Here are our ten top picks from the downtown Northern Michigan towns. Start checkin’ off your list!
1. Little Stinker
For your little sweetie, $44. The Birds Nest, Boyne City, 231.758.3500, Facebook.
2. Classic Tale
A wonderful Northern lake country takeoff on the classic children’s story Goodnight Moon, Good Night Lake is a book every lake-loving family should have—for generations, $7.95. Sweet Pea, ?Traverse City, 231.922.1600, sweetpeatc.com.
3. Fur ’n’ Feathers
These stuffed guys (gals?) wooed us from their perches: Alpaca, made from real Alpaca fur, $49. Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm, 231.882.5024, crystallakealpacafarm.com; Peacock Puppet, $49.99, Brain Storm!, Suttons Bay, 231.271.0314, Facebook; Penguin, $49, Lambertson’s Gifts & Antiques, Kalkaska, 231.258.7822,? lambertsonsantiques.com.
4. Wee Feet
5. Dress Up
6. Fly Together
Have fun, develop skills that could well be used for a future career—just a few of the reasons to fly radio-controlled planes with your child or grandchild. Need help? T.R.A.M.P.S (Traverse Area Model Pilots Society) offers free instruction. Info at traversemodelpilots.com. Head to Trains and Things in Traverse City to pick your plane. Shown here: E-flite Stearman PT-17. The plane runs about $250. Add another $600 to get it up and flying. 231.947.1353, tctrains.com. 231.271.0314.
7. For You, Dear
We don’t need to tell you that the little dude or dudette in your life needs this wee John Deere lunch box, $9.99, and matching boots, $36. Work ’n’ Play Shop, Atwood. 231.599.2822, ?worknplayshop.com.
Make this darling book about Squirt, an orphaned otter adopted by the former Clinch Park Zoo in Traverse City, come alive with an otter puppet. Squirt the Otter, $16.95, available at Horizon Books, Traverse City, horizonbooks.com. The puppet, $25.99, is from Brain Storm!, Suttons Bay. 231.271.0314. Facebook.
9. Phone Zone
Phone cover and ear buds so cute she won’t forget to call (or text), $30. Cynthia’s Too! Yarn & Gifts, Petoskey. 231.439.9221.
10. Diva Trinkets
Tuck a pair of just-for-fun eyeglasses, $20 ($23 with bow), and a couple of glittery cellphone charms ($16 each), in your favorite fashionista’s stocking. Seoul Sisters, Traverse City. 231.342.2192, seoulsistersboutique.com.