Celebrate the festive season with carols, cookies, eggnog, and - of course - a bit of shopping! This holiday season, explore Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley for all your gift-buying needs. Alongside the well-known Christiana Mall – the largest in Delaware – and Concord Mall, discover a treasure trove of unique boutiques and specialty shops, perfect for finding that special something even for the most discerning recipients. And don't forget the cherry on top – all shopping in Delaware comes with the bonus of being tax-free!
Surprising gems await in unexpected places, particularly in the gift shops within local museums and attractions. Each offers an exquisite array of curated, one-of-a-kind items. For a surefire way to impress those on your gift list this year, be sure to explore these shops:
Town & Shore
Town & Shore Handcrafted on Wilmington’s Market Street is home to one-of-a-kind handcrafted leather goods that are sure to delight even the most sophisticated fashionista on your gift buying list. With its carefully curated selection of handcrafted items and distinctive finds, this boutique offers a wide array of options. Whether it's a beautifully crafted piece of artisan jewelry or a custom-made handbag with all the right touches, Town & Shore specializes in items that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also possess a special touch that sets them apart. Shoppers are guaranteed to discover something truly special that will leave their loved ones feeling appreciated and cherished.
Stepping into Houppette is like entering a beauty and fashion wonderland tailored for the ultimate fashionista in your family. Founder Cristi Miller's vision of providing high-end skincare, a small yet luxurious collection of sleepwear and stylishly comfortable clothing, and fragrances that have blossomed into a haven for those who adore all things glamorous. The name "Houppette," which means powder puff in French, evokes a sense of timeless elegance and luxury. From the sumptuous hues of Laura Mercier's makeup to the clean, sustainable allure of Lab to Beauty, and the artistry of Kevyn Aucoin, every item on display is a testament to the dedication to quality and sophistication that Houppette embodies. A gift from Houppette is sure to make any fashion-forward family member's heart race with excitement!
Morgan's of Delaware
Morgan's of Delaware is a haven for those who love a touch of chic sophistication in their personal style. With a carefully curated selection of iconic pieces, this boutique offers everything from elegant ensembles for a night in the town to stylish attire for brunch with friends to versatile workwear. Martha Morgan, the visionary owner, possesses an innate knack for fashion. Her expertise ensures you'll find pieces that are not only stylish but also the perfect fit for your loved ones. What sets Morgan's apart is its inclusive approach to sizing – it caters to women of all shapes, curves and sizes, making this boutique a welcoming home for every fashion-conscious individual. So, whether you’re in search of a show-stopping outfit or timeless staples, Morgan's of Delaware is the go-to destination for refined, tailored fashion that celebrates diversity and elegance.
Brandywine Museum of Art
The Brandywine Museum of Art gift shop features a number of amazing gift possibilities. We could spend an entire afternoon browsing through this shop. Pick up a print of a favorite Wyeth work of art (some are signed) or Wyeth-inspired stationery and matching coffee mugs. There are also activity books for adults and children, children’s toys, a vast selection of art books and exhibition catalogs, jewelry, and fashion-forward face masks. During the holidays, what the Museum shop is really known for are its whimsical Brandywine Critters. Made by volunteers, the critters are created from seeds, dried flowers and other natural materials. They make excellent holiday ornaments and are a great keepsake. Proceeds benefit the Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund, and Art Education and Programming.
The Delaware Contemporary
The Delaware Contemporary’s gallery shop houses a lovely selection of items handmade by local and regional artists. These include some really outstanding pieces of jewelry inspired by modern art. The gallery also has a line of Sadiddy Hippie handmade soaps that make perfect stocking stuffers. Our favorite of ours is the Earl Grey. If you want something thought-provoking, check out artist Leslie Holt’s trio of enamel pins representing PET brain scans of individuals with different mental health conditions. Online shopping is available.
Delaware Museum of Nature and Science
The Delaware Museum of Nature and Science is the place to go for all things Dude. If you don’t know Dude, he is the museum’s resident cat and mascot. He has become quite a celebrity over the years and now has his own line of merchandise. If you are a kid or a kid at heart, you will adore this shop! All the gifts are science- and nature-related, giving kids an opportunity to learn and play at the same time. Some of our favorite picks are the astronaut ice cream, the “beastly” binoculars, and the Rocks and Crystals Discovery Kit. Online shopping with curbside pickup or shipping is available.
Hagley Museum and Library
The Hagley Museum and Library store, located next to its visitors’ center, features artist-made jewelry, an expansive selection of books on the du Pont family and the Brandywine Valley, science-based gifts for children, and many other one-of-a-kind items. The store itself is as lovely as the treasures inside it. Looking for holiday-specific gifts? Here you will find a line of holiday scented candles (Holiday Stroll, the Nutcracker), vintage Christmas puzzles, Wassail and Hot Toddy mixes, and hand-embroidered holiday hand towels among the many other treasures. Looking for something for the person that already has everything? How about a Hagley Museum membership? It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long!
Delaware Art Museum
The Delaware Art Museum is almost as well known for its gift shop as it is for its art. It has a vast collection of books, from art books and children’s literature to today’s latest works of fiction. Must-have items include the beautifully designed “Witchy Wisdom” tarot and oracle cards, and “Local Stories,” a celebration of local authors including Chet’la Sebree, David Teague, Marisa de los Santos, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Julianna Baggott. Want to pamper that special someone this holiday season? There’s also a nice selection of bath salts, scented soaps, candles, and other relaxation-driven items in the shop. Other possibilities include pottery, sculptural jewelry, and limited-edition prints created by local artists as well as a constantly rotating line of whimsical gifts for kids and adults. Many items in the gift shop are available for purchase online.
Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library is the place to go if you have a décor aficionado or horticulture lover on your list. Its expansive store, located across from the museum entrance, houses an impressive selection of furniture, dinnerware, fine gifts, jewelry, accessories, plants, gardening tools, and more. This is another shop where we could literally spend an entire afternoon browsing. Many of the items in the store are inspired by Winterthur’s world-famous collection of Americana. We are particularly in love with its vintage-inspired holiday ornaments, the Winterthur Quince Jelly (made with quince harvested from the estate), and the shop’s lovely selection of jewelry. And did we mention the furniture?
Apart from our fantastic museum shops, be sure to explore the distinctive shopping destinations in the area. Visit the charming villages of Greenville and Centreville for a selection of designer clothing, fine wines, home goods, beauty products, and gourmet foods. Explore the offerings of the Shops of Bellefonte, filled with antiques, handmade items, and decorative items to fit anyone’s style. Downtown Wilmington beckons with its array of clothing, jewelry, art and literature, as well as cutting-edge electronics. For those looking for gift experiences rather than material items, consider a gift certificate from one of our outstanding restaurants, a "stay and play" package from a local hotel, or a family membership to one of the region's top-notch attractions.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Newark, Delaware, just some miles away from Centerville and Greenville, you'll discover unique, handcrafted products at charming boutiques like Bloom and Fresh Thymes Market. This vibrant shopping district offers an array of items you won't easily find in big chain stores, making it the ideal destination for those seeking special, one-of-a-kind finds. And let's not forget to deck out your proud Blue Hen family member with some fantastic University of Delaware gear! It's a shopping experience that combines local charm with a touch of university spirit.