Keeping the Cheer in Kensington!

Tired of giving the same old predictable gifts?  How about starting a new gift giving tradition this year to bring some Kensington joy to your suburban relatives?  With a full line up of pop-up art fairs, retail sales, and more this year giving Philly-crafted gifts just got a whole lot easier.  Here’s a few places to start your shopping spree:

December First Friday  December 5th 6-9PM
When we think of First Friday people usually think of stuck-up galleries selling paintings for the monetary equivalent of body parts, but lucky for you there’s options.  Many retail shops throughout Kensington participate in First Friday with awesome sales and deals on everything you need to get ready for the holidays. See full schedule here. 

Need some new photos for those Christmas cards?  Stop by F.A.N. (2472 Frankford Ave) during First Friday for 10% off Holiday Photos!  They also have deals on select gift items (up to 20% off) and pre-loved items as well (50% off).

From there you can take a stroll off the beaten path to little-known Dakota St and welcome newcomer City Sprouts (2124 E Dakota St).  City Sprouts offers sustainable services to neighbors through their compost drop off program and City Sprouts maternity, a new line offering cloth diapers and accessories, cloth rental,  a kid friendly space for workshops and classes, and partnering with a local Doula and Midwife to make their services more accessible to our neighborhood.  

There’s even opportunities to buy affordable art on First Friday!  Bottle Bar East is having their second annual 12×12 show from 7-2AM.  The Show features tiny artwork (no larger than 12×12) from local philly artists for sale.  The show lasts until January 9th, but come out on First Friday for first dibs!

NoLibs + Fishtown Holiday Shopping Spree December 6th 11-8pm & 7th 11-6pm
Shopping local shouldn’t end on Small Business Saturday! 7 of your favorite Fishtown retail locations are teaming up with some Northern Liberties friends to bring you a weekend of discounts up to 25% off their total purchase at these stores!

Adorn Boutique & Showroom (1314 Frankford Ave) Adorn Jewelry is comprised of 2 collections: Band of Gypsys and Love & Light. Band of Gypsys jewelry makes a statement, with rough crystals, darker stones and metal finishes, and bold, symbolic shapes. Love & Light is soft, delicate, every-day jewelry inspired by nature and yoga lifestyle. In addition to these 2 collections, designer Sarah Lewis also creates One of a Kind jewelry pieces which feature exquisite crystals and minerals.  You are sure to find something perfect for any lady on your list!

Jinxed Fishtown (1331 Frankford Ave) Where do I even begin to describe all the amazing things that can be found at Jinxed?!  They carry a wide selection of vintage merchandise, housewares, and furniture such as, but not limited too: Mid-century modern, bar ware, rugs, knick-knacks, chachkis, taxidermy, antique knives, pyrex bowls, art, chairs, sofas, rugs, trunks, tables, bookcases, hutches, servers, desks, furs, vintage clothes, glassware, magazines, photos, frames, maps, and books. They also carry new goods from Kid Robot, Toki Doki, Rebel8, Upset the System, Gama-go, Strangeco, Broad Street Bootlegs, Turnstyle Clothing, Fresh Melt Water, Death Traitors and, well you get the idea…

Toile (1333 Frankford Ave) Looking for the show stopping New Years dress?  Toile is certainly the place!  Toile features the designs of owner Bianca De Pietro under her label Bianca Rachele, along with other local designers Sophi Reaptress, Kaitlyn Elizabeth, Earl Salko, and Vannucci Ltd. Jewelry. Everything is produced domestically or made by the designers themselves. All merchandise is available made to measure and for personal customization and custom requests.

Craft Foundry ( 701 Belgrade) Craft Foundry is the place to go to find Eco-friendly handcrafted gifts for the body and home.  Their new fresh colognes and skin care products make great stocking stuffers!  Craft Foundry also has beautiful tote bags, organic soap, incense, artisan jewelry, and handcrafted journals.  Make your own gift bag by purchasing some soap, a journal, and a tote.  Voila, a perfect unisex gift for that unexpected partner your relative brings to dinner!

The Art Dept (1638 Berks St) Many people don’t realize the Art Dept does retail too!  They have screen-printed art and tees, handcrafted homegoods, and locally designed accessories that make great gifts for those hard to please friends.  Plus while you are there browse their list of upcoming workshops, you may find a New Years Resolution you can mark off your list (sewing machine basics, anyone?).

Catch & Release Merchants(1832 Frankford Ave) This is a one-stop shop for anyone on your list who loves vintage!  Browse jewelry, homegoods, apparel, accessories, and more all at Catch & Release.  You can find some of the coolest gift ideas and unique items you can’t find anywhere else.  Even better, everything in the store was made right here in the USA!  This year choose a gift that makes everyone happy, including our country’s GDP.

Two Percent to Glory (2031 Frankford Ave) So many gems in this store, and even better yet they won’t break the bank!  This place has everything from jewels to boots and mid-century lighting and furniture too.  The store is stocked with amazing curated vintage pieces from all decades, with a special nod to the 70s through 90s.

Here is how the spree works:
1st Participating Store: Customer receives 10% off their purchase + a spree card w/ one sticker on it

2nd Store: Customer shows spree card  w/ 1 sticker & gets 15% off their purchase + a 2nd sticker

3rd Store: Customer shows spree card w/ 2 stickers & gets 20% off their purchase + a 3rd sticker

Once the customer’s spree card has 3 stickers, they will receive 25% off at any additional participating store that they shop at throughout the event.

More details and NoLibs participating stores

Art Shop at Circle of Hope  December 5th 6-10pm & 6th 10-2pm
This year marks the 10 year Anniversary of a neighborhood classic, the Art Shop at Circle of Hope.  This year’s lineup includes over 50 artists showing and selling their work.  You can find everything from locally screen-printed tees, terrariums, iphone cases featuring patterns designed by local artists, jewelry, skin products, lamps, home goods, and more.  This is a great place to start your holiday shopping and meet the artist behind the gift!

Coldhearted IV at Philadelphia Sculpture Gym  December 5th 6-10 & 6th 12-6pm
With over 21 participating artists, there is something for everyone at Philadelphia Sculpture Gym’s Coldhearted IV.  You can find a wide variety of artists, collectives, craftspeople and small businesses that are creating high quality, affordable items, including: art of all kinds, handmade goods like bags, jewelry, housewares,  coffee,  fabulously curated vintage selections, clothes, local businesses promoting appropriate services & selling gift cards (massages, acupuncture, tattoos, etc..) and more…

Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar December 6th  10–4pm,  7th 11–4pm, 13th 10–4pm, &  14th 11–4pm
Greensgrow’s Holiday Bazaar will have a range of fine art and crafts; jewelry, ceramics, wood working, accessories, green gifts, edible gifts, bath/body and lots more. There are 30 artists each day of the event.

The farm will be bursting with evergreen swags, holiday trees, and more for all your December décor needs. Their trees range in size from tabletop to tall. They even have great gift items like rosemary bushes, dwarf Alberta Spruce, mini-evergreens, cyclamens, amaryllis, Christmas cactus and paperwhite bulbs–easy to sprout indoors over the winter as well as edible gifts and ornaments! You can also browse Greensgrows decor selection during their customer appreciation happy hour sale on Dec 5th from 6-8pm- 15% select items!

Check out photos from last year’s bazaar here!


On Small Business Saturday shops on Girard teamed up to bring you some photo fun!  It’s not too late to join in the running to win a AmEx gift card!

Here’s how: Take a picture of yourself while shopping at a participating location, Post it on Facebook with the hashtag #GoShopGirard (and tag the store you were in too!).
You’ll have one week to beg, pester, bribe, harangue and otherwise convince your friends to vote for you with a “Like” on your photo.
The person who gets the most likes wins an AmEx gift card!
Winners picked and announced Friday, December 5th.
*Make sure your photo is in ‘public’ view so we can count your votes.
**Funny, weird, and totally bizarre photos will generate the most interest, so get creative!

Participating Businesses:goshopgirard
Spot’s Spot Pet Grooming
East Girard Gastropub
Delicious Boutique
Lola Rose
Street Glitter Gallery
Keys to the Attic
Milkcrate Cafe
DiPinto Guitars
Sketch Burger
Lloyd Whiskey Bar
Barefoot Doctor Community Acupuncture Clinic
Craft Foundry



Gift ideas for 19125-ers:

  • Little Baby’s Deep Winter CSAsign ups are open for this year’s Little Baby’sDeep Winter CSA.  Get Exclusive and Exotic Flavors only through the world’s 1st and only Community Supported Ice Cream program at Little Baby’s Ice Cream! Sign-ups end Christmas Eve, making this the perfect holiday gift for the 25-ers on your list.
  • Restaurant gift certificates are some of my favorite gifts, because who doesn’t want to have an awesome meal on someone else’s dime.  The real struggle is which restaurant to choose!  With so many awesome bites in the area (Pickled Heron, Kensington Quarters, Lloyd, EGG, Kraftwork, Cedar Point, Memphis Taproom, Pizza Brain, Cook & Shaker, and more) this might be the toughest decision of the holiday season.

Off-the-beaten-path deals and gift basket ideas:

  • The Front/Kensington corridor may be one of the best places to shop for the holidays on a budget.  You can find almost anything on your list right here.  Start with a pho lunch at Thang Long Noodle House; stop by Game Pros (2403 Kensington Ave) to knock off your gaming friends; find unbeatable deals on clothing, electronics, and shoes at the retail shops on the 2300 block of N Front St; then swing down to Nu Bella Nails for one of the best manicures in the city; and finish the day at Crazy Ed Collectables and browse a huge selection for WWE figures, toys, electronics, plus his new partner Rachel has a huge selection of handbags and accessories for the ladies on your list.
  • Port Richmond is bustling during the Christmas season.  This year why not swing by the polish deli’s and markets and make your own polish gift basket complete with Swiacki Meats‘ keilbasa, Krakus market’s pierogis, and babka from Marian’s Bakery
  • Spirits of Kensington Gift Basket:  Philadelphia Brewing Company beer and Commonwealth Ciders, La Colombe’s Different Drum rum, Rowhouse Spirits Gin, and Jacquin’s Blackberry Brandy to round it out.
  • Herb Nerd Sauce varieties include: Gitatme Sauce, Triple S, Left Side of the Aisle, Ginger Binder, Cranberry Dressing, Buffalo Wing Sauce and Buffalo Teriyaki Wing Sauce

“Rowhome for the Holidays”: Want your rowhome to outshine the rest?  Here are a quick round up of places to find your Holiday green decor.

  • Greensgrow
  • St Laurentius Home & School Wreath Sale: Support St. Laurentius Home & School by purchasing a festive Christmas wreath for your home!  Sale will be held at the NKCDC Garden Center (Berks and Frankford Ave), on Thursday Dec. 4th from 4-7pm at Farms to Families pickup
  • Sam’s Christmas Land tucked away under I-95 at Richmond St and Ann St this winter wonderland has all your christmas needs from trees to blow-up lawn ornaments
  • R & R Produce at 2344 Allegheny Ave has a selection of fresh cut trees, wreaths, and flowers sure to make your home stand out this holiday!