If you are anything like me, I focus on getting a few gifts for under the tree, and scurry around, right before school is out, to find things to stuff his stocking. It’s usually a great thing to buy locally, since it’s not worth shopping for online or paying for shipping. Here are my favorite places to find stocking stuffers in and around Austin:
Atown – 5502 Burnet Rd.
Atown has a lot of stuff in what appears to be a small storefront. Pick from jewelry, hair accessories, candles, bath bombs, cheap earrings, coin purses and much, much more at this store, which features items from over 100 local artists and designers.
Austin Natural Soap – 2209H South 1st
Austin Natural Soap products are made in Austin. In addition to sticking a nice-smelling bar of soap into stockings, you might also add lip balms and other sweet-smelling items.
Austin Tinkering School – 1122 Airport Blvd.
The Tinkering School has 6 tinkering “challenges” available for gift-giving. They are a steal at only $5/each. There is always someone at the School on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-1:30pm, or you can text ahead at (512) 579-6169 to see if someone is there during other hours.
BookPeople – 603 North Lamar
You’ve probably noticed that BookPeople has more than books. On the stairs leading up to the kid’s area are small baskets stocked with all kinds of funny items. There is also a toy section near the top of the stairs with small gifts for kids. The inventory changes, but I’ve seen lost of mustache-themed gear there in the past, along with socks, of course small journals and also Texas-themed gifts.
Breed & Co. – 718 W. 29th & 3663 Bee Cave
Technically, Breed & Co. is a hardware store, but there is so much more inside. There are lots of kitchen items for cooks, gifts for gardeners, ornaments and gift ideas for the littlest ones.
Callahan’s General Store – 501 Bastrop Highway (aka S. Highway 183)
Callahan’s isn’t just a place to pick up chickens. They have lots of interesting novelty gifts, as well, especially items with a western or Texas bent. They usually have small stuffed animals, Austin and Texas-themed magnets and other cute small items.
Cornucopia Popcorn – 3211 Red River
Feeling a little guilty about all the sugar your kid is getting? Somehow, popcorn seems a little healthier than candy and chocolate, and the kids’ clear bags are inexpensive and take up a good amount of space in those stockings. There are over 30 flavors to choose from, and you can sample them at the store.
Nau’s Enfield Drug – 1115 West LynnMy kid loves going into Nau’s to browse the selection of candy and the surprising amount of fun toys inside. There are also a good assortment of retro candies.
Terra Toys – 2438 W. Anderson Ln.
We could write a whole article about all the possible stocking stuffers in this store, but just to list a few examples, there are some really cool laser-cut interlocking robots, Playmobil minifigures, all manner of cute writing implements and erasers, a wide assortment of candy, origami paper, magnetic poetry kits, a lot of different wind-up and other small animals and figures, stickers, playing cards, art supplies, rings and other jewelry, trading cards and more. Plus, if you need a caffeine boost, you can enjoy a coffee at Wind Up, Terra Toys’ in-house coffee shop!
Tesoros Trading Company – 1500 S. Congress
If you are looking for unique items, this is your place. This store (with parking available behind it!) has all kinds of neat little items inside, from stone hearts to worry dolls to milagro charms to tin ornaments to a whole lot of Day of the Dead items. The hardest part might be leaving without getting a lot of extras for yourself!
Toy Joy – 403 W. 2nd St.
Toy Joy is another great store brimming with stocking stuffer-sized items. You can find Calico Critters, Automoblox, Nanoblox (like LEGO but tiny), Hello Kitty items and a huge assortment of items in the small bins in their store. It’s also a great place to find funny gifts for adults, especially funny items for White Elephant gift exchanges. If parking is an issue, don’t forget that Toy Joy offers two hours free validated parking in City Hall or AMLI from 10am-5pm, Monday through Friday.
Waterloo Records – 600A N. Lamar Blvd.
You might not think of Waterloo as a place to go for stocking stuffers, but there are a lot of fun items for sale, scattered around the store. Depending on the size of the stocking you are filling, you might be able to fit a CD of Christmas music in there, too.
Whole Earth – 1014 N. Lamar, Westgate Center & 2410 San Antonio
Whole Earth has a surprisingly large and good toy section, with a good selection of small items for stockings. Better yet, if you donate a new toy or new kid’s book, in its original packaging with a value of $10 or more, you’ll receive a $5 Whole Earth gift certificate! For more information about the Toy & Book Drive, click here.
Need more ideas? Here’s our list of “experience” gifts – gift certificates to classes, memberships and other “virtual” items that can also go into a stocking!
Holiday markets and craft fairs are another great place to look for stocking stuffers. Here’s our list: