Several of Bradenton’s resident holiday-shopping pros were up long before the crack of dawn last Friday to battle the chaotic hordes that characterize Black Friday in the United States, while others hunkered down at their computers and scoped the deals online Monday.
For their efforts, many earned the reward of breathing that sigh of relief that accompanies the completion of gift-buying and heralds a December of worry-free, sugar plum-tinted dreams.
For others, however, ‘tis the season of stress and store-to-store scrambling on a frenetic quest for holiday gifts — but with a little planning, shopping can still be a breeze. Check out the list below for deals and gift ideas from local businesses and organizations offering holiday specials.
- “Sugar Plum Shoppes Gift Market” at Renissance on 9th: The annual “Sugar Plum Shoppes Gift Market” returns to Renaissance on 9th on Friday, Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food and drink will be available during this free-admission event, where participants can mingle in the market while taking advantage of holiday sale prices on variety of unique items from local artisans, ranging from children’s toys to home accessories, jewelry and more. The spirit of giving thrives in the Sugar Plum Shoppes, where proceeds from all purchases help benefit the programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.
- “ArtFul Holidays” at ArtCenter Manatee: The annual “ArtFul Holidays” bazaar takes place at ArtCenter Manatee starting on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and continuing through the weekend on Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During this special event, the Artists’ Market Gallery Boutique offers a 10 percent holiday discount on all one-of-a-kind, locally-made items, such as handcrafted pottery, glass, turned wood and fiber works, as well as jewelry and other wearable gifts. Many budget-friendly gifts start as low as $2 — perfect for the artful shopper on a budget. The event will also feature holiday music and caroling, refreshments and raffles for door prizes.
- “An Olde Fashioned Village Christmas” at Village of the Arts: Thirty-five galleries and five restaurants in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts will participate in the “Olde Fashioned Village Christmas” during the December art walk on Friday, Dec. 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas carolers and a barbershop quartet will provide nostalgic entertainment while guests have an opportunity to stroll the festively-lit and decorated Village streets and visit the galleries, which will remain open for extended hours to accommodate holiday gift shoppers. The event also includes visits from Santa Claus, special holiday treats and a Christmas tea room in restaurants throughout the Village, special displays of antique quilts, toys and holiday fashion-wear from downtown vintage clothing retailer, Retro Rosie, and new one-of-a-kind creations for made just for the holidays by local artists.
- Get Down and Dirty with People at Play: There may not be any snow to shovel during the holidays in sunny Bradenton, but People at Play has plenty of dirt to push around and lots of big toys with which to shovel that dirt —a dream for many kids at heart. This unique company gives grown-ups the chance to play with real-life Tonka toys on a construction obstacle course. For Bradenton Patch readers exclusively, People at Play is offering a special 20% holiday discount for Manatee and Sarasota County residents purchasing gift certificates for the Operator, Foreman or Superintendent packages. This unique gift is perfect for heavy machinery enthusiasts who never grew out of the dream to operate a bulldozer. To take advantage of the special, call People at Play at 986-0866 on or before Dec. 7 and ask for the Patch deal.
- Holiday Pampering at Gallen Massage and Yoga Studio: A massage or facial is the perfect gift for those looking to melt away the stress of the holidays. Through the month of December, Gallen Massage and Yoga Studio is running a series of specials on integrated bodywork massages and European facials with oxygen infusions. Even last-minute shoppers can breathe easy, as gift certificates can be purchased online and even emailed to recipients.
- Unique Finds and Special Deals at the Chameleon: For fans of chic all-natural jewelry, accessories, clothing and knick-knacks for the home, the eclectic selection at the Chameleon is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts. Members of the store’s mailing list receive updates about holiday sales and get a coupon for 25% off any purchase. To take advantage of the deal and receive your coupon, visit the store and ask to join the mailing list.
- Mixon's Fruit Farms: For many Manatee County residents, holiday gift baskets from Mixon's Fruit Farms are a tradition that has been passed down through generations. These festive baskets include grapefruits and oranges grown on Mixon's farm, paired with jams, fudge, honey, home recipies, candies and more that make each assortment unique. Most holiday baskets are available at special pricing through mid-January. They can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the country.
- Green G Fitness Studio: Who wouldn't want a personal trainer after the holdiays? Green G Fitness Studio is offering a couple of deals. The fitness studio is offering a one month membership and two 30-minute sessions with a personal trainer for $45, a $115 value. The second deal offer provides four one-on-one hour long session with a personal trainer for $150, a regular $260 value. The deals are offered to new members only.
Contact Green G at (941) 739-5953 for information and restrictions.
What are some of your favorite places to shop locally during the holiday season? Tell us in the comments!