Holiday Gift Guide for Chicago Moms & a GIVEAWAY

We Chicago moms have a TON on our plate. Not only do we run a household, but we oftentimes run successful businesses and marathons—literal and figurative—all at once. And with the stress that the holiday season brings, it is about time that we hard working Chicago moms take a little short cut and use a helping hand in tackling our holiday “to do” list. I guarantee that by using this Holiday Gift Guide for Chicago Moms, you will be able to find the perfect gift for absolutely EVERYONE on your list—including yourself—all while giving back to the Chicagoland community while you are fulfilling your Santa duties.

This post contains affiliate links. Products were submitted to me for review at no cost. All opinions are my own.


Splurge Present: Land of Nod Play Tent

Cost: Starting at $99…many tents are up to 40% off this holiday season!

Whether it is used as home base for imaginative play, a cozy reading nook, or a hideout from Mom and Dad, the Land of Nod play tent is the ultimate holiday gift for kids. There are tons of styles to choose from, including cozy pads, pillows, and decorative accessories to keep your kids stylishly entertained all year long.


Stocking Stuffer (Boys & Girls): Rey to Z

Cost: $25.  Use code HOLIDAY15 for 15% off this holiday season.

Add some style to your kids’ stocking this year through these personalized caps made by a local mom. You can create your own hat using the custom color option or stick with the classic navy, red, or pink cap. Even better? Get yourself a matching one, too!


Stocking Stuffer (Just for the Girls): Leela and JoJo Headband

Cost: $18.  Use code MERRY for 10% off your order

Add a trendy surprise to your daughter’s stocking this year and support a local artisan all at the same time. This unique headband is made from 100% Merino wool felt and perfectly suits stylish girls of all ages. Even better? It comfortably stays in place all day long!


Gift Experience: Pearachute

Cost: Starting at $39/month.  Receive a $25 gift card for every $100 purchased.

Drop into a wide variety of kid classes and activities throughout Chicagoland using Pearachute. Our favorite options include art classes at Easel Art Studio, play time at Bubbles Academy, and bowling at Pinstripes.


Unique Treat: Surprise Ride Kits

Cost: $26 and up.  Use code AMANDA20 for 20% off all subscriptions and bundles. (Orders must be placed by 12/14 for Christmas delivery)

These creative and unique kits encourage screen free learning and exploration through thematic hands on activities. Choose from art, animal, or science based bundles or individual kits such as how to build a volcano or make slime.  You can also subscribe to monthly or yearly memberships in addition to purchasing individual kits.


Local Gift: Kids’ Table Cooking Kits

Cost: $28 and up

The popular Chicago cooking school for kids has launched a line of cooking kits for your little chef. There are different themed kits to choose from, such as the “Eatsa Pizza Kit” or “Holiday Cookie Kit.” Customized kits include kid-sized cooking tools, a set of signature Kids’ Table recipes, and a reusable tote bag.



Splurge Present: Kamik Boots

Cost: $85 and up

Whether he commutes to work or is simply assigned to dog walking duty, there is nothing better than a pair of stylish, waterproof, and comfortable winter boots. Kamik is a quality brand that has a vast array of trendy and affordable styles of men’s boots so that he is prepared for whatever Chiberia throws at him this winter.


Stocking Stuffer: Cubs Cocktail Glasses

Cost: $28

Every die hard Cubs fan knows that you need a stiff drink to get you through the playoffs. Choose from beer steins, rocks glasses, shot glasses, and other Cubs themed drinkware to help you get through the highs and lows of the baseball season over at


Gift Experience: Argus Brewery Tour

Cost: $15

This brewery tour is great because it isn’t heavy on the technical terms and you receive as much beer as you want to sample, which is offered in a souvenir pint glass. The 90 minute tour ends in the cozy taproom where you can play games, chat, and sample all the goods with your buddies. Reservations required.


Unique Treat: Packed with Purpose

Cost: $55 and up

Pamper the man in your life while also supporting the local community by purchasing a Packed with Purpose boxed gift. Every high quality product included in each gift box improves the lives of people in need by creating jobs, developing skills, reducing waste, and more. We highly recommend the “Just for Him Delux Gift” that is as unique and thoughtful as he is.


Local Gift: Blackhawks Jersey

Cost: $78 and up

Whether he pays homage to current Blackhawks who dominate the United Center ice or legends like Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, you can’t go wrong purchasing a jersey that showcases the best logo in all of professional sports. My personal favorite is the throwback jersey so he can stand out in the Blackhawks loving crowd.



Splurge Present: Sh*t That I Knit Cap

Cost: $125.  Use code “twigsnberries” for 10% off your purchase.

This knitwear company uses the finest hand-dyed Peruvian merino wool, alpaca, or cashmere so each piece will last a lifetime. The knit caps are not only well made, cozy, and stylish, but they are also a way to give back to the community at large. Sh*t That I Knit donates knitting kits to young adult cancer patients, as well as employs and empowers skilled women in Lima, Peru with each knit cap purchased.


Stocking Stuffer: GenX Wine

Cost: $13

Let’s face it…just about everyone loves to relax at the end of the day with a great glass of wine (especially if you have little kids at home!). GenX Bold California Red Blend is a subtly complex Bordeaux inspired wine and pairs well with just about any type of cuisine. You can purchase this new, local wine at any Chicagoland Mariano’s location.


Gift Experience: Tea Time at the Drake Hotel

Cost: $45 per person

Treat your friends like the true queens they are and take them for afternoon tea at the stunning Palm Court restaurant, located in the heart of the Drake Hotel. Choose from the vast collection of over 17 teas and enjoy a three tiered tray of artisanal finger sandwiches, delicious scones and breads with preserves, and of course, dainty petite fours. You can also indulge in champagne in addition to tea while you enjoy the stunning floral arrangements and live harp performances.


Unique Treat: Letterfolk White Letterboard

Cost: $70

If you have scrolled through Instagram in let’s say, um, the past six months, you know that letter boards are ALL the rage right now. But you know what is unique? A small WHITE letter board. Encourage your friend to be as creative as she can, sharing her favorite sappy quotes and maybe even your inside jokes that no one else truly understands through this handcrafted, beautiful board.


Local Gift: Bright Endeavors Candle

Cost: $8 and up

When you purchase a Bright Endeavors candle, you aren’t just buying a beautiful, handcrafted soy candle that will undoubtedly fill your home with lovely scented warmth. You also help a mom get back on her feet and move closer to her goals through the Bright Endeavors training program. You can’t go wrong with surprising a friend with any of the premium soy candles, but I do think that the Chicago and Holiday Citrus candles smell the best!



Splurge Present: Stella & Dot Baubles

Cost: $70 and up

When you are caring for a child, you typically don’t spend too much time thinking about what you are going to wear and are instead planning a fun day full of learning and exploration. Treat the person who takes such great care of your child to a glamorous splurge by gifting them a bold statement necklace from Stella & Dot. There are so many different baubles to choose from and at different price points, you are bound to find the perfect shiny and sparkly accessory.


Stocking Stuffer: Julep Subscription Box

Cost: $24.99/box

Give the gift of “self care” by gifting a Julep Subscription Box. Each month a new box will arrive with over $40 worth of new beauty, skincare, and/or limited run nail colors. The box can be customized if desired or will consist of surprise treats. You can gift just one box or give an extended subscription if you want the pampering to continue past the busy holiday season.


Gift Experience: Spa Day at the Four Seasons

Cost: $160 and up

Luxurious doesn’t even begin to describe the wonderful experience spa patrons can enjoy at the Four Seasons. It is the perfect gift for someone who needs to relax and deserves to be pampered. When you book a facial or massage, you are also granted access to the hotel’s exclusive pool, so be sure to plan accordingly and thoroughly enjoy all of the amenities.


Unique Treat: Minted Photo Collage

Cost: $42 and up

Get all of those photos OFF your phone and ON display to celebrate all of the special moments your child has experienced with his/her caregiver throughout the year. Simply upload 30 snapshots, choose the frame and size and you’re done! This one of a kind work of art will definitely be treasured.


Local Gift: Chicago Hand Painted Ornament

Cost: $15 and up

Help the special people in your life trim their tree this year with beautiful, Chicago themed hand painted ornaments. Options include the Chicago skyline, Wrigley Field, Hockey Santa, Chicago Flag and much more.



Splurge Present: Sunlight Inside Bottled Sunshine Lamp

Cost: $249 and up

I know that I am not the only mom who dreads the winter, not just because we are cooped up inside but also because of the lack of sunshine. Alleviate this problem by bringing sunlight indoors through the unique Sunlight Inside Bottled Sunshine Lamp. The beautiful, hand crafted lamp mimics the sun’s natural light cycle and is already preset to your location once it arrives. Simply plug it in and enjoy the natural light cycle day and night.


Stocking Stuffer: Ever Skin Care Mini Polish/Mini Lavish Body Butter Set

Cost: $38.  Use this discount code to receive $10 off your first order of $50 or more. “Subscribe and Save” orders receive 10% off and free shipping over $80 purchases. Use code MERRY30 at checkout for $30 off orders of $150 or more.

This award winning kit is the perfect way to wash away the strain of the day and relax. The scent of the lemon sugar body scrub isn’t overpowering and the luxurious body butter is the perfect way to combat the dryness that winter brings.


Gift Experience: Kirsten Lisa Photography Photo Session

Cost: $350 for 1 ½ hours and 40 images. Use code AMANDA2017 for five additional photos plus a FREE 11 x 14 print.

Most of us moms are the ones taking the picture, so gift yourself a memorable experience by hiring a talented mom and local photographer, Kristen Lisa, to capture your family’s photo memories. I have worked with Kristen for over two years and am always shocked at how patient she is with my rambunctious boys and how she is able to help me pose so that I am feeling confident in all of our photos, even after two babies. See more of my collaborations with Kristen here and don’t miss our Christmas family photo shoot.


Unique Treat: Child or Pet Silhouette

Cost: Starting at $41 for standard printing

Your home (and phone) are filled with photos of your family’s favorite memories. But instead of traditional photos, capture your favorite faces in a fun and unique way. Simply upload a profile shot of your child, pet or other loved one, and the artists at Minted will turn it into a custom silhouette print. Available in standard, foil, or letter press printing.


Local Gift: Custom Star Map Pillow

Cost: $30

Capture any important moment, such as a birthday, wedding, or any other momentous occasion through this unique pillow. A customized map of the stars with outlined constellations and Milky Way for any date and location can be printed right onto a comfortable, soft throw pillow. You can also include a quote or other text on the back of the pillow for an extra special, customized touch.


Finally, no holiday season is complete without a night filled with warm pajamas, hot chocolate, and Christmas books. I’m partnering up with local publisher Albert Whitman and Company to gift one family our favorite holiday book, “Rudy’s Windy Christmas” this holiday season. All you need to do is comment on this post with your favorite item from the gift guide in order to be entered. All entries must be received by Tuesday, December 12th by 8 p.m. CST. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. Good luck and happy holidays!


Now that all of your shopping is done, it’s time to have some FUN! Check out my top picks for how to celebrate the holidays in Chicagoland, as well as some ways to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed this holiday season.


Happy Holidays!
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  1. Teresa says

    You have selected a great bunch of gifts for the holidays for any local Chicago mom or really any mom in the nation. I’m particularly fond of the gift of High Tea at the Drake! So much fun every holiday!

    • Amanda says

      Have you ever been? It’s such a gorgeous experience. Your girls would LOVE it, either during the holidays or truly any time of year.

    • Amanda says

      I love subscription boxes, whether they are cooking or art kits for kids or something special for the grown ups. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

    • Amanda says

      Even better? Most of these gifts are from small businesses so when you purchase one of these items, you are helping to build your community. Everyone wins! 😉

    • Amanda says

      I swear my mood as improved ever since I started using it. Such a genius idea for those who live in dark and cold winter climates like us!

    • Amanda says

      Anything special catch your eye? I’m hoping for a bauble necklace and some things so I can have a spa day at home!

    • Amanda says

      Isn’t that such a unique and thoughtful gift? I think it would be perfect for a baby (because come on, does a baby really NEED anything for the holidays?) or even a gift for your spouse since after a few years it is hard to come up with great gift ideas! 😉

    • Amanda says

      You can’t go wrong with the Four Seasons, especially when you are indulging in their luxurious spa treatments!

  2. Alice F. says

    There are several great items in your holiday gift guide! I think my favorite item is the Julep Subscription Box. Subscription boxes are so much fun and the idea of having a box filled with goodies mailed to my home every is exciting!

    • Amanda says

      Totally agree that subscription boxes make great gifts. I love the ones offered from The Kids’ Table, Surprise Ride, Packed with Purpose, and Julep! There is most definitely a subscription box for EVERYONE on your list!

    • Amanda says

      My whole family wears Kamik boots…they are perfect for cold Chicago winters, as well as stylish and affordable. Best boots I have ever had!

    • Amanda says

      Most definitely! You can always pick up some EVER skin products to have a spa day at home since I know getting out is VERY difficult with a newborn!

  3. Debra Hawkins says

    I want that Land of Nod play tent! I think my kids would absolutely lose their minds over that. What a fun thing to play in!

    • Amanda says

      I swear, I have never worn a hat that was more comfortable than the one from Sh*t That I Knit. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  4. Jenny says

    These are great gift ideas! My daughter would love the tent but I think I’d get more of a kick out of the volcano set. Looks like so much fun!

    • Amanda says

      We had a blast with the volcano kit from Surprise Ride. It is such a fun, screen free way for kids to create and learn!

  5. Mary says

    The cooking kits! So cute. We were looking for kid cooking stuff and even thought about the easy bake oven but most people say kids would rather do the real thing. My next favorite is the tent section because who doesn’t love a fort…except claustrophobic people

    • Amanda says

      The cooking kit is a hit in our house. I’m so thankful to have help in the kitchen and my boys LOVE the kid-friendly tools. One of the best things on the guide!

  6. Kisa says

    I love the little rocket play tent! None of my kids ever really loved play tents. I got my youngest one but she rarely used it and I got tired of it being in the way, we’re already limited on space.. Ahhh well I remember loving them when I was little.
    What a great gift guide. Thank you so much for sharing it all.

  7. Ave says

    So many great gift ideas for all the family! I think I would love Custom Star Map Pillow and the Tea Time at the Drake Hotel for myself!

  8. Heather H. says

    I’m so intrigued by the sun lamp. I should be looking for others, but I want pretty much everything on this list. Great gift guide!

  9. E H says

    Love the variety that you have got in this gift guide. The products look so beautiful, perfect for friends and loved ones. The volcano kit and the play tent will be perfect for my kids!

  10. Jessica Davis says

    AWESOME gift ideas at various price points! I love the knit cap & boots, however I’d love to make something with all the pictures on my phone.

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    I think a gift of experience would be perfect. Anyone would love to receive something they can use or wear, but for a gift to give you memories to last a long time, that is definitely awesome!

    • Amanda says

      Totally agree. That’s why my husband and I have stared to only do experience gifts for one another. Makes memories to last a life time!

  12. Practical Mama says

    Sun lamp is my favorite. I’ve seen it in your stories and I was intrigued. My runner up is First time I’ve heard of them and it’s a great resource. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Marie says

    Tea time at the Drake, especially during the holidays! I just took a friend there for her birthday a couple of weeks ago…so fun!

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