Your Guide to This Year’s Best Brooklyn Gifts


    Holiday shopping season is in full swing and — oh? You haven’t started shopping yet? Don’t worry — Brownstoner’s staff picked out a boatload of gift ideas to celebrate Brooklyn’s makers, bakers, authors and museums. And if buying physical stuff isn’t in your plans, there are plenty of other ways to give — via your time and donations — in Brooklyn, too.

    Gift Guide

    Gifts for the Home

    1. Bodega cat art prints. Everyone loves a bodega cat — so illustrator Sunny Eckerle is honoring them through prints of them in front of their stores. Here, Ketchup and Lucy of Bed Stuy. $9.50 on Etsy.

    2. Brooklyn tote. Carry home your farmers market finds in this oh-so-Brooklyn cotton tote designed by Brooklyn Flea mainstay Claudia Pearson. The illustration features Brooklyn icons including the Hanson Place clock-tower building, a brownstone and artisanal pickles. $30 from Claudia Pearson.

    3. Brooklyn Poster. Look closely to find your favorite Brooklyn landmarks, from Coney Island to Barclays Center to the Bay Ridge “gingerbread house.” (Full disclosure: The poster is from BlankSlate, Brownstoner’s owner.) $36 at

    4. Brooklynese “cawfee” tray. Great for serving after-dinner drinks or breakfast in bed, this tray will have you talking like a real Brooklynite. $20.95 at Fishs Eddy.

    5. Broad City prayer candles. Pray to the goddesses of Brooklyn comedy with this set of Abbi and Ilana pillar candles. $30 on Etsy.


    Gifts for Kids

    1. Membership for the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The iconic, huge Crown Heights institution has critters, a garden, exhibits and fun for all ages from toddler through high school. A dual or family membership to this pricey destination will pay for itself many times over with unlimited free visits — an especially nice luxury in bad weather. From $65 at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

    2. Brooklyn water tower model kit. A great project for Brooklynites and Brooklyn-lovers alike: Now you can make your own water tower (and out of 100 percent recycled material, no less). A great crafts project for yourself or the family, these no-mess model kits are durable, miniature and fun. $35 from Boundless Brooklyn.

    3. Kid-size apron and cooking gear. Let your favorite chef-in-training get their hands dirty with this petite apron and set of cooking utensils. $40 from Odette Williams.

    4. Shaka-Khan percussive recording device. Turn your kids’ playroom into a DIY recording studio with this wacky percussion instrument–turned–recording device, handmade in Red Hook. $82 from Brand New Noise.

    5. Sewing classes at The Creative Cookie. Send your kids to teacher, designer and author Lesley Ware, who teaches sewing classes to kids from 5 to 17 out of her Red Hook studio. From $47.50 per class at The Creative Cookie.


    Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers

    1. Robicelli’s: A Love Story, With Cupcakes by Allison and Matt Robicelli. Master bakers Allison and Matt Robicelli are packing their bags for Baltimore, but perhaps you can convince your best baker friend to make their recipes for you for years to come. $35 at BookCourt.

    2. MixedMade Trees Knees Spicy Syrup. This maple syrup with a kick — which just snagged a Good Food Awards nomination in the Pantry category — will make a perfect addition to any cook’s pantry. $13.99 from MixedMade.

    3. Bitter & Esters home-brewing essentials class. Send your beloved to a beer-making class at Prospect Heights’ Bitter & Esters, and maybe you’ll get to reap the home-brewed benefits, too. $150 for the class plus the Brewing Essentials Kit at Bitter & Esters.

    4. Best of Mouth food subscription. Mouth, the Dumbo-based indie food retailer, will deliver monthly packages of some of the best independently made food around. From $50/month at Mouth.

    5. Liddabit Sweets deluxe caramel collection. The Industry City–based sweets company are beautiful geniuses when it comes to caramels, so package up a combination of their greatest hits. $31.50 at Liddabit Sweets.

    6. Brooklyn Brine Co.’s whiskey sour pickles. These smoky, mouth-watering pickles have been packed in whiskey from nearby Finger Lake Distilling. They’re perfectly crunchy, crispy and won’t last long. $55 for a case of six from Brooklyn Brine.

    7. Kings County Distillery moonshine. This award-winning artisanal hooch is made from New York State corn and Scottish barley. Unlike your great-granddaddy’s white lightning, it won’t make you go blind. $19 from various spirits retailers.

    Gift Guide

    Gifts for Learning

    1. Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal by Joseph Alexiou. Published this year, this history of the Gowanus Canal is a lot fresher than the Superfund itself. Written by a besotted borough transplant, this book traverses over 150 years of the polluted waterway. $29.95 from NYU Press

    2. Fodor’s Brooklyn. The acclaimed travel publisher’s first guide to Brooklyn will please recent transplants and longtime residents alike, with food, drink, architecture and shopping recommendations and gorgeous illustrations from local artist Claudia Pearson. $19.99 at WORD Brooklyn.

    3. Brooklyn Spaces. With profiles of 50 hubs of culture and creativity throughout the borough, Brooklyn Spaces will show you a Brooklyn you didn’t know existed. Far from your typical tour book, not all the spots named here are even accessible to the public, but you’ll be glad you know they exist. $19.89 from Brooklyn Spaces.

    4. Mouse taxidermy class. Learn the art of taxidermy by stuffing, posing and dressing your very own dead mouse. Students get hands-on experience with preparation, hygiene and sanitary measures, fleshing, tail stripping, and dry preservation — all while creating a true conversation piece. $120 from Hoardaculture.

    5. Brooklyn Brainery gift card. Give money toward classes on topics ranging from local history to cooking to personal finance — it’s like a mini scholarship! From $10 at Brooklyn Brainery.

    6. Brooklyn Museum membership. Get yearlong unlimited access to the museum, plus exclusive invites to openings and other special events. From $60 (some if not all of which is tax deductible) at the Brooklyn Museuem.

    Related Stories
    9 Ways to Give Back in Brooklyn This Holiday Season and Beyond
    An Interview With Joseph Alexiou, Author of Forthcoming Gowanus History Book
    Fodor’s Publishes First Brooklyn Guide

    What's Happening