Santa Cruz gift guide
December 2019

Shop Local, Give Local

By Natalya Dreszer

The Holiday Season is just around the corner, and just because we’re going through a cultural shift trying to question our relationship with excess material possessions doesn’t mean that we can’t indulge in the joy of gift giving! Here are 9 holiday gift ideas that support local artists, local businesses, and sustainability:

Santa Cruz gift guide

Pacific Edge

 Looking for the perfect gift to tire out a ball of energy for a day? Pacific Edge is a rock climbing gym that is fun and safe for any rock climbing levels, from first timers to world-class professionals (Chris Sharma started at Pacific Edge)! A day pass, 10-time pass, or membership is a great way to introduce someone to climbing or give them more fun doing something they already love!

Crafting Lounge

Make a ceramic or candle gift at a craft lounge or give the gift of a fun time at a craft lounge! Get a gift certificate to one of Santa Cruz’s two favorite craft lounges: Petroglyph Ceramics Lounge, or Glow Candle Lounge and make personalized gifts that will be a blast to make and receive.,

Homeless Garden Project Store

The Homeless Garden Project is a local organization that seeks to connect people experiencing homelessness with employment and social service resources. The store sells various products made my individuals in the training program with food, flowers, and herbs grown on the farm as well as crafts made by local artists. Try their white pepper lavender lotion or delicious strawberry jam, available online or two store locations.

The Gift of Learning

Santa Cruz has so many amazing classes and workshops on whatever topic you’d like to learn about. Get a loved one the gift of learning this holiday season and sign them up for class. New Leaf offers a series of cooking classes, DIG Gardens offers workshops on plants, and Permaculture Santa Cruz offers weekend courses on various aspects of permaculture design.,,

Local Art

Missed the Open Studios weekend? Can’t make it to the Santa Cruz Makers Market? Still want to support local artists over the holiday season? Get your gifts at Artisans and Agency, a store that sells the work of local artists. Find a watercolor painting by Marie Gabrille or a 3D wooden map by Origin, or stroll through the store and see what catches your eye.


Give the gift of life to last these dark winter months. Houseplants are a great way to liven-up an indoor living space and bring some joy to a room. Various plant have emotional and physical benefits, from their beauty to their air-purifying qualities. Find the perfect plant to gift from DIG Gardens or Garden Company Nursery and Gift Shop.,

Little People's Store

Want to expand you kid’s wardrobe, book selection, and toy selection with minimal environmental impact? Go to the Little People’s Store (, which sells used items in great condition. Try different fashion trends and explore new toys while holding true to your values of reducing, reusing, and recycling.  We also love, love, love Jellibeanz on Soquel Drive, where you can trade in your toys, clothes and books for other items in very good shape.(

Book Subscriptions for Kids

Keep your kids excited about reading with a monthly book subscription. There’s dozens to choose from for all ages and reading levels, but our current top picks are the Bookakery (think books and bakery), which gives kids not only books, but recipes and tools to make food to go with the book( There’s also The Conscious Kid, which focuses on “centering underrepresented and oppressed groups.”

Santa Cruz Mountains Makers Market

Support local artists by doing your holiday shopping at the Makers Market. Vendors sell homemade goods like jewelry, clothing, pottery, painting, woodwork, candles, lotions, and more! Find them Downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific Ave. on November 3rd and December 8th, or at the Felton Community Hall on November 30th,

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