Make your list, check it twice: Shop local in Long Beach for everything nice

Everyone loves to give and receive this time of year, and it’s especially exciting to give and receive something personal, practical, unique—or all of those rolled into one. The diversity of Long Beach is reflected in its growing number of distinctive local businesses, and many of those offer the perfect chance to make your holiday shopping more memorable than ever.  Here are some gift ideas, in no particular order, which will make your gift recipient feel special and will make you feel great about supporting Long Beach small businesses.

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Long Beach Transit

Do you want to begin exploring the world of Long Beach small businesses but don’t want to brave the holiday traffic and parking? Take the bus! Long Beach Transit buses will get you to every corner of the city to find that dream gift. Chances are, you’ll discover and love a Long Beach neighborhood you’ve only heard about.

You can also give someone the gift of hassle-free travel by purchasing a bus pass for them at LBT’s Transit and Visitor Information Center at the corner of First Street and Pine Avenue. Once there, you can get an overview of potential destinations and plan your shopping spree accordingly.

In another piece of terrific transit news, LBT is offering free bus rides on New Year’s Eve, starting at 5 p.m. Get yourself and your family and friends to local NYE events such as New Year’s Eve On The Waterfront without having to hit the brakes once! Make the Long Beach Transit website your next stop for more information.

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Beach City Food Tours

Get to know the richness of Downtown Long Beach on foot while satisfying your hunger at seven different restaurants! Beach City Food Tours offers a Downtown Long Beach Walking Tour, in which your giftee can visit seven of downtown’s finest eateries with no lines and no bills to settle up. BCFT also just began serving up an East Village Craft Cocktail Tour, where you can experience downtown’s burgeoning craft cocktail movement in a learn-by-doing style.

You can grab an eCertificate (that will never expire) in any denomination, with instant delivery to the giftee’s inbox. Make sure to use the promo code HOHOHO at checkout for 20 percent off!

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Historical Society of Long Beach

Perhaps thinking about these Long Beach explorations have piqued your interest in Long Beach history. Give the gift of knowledge by picking up a book about our town’s past, written by a local author, at the Historical Society of Long Beach. Learn about old Long Beach neighborhoods such as the Willmore District, read up on Long Beach’s rich naval history, and learn about that long-gone, much-lamented amusement mecca the Long Beach Pike. Click here to place your order, and do it before Dec. 14 so your book will be delivered by Christmas.

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Photo by Mikey Vigilante.

Paper Crane Tattoo

Along with getting schooled about Long Beach history, perhaps the gift of old-school body adornment is in your future. The fine tattoo artists at Paper Crane Tattoo will create a unique piece of body art for you, using techniques ranging from geometric blackwork to color realism. They will consult with you on your first tattoo or finish an elaborate piece you’ve already gotten started.

Take a look for yourself on Paper Crane’s Instagram for examples of the custom tattoos being created at this highly rated shop. Give someone the gift that keeps on giving every time they look in the mirror. Simply drop by the shop to purchase a gift certificate or some Paper Crane swag. Custom ink: Whattaya think?

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Sport Kilt

The kilt, like the tattoo, is a rather ancient form of self-expression that is still turning heads in 2018. It just so happens that the largest kilt company in the USA is located right here in Long Beach!

This airy, traditional garb is a guaranteed show-stopper, whether at a party, a Scottish wedding, or at a bar downtown. Kilts are adorned with the distinctive tartan pattern, and you can now wear the official tartan of Long Beach, designed by Sport Kilt and registered by the Scottish Registry of Tartans. Check out the many kilt styles and patterns available on Sport Kilt’s website and give a gift that’s sure to turn heads!

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Photo by Atira West.

9Round Fitness

Kick off the new year with one of the best full-body workouts available—kickboxing. 9Round Fitness is offering a holiday gift basket with plenty of punch: One month of unlimited 30-minute kickboxing workouts with a certified trainer, a pair of championship boxing gloves and hand wraps, and some 9Round swag. There are no set class times so you can create your own workout schedule.

Get your 2019 fitness resolutions off to a proper start at 9Round Fitness, voted 2018’s Best Gym in Long Beach by Long Beach Home + Living.  Please visit the 9Round Long Beach website for more kickboxing fitness lowdown.

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Polarity Fitness

Put a new spin on someone’s fitness regimen: Get them a gift certificate for pole fitness and watch them tune up their entire body. “It’s mentally stimulating and it’s not boring and repetitive,” says C.C., Level One Pole Fitness champ at Polarity Fitness. At Polarity Fitness, the workouts include dance, gymnastics, pole fitness moves and both anaerobic and aerobic workouts. The result is improved core strength, body image and self-confidence. There are optional dance team opportunities and quarterly recitals as well. “You can see your results when you nail a new trick,” adds C.C.

As evidenced by the many photos and videos posted on its Instagram, Polarity welcomes all shapes, sizes and genders! To get a $100 Polarity Fitness gift certificate for only $75, visit Polarity Fitness on Yelp.

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The Ordinarie

Take a trip back in time in this quaint, dazzling art deco gem of a restaurant/bar on the Long Beach Promenade. But don’t go there for lean cuisine: this place serves up heaping dishes of comfort food like chicken and dumplings and short rib pot roast. Its warm and hospitable atmosphere is enhanced by live music, signature cocktails and a full complement of craft beers and ciders.

The Ordinarie takes pride in its top-notch service as well. This new establishment is a warm and fuzzy one-stop shop for merriment and holiday cheer. Stop by the restaurant to purchase a gift certificate for a dining experience that’s anything but ordinarie!

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The Lash Lounge

For the beauty junkie in your life, give the gift of the latest beauty trend—long lashes! The Lash Lounge is a luxurious eyelash service salon that offers semi-permanent eyelash and eyebrow extensions, lash perming, and other low-maintenance beauty alternatives. They take pride in catering to each individual’s needs with the highest quality service and one-of-a-kind face mapping technique, leaving them feeling comfortable, confident and cared for.

Lash extensions are great for those that wear minimal makeup, but still want to look and feel their best! Whether you are busy bee, a beauty guru, or love to get a sweat on, lash extensions are great for any lifestyle.

The Lash Lounge is offering a VIP Founding Membership for lash lovers to help them maintain their lash extensions and save! This includes two classic refills a month plus other discounts at a locked-in monthly price, but will only be available for a limited time. Visit their website for more information on this and other offers, or to purchase an online gift card for any amount.

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Photo by Andrea Estrada.

Stateside Crafts

Feel like discovering a new craft beer or cider? Take a trip uptown to Bixby Knolls and visit Stateside Crafts, where you can savor a flight of beers that is constantly changing and being updated by curator and beer wizard Patrick. You’ll find yourself sipping outstanding craft beers such as Tough Love (Cruz Fermentation Project), Bitter Monk (Anchorage Brewing Company), and Farm To Face (Allagash Brewing Company).

Savory snacks and ice cream (served in a Mason jar) are also on the menu, which you’ll partake of while listening to music being served up on an actual record player – remember those? And, in the spirit of the season, Stateside Crafts is offering the 12 Days Advent Beer Sampler, filled with, as Patrick puts it, “proper beers and lagers.”  What a way to introduce that special someone to their fantastic selection!

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Romance Etc.

Tell your loved one that your flame forever burns bright for them: Gift them with a Lifetime Candle from Romance Etc., the No. 1 gift boutique and floral design studio in Long Beach. Lifetime Candles from White River Designs are beautiful statement pieces that last a lifetime! Filled with smokeless, odorless liquid paraffin and natural elements, these clean burning candles make the perfect gift for a special someone or for your own enjoyment! Candles are handcrafted in Arkansas and feature no-trim fiberglass wicks. Find Lifetime Candles in a variety of sizes and styles at Romance Etc.

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