Shop Small (and Shop Penn)

A local gift-gathering guide for the list-making set and the last-minute, devil-may-care crowd.
Where to go to support Philadelphia businesses, score standout holiday gifts, and surprise all the one-of-a-kinds in your life.
Facebook Share Twitter Share Email Share
1
Learn More shop
Shop
Specialty
Address

3260 South Street
2nd Floor of the Penn Museum
Philadelphia, PA 19104

As tightly curated as the museum itself, the Penn Museum’s retail arm brings together unique goods from around the world. The shop is a sleeper hit on the second floor, a destination unto itself, and a place to uncover great gifts for all ages – height of the holiday season or not. What to expect: jewelry, books, toys, games, crafts, reproductions, home décor, and a wide selection of fair trade items. What to keep an eye out for: stunning hand thrown pottery, three-dimensional pop-up cards, Egyptian imports, organic chocolates, and a new favorite mug for the coffee lover in your life.

University of Pennsylvania staff and students, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania staff (with PennCard or employee ID) enjoy a 15% discount, as do Penn Museum Members.

2
Learn More shop
Furniture
Specialty
Address

3610 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

As the stack of Best of Philly awards may suggest, J. Lamancuso’s impeccably merchandized shop on 36th and Sansom Street serves as a home and lifestyle mecca for gift givers far and wide. What to expect: friendly staff, a variety of price points, tasteful from-Philadelphia wares, accessories, wall art, mid-20th-century designs, and an irresistible assortment of items just for fun. What to keep an eye out for: gifts for those with furry friends, statement necklaces sourced from local makers, vegan leather bags, great coffee table contenders, and the sofa of your [actual] dreams.

3
Learn More shop
Apparel
Specialty
Address

3724 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Don’t let the hordes of people emerging with their dry cleaning slung over one shoulder fool you – Bonded Boutique does a bustling retail business, with a carefully curated collection of women’s apparel and accessories. You don’t have to break the bank to find a flattering silhouette, an eye-catching piece of costume jewelry, or an exquisitely detailed clutch. Have an up and coming fashion blogger in your family? A friend known to nail the high-low look? Shop Bonded the next time you’re on Spruce. Looking for another boutique experience worth seeking, closer to Walnut Street? Duck your head into Piper Boutique.

4
Learn More shop
Books
Address

220 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

There’s still something to be said for holding a book in your hands, isn’t there? And there’s a lot to be said for supporting an independent bookstore. Last Word Bookshop, House of Our Own Books, and Penn Book Center are three equally wonderful places to get lost among the stacks on Penn campus. Browse for your bibliophile bestie, your brother-in-law with an insatiable appetite for Stephen King, your neighbor with a trip coming up, and anyone else you know with books climbing the walls at home. At Last Word, keep an eye out for Lester the Cat, who can often be found sunning himself on a throne of eclectic hardcovers and well-loved paperbacks. 

5
Learn More shop
Beauty
Address

212 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

What’s the most covetable stocking stuffer for anyone teenage and older? Regrettably not a book, in 99% of cases, but a gift card. Whether you’re a loyal subscriber to The Life-Changing Magic of Making Lists or you do your best work flying by the seat of your pants, chances are good you’ll give at least one gift card this season. Why not gift someone you love a little well-deserved pampering? Luxe Nail Bar, Penn Campus Hair, Skin, and Nail Salon, and Joseph Anthony Hair Salon all offer gift cards – and great options for a post-holiday (and mid-winter) treat. What’s not to like about an already-paid-for manicure and pedicure?  

6
Learn More dine
Dine
Breakfast
Lunch
Snacks
Address

3428 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This particular stop is pretty self-explanatory, but if you’d like to see it boiled it down: DOUGHNUTS and MERCH. If a box full of doughnuts is enough to win you Coworker of the Month, imagine what a weekly doughnut date could do for you. Gift a friend one hot fresh doughnut for every cold and bitter Monday until flip flop season returns, or send some love from Philly to a sibling far away with a branded Federal Donuts t-shirt and mug. Have a bit of a sweet tooth of your own? Don’t gloss over the “fancy” menu, with new, nostalgic, and not-to-be-missed flavors like Caramel Latte and Chocolate Old Fashioned.

7
Learn More dine
Dine
Snacks
Address

3606 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Is there another food (and family-owned business) lover in your midst this year? Get Gift Card Giver of the Year by introducing a Philadelphia favorite for froyo. Operated by a brother and sister duo with a seemingly endless creative streak, the Mealey siblings keep Kiwi Yogurt stocked with twenty flavors of premium, authentic yogurt and over sixty fresh, flavorful toppings all year long. The best part? The more particular of the choose-your-own-adventurers you know can request a cup divider to keep those flavors right where they belong.

8
Learn More play

The Rotunda

Entertainment
Address

4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Looking for even more local flavor? Save the date for the West Craft Fest at the Rotunda on December 9th from 10am-4pm. The holiday edition of the Fest is one of the biggest opportunities in the area to support local artists and artisans, with handcrafted items from over a hundred local makers. Look for handmade jewelry, ceramics, knitted accessories, clothing, prints, original art, stationery, home wares, children’s items, soaps, candles, holiday items, and much more.

Want to help us spread the word about these smaller scale businesses? Share this post with another Philly fan. Not seeing your favorite locally operated brick and mortar on this list? Send an email to shopsatpenn@upenn.edu. And wherever you choose to shop this year: may the magic and thrill of the holiday season stretch on.

39.9492392, -75.191367
39.953779078398, -75.195345029915
39.9509776, -75.1984126
39.9534149, -75.2028624
39.9536562, -75.2030044
39.9535536, -75.1931768
39.954543401078, -75.195063641555
39.9538293, -75.2037365