all about managing the stress – Christmas shopping should be fun…. And it will be, if you shop local!

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