By Jillian Abbott
"The holidays are a time for giving, we all know that, but the giving doesn’t have to stop at loved ones. By shopping local, we create a giving multiplier, not only bringing joy to friends and family but also supporting and strengthening our local community. And if that’s not enough reason to stay close to home for your holiday shopping, consider this, the variety of stores and cultural institutions in our vibrant neighborhood ensures that we can give memorable gifts that can’t be found anywhere else."
Shoot for the Stars: The New York Hall of Science’s gift shop offers a wonderful array of gifts for families! What could be cuter than a baby astronaut suit? ($39.95) If you are looking for something fun and inexpensive for a stocking or Secret Santa, there are several flavors of astronaut ice-cream available ($5.99). If you’re looking for a bargain, there is CHIP™ the Robot Dog currently on sale at $139.97, down from $159.99.
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, New York 11368, (718) 699-0005.
Artisanal Food Baskets: Customize your own gift basket of local, artisanal food products through Flushing CSA. Baskets can be mixed and matched, with a jar of Queens #7 Greenmarket Hot Sauce ($6) two S & V artisanal jams ($8 each) and a spice mix from Spice Tree Organic ($7.95) comes to $29.95 (basket not included).
Flushing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a volunteer co-operative group of residents working with Golden Earthworm Organic Farm and JustFood to bring fresh and organic produce to the community.
Contact Flushing CSA through their website: https://flushingcsa.com/.
Gourmet Tea Sets: With a resurgence of interest in this ancient, antioxidant-rich beverage, it’s great to know that Flushing has several world-class tea shops. Fang tea offers a range of carefully sourced and chosen teas ranging from Four Seasons Spring Oolong tea ($23 for 300 grams) to aged white tea for ($134 for 450 grams). They also have a range of teaware including teapots and beautiful cups ($100 onwards). A tea ceremony for two starts at $10. For the would-be serious tea aficionado, this store runs classes on tea appreciation for $300 for eight sessions, but you must book well in advance as classes are filled for the next six months.
Fang Gourmet Tea, 135-25 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354. (888) 888-0216.
Hand-crafted Jewelry and Art: Flushing Town Hall has long been a venue for local visual and performing artists to showcase their work. Their gift store offers one of a kind jewelry ($20 onwards) from artists living and working in Queens, unique prints ($35), pottery, children’s clothing, and more. In addition, they have beautifully crafted jewelry boxes starting from $30. For unique artist crafted gifts, visit their one-day only holiday market on Sunday, Dec 10 from 1-5pm.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354. (718) 463-7700.Photo credit: Jillian Abbott
Stocking Stuffers: The Queens Botanical Garden’s gift shop boasts a wide range of beautiful and quirky gifts. Highlights include an intricate jewelry box in the shape of a tomato ($24.50), cute animal planters ($20) and an umbrella that comes in the form of a slick looking wine bottle ($22). For stocking stuffers try the flower pens ($6), and plastic creatures, some for as little as 50 cents.
Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing NY 11355 (718) 886-3800, 43-50 Main St, Queens, NY 11355.
Beauty in All Shapes and Forms: Tonymoly is just the place for seasonal festive gifting. They are offering a pair of socks in a Christmas tree shaped box ($4.99) and a cute set of fruit-shaped hand creme moisturizer and lip balm for $17.99. This is a perfect place to browse for stocking fillers, Secret Santas and gifts for teachers.
Tonymoly, New World Shopping Mall, 136-20 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354. (718) 353-0551.
Indulge in Skin Food: Get a LLang Red Ginseng Revitalizing body set with a body soap and matching body lotion ($22). Black Sugar Perfect First Serum – Essential (Skinfood) facial moisturizer is for men and women ($30). If you’re looking for a bargain, their St Honore Special Package includes face and body washes and brushes in Roses and Bais; Lime, Basil and Mandarin; White Musk, and Tuberase. This package is currently on sale for $99 down from $279.
Besfren Beauty, 165-01 Northern Blvd (718) 321-0070 and 136-89 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354.
A New Look for a New Year: This eyewear shop is a hidden gem in Flushing. Select a funky pair of shades and have coffee and refreshments at their complimentary snack bar while shopping! Prices start at $60.
Eye Solutions, 37-09 Main St Flushing, NY 11354, (718) 801-8980.Photo credit: Jillian Abbott
Jillian Abbott is an award-winning writer. Her features, food, travel, and op-ed columns have appeared in Newsday, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, The Writer, and many others. She teaches writing at CUNY. Jillian has been a staff writer at several NY weeklies and has lived in North Flushing (Whitestone) for more than 10 years. She is @themindfulmouth on Instagram, and @Jannabbott on twitter.
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