We’re not sure about you, but even with the best intentions, Christmas becomes an opportunity to simply spend money without even realising it.

As we head into the last few days before Christmas, you may be having to stop yourself from panic buying ‘stuff’ for the sake of it.

If this happens however, the usual result is that you end up filling your child’s toy boxes with even more plastic junk that they get bored of within a couple of days.

Meanwhile, the shops are sitting back and counting their money.

Fancy an alternative this year?

In running the Warwickshire Kids community, we have the delightful privilege of discovering lots of lovely small businesses.

So if you are still looking for something a little different, and want to support a small business, here’s your shop local guide for last minute Christmas gifts.

Shop local in Warwickshire and make it a Christmas to remember (for your family and the business owner).

Toy shops

Often, you can find more unique toys and boutique brands at local toy shops, as well as offers on well-known items too.

Toy Mad, Hatton (Warwick)
https://hattonworld.com/shopping-village/shops/toy-mad/
Toy Mad is technically the gift shop at Hatton Country World, but you can visit the shop without paying for entry into the park. They stock a range of traditional and contemporary toys.

Dolls Domain, Leamington Spa
http://www.dollsdomain.co.uk/
You can find this shop just inside of the Royal Priors Shopping Centre in Leamington Spa. They stock a range of jigsaw puzzles, model kits, games, crafts and cuddly toys.

Abacraft, Kenilworth
http://framingatabacraft.co.uk/
This place is a little confusing online, but it is essentially half picture framing shop, half toy shop. Not the standard combination but it seems like a really sweet shop. They sell a selection of toys across a variety of price ranges and are said to be very helpful, so one to explore if you’re local.

Experiences

We once read a blog that reminded us that toys are disposable, but memories last for a lifetime. It gave us the idea that the really awesome presents are the ones that your kids will not only enjoy but that they will remember. So essentially, spending time together is more important on buying ‘things’.

The Chocolate Shed, Wootton Wawen
http://www.thechocolateshed.com/
If you’ve got a chocoholic in the house, you could buy them gift vouchers to a chocolate making workshop where they can get messy and create some sweet treats that they will get to take home. They even run them for those ‘difficult to buy for’ teenagers. Explore the fun side of chocolate making.

The Barn Kitchen, Coventry
https://www.spanglesuk.com/
This cafe runs themed afternoon teas throughout the year, ranging from Disney characters right through to Harry Potter or Elf. With loads of events on offer and gift vouchers available to buy, you’re sure to find something that will suit.

Clothing

If you are looking for something a little bit different, look to independent clothing boutiques. You’ll find lots of hidden gems and maybe some things for yourself too.

Sofya & I, Hatton (Warwick)
http://www.sofyaandi.co.uk/
This shop is all about real life girl power. Set up with the aim to allow Mums, Aunties, Nanas etc to all shop together, this is a very child-friendly shop located in Hatton Shopping Village. There is even a free craft station to keep kids busy if they get bored of looking around.

Eliza Doolittle, Rugby
https://www.facebook.com/elizadoolittlerugby
This little clothing shop has been selling designer childrenswear brands and occasion wear for over 30 years. Definitely somewhere to shop if you want something special for a little person.

Colourful Soles, Lutterworth
https://www.facebook.com/COLOURFULSOLES/
Kids shoes can tend to be either boring and practical, or cool and ill-fitting. This shop crosses the border between the two, offering a welcome alternative to buying quality shoes that actually look bang on trend too.

Gifts

Got a hard-to-buy for recipient? Independent gift shops are jam packed full of things you’ve never even thought of. The perfect place to look for something unique.

Sweet Retreat, Rugby
https://www.facebook.com/Sweetretreatrugby/
If you’re looking for a gift for someone with a sweet tooth, then this is your place. With old fashioned pick’n’mix sweets, sweet cones, handmade fudge, hampers bouquets and more, this family-run business have something on offer for all ages.

Timeless Tales, Stratford-Upon-Avon
https://www.facebook.com/Timeless.Tales.shop/
This shop is a Beatrix Potter specialist that brings the magic of her stories into your lives. They also stock other timeless children classics such as Paddington bear, the Hungry Caterpillar, Elmer, Gruffalo and many more.

The Nest, Rugby
http://www.thenestrugby.co.uk/
Think Etsy on the high street. The Nest offers a marketplace for small, local, handmade and craft businesses to sell their items on the high street, so you can find some really unique gift ideas here.

Where else would you recommend to shop local in Warwickshire?