Featured Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich December 17, 2009

Shopping for holiday gifts in Downtown Phoenix is easy thanks to our lightrail system celebrating one year in service this weekend.

Did you know there are plenty of locally owned boutiques and specialty stores along our 20-mile transit line?  This gives us the luxury of waving buh-bye to packed parking lots, since using the train means no more dealing with angry drivers during the most wonderful time of the year.  Take comfort in knowing you’ll avoid the anthill atmosphere at many national chains.  This holiday season, make sure the only parking lot you see is a park and ride and let METRO do the driving when you’re shopping for gifts.

Before you go, be sure to take my list of 20 great gifts under $20 along the light rail.  I separated the list into three categories:  gift ideas for the host of a holiday party, gift ideas for someone special, and fun gifts for friends or co-workers.  Most all of stores here will offer gift wrapping as a courtesy to customers.  Are you ready?  Grab a latte, a fare card, and let’s go shopping!

Gift Ideas for the Host

Museum tickets Educational and classy, two passes to the Phoenix Art Museum are $20 and even less for seniors or kids.  Don’t forget we have other great facilities in town like the Heard Museum, the Arizona Science Center or the Children’s Museum.  Find out more information here.

Seasonal dishtowel Bunky Boutique has them and they’re handmade right here in Arizona by Perfect Dressipe ($7). The store is located near the Roosevelt station. Head east on Roosevelt to 3rd Avenue and go south a couple blocks.  Bunky Boutique can be found online here.

Christmas ornament Nothing says peace on earth like a sparkly globe ornament ($15).  Find them and other great gift ideas at Frances – a boutique store near the Camelback Station.  Head to the intersection of Camelback and Central, cross Camelback and head west on the opposite side of street.  The address and other information can be found here.

Soapby Nostalgia scents like sweet orange, lavender flowers and happy days ($12). Made and sold here in Arizona. Also at Frances, follow directions above.  See the soap here.

Body butter by Chymia is designed to stimulate circulation, soothe sore muscles, and provide long lasting moisture ($18).  Find it at Frances and see the product here.

Decorative birds made from recycled felted wool. The robins vary in size, $19 and under at Haus Modern Living. Deboard Camelback station, then south on Central, Haus is in plaza across from St. Xavier Church.  A picture of the product is here and the Haus home page is here.

Japanese stash box made from laminated silk kimono fabric.  Marked down to $15 and also at Haus.  Picture here.

Alessi sugar shakers in primary colors, also at Haus ($19)  See the product here.

Urban cookies gift box sets perfect for those in a rush range.  Available in different sizes and prices – from $4 to $16.94 at Urban Cookies.  Best to take a bike from the Camelback light rail station, head eastbound to 7th Street, and south about 1/4 mile.  Find out more information here.

Men’s cap by Brixton in wool is a classic look for men and a great way to stay warm.  Bunky Boutique has them for $17.  See the gift idea here.

Peacock bracelet is a stylish faux wood bracelet with peacock feather design ($12) and also sold at Bunky.  See it here.

Fun gifts for friends

Star Trek assorted postcards that you fold and stamp ($8.95).  Find them at Frances and see them here.

Novelty books like Secrets of Gorgeous, a hundred ways to live well while living it up can be found at Frances for $12.95.  See it before you buy it here.

Assorted travel candles in scents like pumpkin spice and french linen ($9) also at Frances. See the gift idea here.

Candy canes, but not just any candy canes.  These are chocolate filled peppermint candy canes at Smeeks ($4). Smeeks is located a few doors down from Frances.

Bouquet of lollipop santas, three per package  ($4) at Smeeks.  See their jolly faces here.

Munny is the popular do-it-yourself toy kit by Kidrobot at Red Hot Robot ($20). Find out more information on Red Hot Robot’s Web site here.  RHR is located between Frances and Smeeks on Camelback.

Seasonal figures like Krunk-a-Klaus ($9.95), also by Kidrobot at Red Hot Robot.  See the gift idea here.

Novelty note pads with some naughty and nice titles ($9.95) at Haus Modern Living.

Alessi sugar dispensers in primary colors ($19) at Haus ModernLiving.

Drip stop aluminum for your wine bottle at Haus Modern.  $7 for a set of three.

See all the items on my Flickr page here, and before you go shopping, be sure to download the Local First AZ Small Wonders shopping guide and map. (here) If you need help with lightrail stations click here.

By the way, if you’re looking for some gift ideas for the transit geek in your life, or you just want to encourage someone to drive less, be sure to head over my blog where I have my five gift ideas for fans of alternative transportation.