Filling the stockings of friends and family with the same old pens and packs of gum takes a lot of the surprise out of Christmas morning. Give Santa some credit for creativity and take time to shop for better trinkets. In Minnesota, local shops and malls are filled with so many options that make the basic candy cane seem lame. Explore your options this year and become everyone’s favorite Santa by starting at these places.
63604 170th Ave.
Kellogg, MN 55945
This family-owned toy store in Southern Minnesota has become a destination shopping experience for a fun day trip. Full of clever toys, gadgets and candies, Lark Toys is the perfect place to find a small treasure for a stocking or even something for under the tree. Old-fashioned toys such as marbles, matchbox cars, Super balls and wind-up toys enhance the stocking experience and bring a little nostalgia into the home over Christmas. Stop by the candy counter and find some more treats to go in stockings or little mouths on Christmas morning.
Peeps & Company
60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
What exactly is a Peep? Some claim it is a marshmallow colored and covered in sugar. Some say it is a candy mystery that only comes out on Easter. Whatever it is, the Peeps are all over the Peeps & Company candy store in the Mall of America. Luckily, we don’t have to wait for Easter to get our Peep fix. The Peep store also carries favorite candies such as Mike and Ike’s and Hot Tamales. Buy them in bulk and fill everyone’s stockings with sugar.
1676 West End Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
For your fashion-conscious teen or just someone who loves to accessorize, Charming Charlie is the perfect place for a stocking stuffer. This place is not only filled with fun treasures, but is fun to treasure hunt in as well. Jewelry, purses, headbands, shoes and any other accessory you may need will be found organized by color. Spend a lot or a little on great finds and unique pieces but know you may spend a lot of time shopping around while you’re there.
Related: Best Chocolate Shops In Minnesota
Ax-Man Surplus Store
8100 Minnetonka Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Ax-Man Surplus Stores are one of the best-kept secrets of Minnesota. Four locations throughout the state offer the most unique and rare collection of random doo-dads. Find great items to stuff into stockings that will be fun and surprising to the gifted. Magnets, trinkets, old campaign buttons and anything else you can’t think of from this decade or the last can be found at Ax-Man. Be creative and don’t give the same old stuff as last year–surprise even yourself with the variety.
821 50th St. W.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
A favorite gift shop and specialty store, Patina carries fun and unusual items for stuffing your socks full of fun. A great selection of humorous, practical and cute items, Patina will have something for every taste and age. Its gifts vary from small to large and can be found to fit any budget. Most popular items include ornaments, magnets and household decor that can be seasonal or just match one’s individual style.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.