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Logan Square, Humboldt Park Gift Guide: Cool Toys, Pickled Peppers and More

By Darryl Holliday | November 25, 2014 5:30am
 Humboldt House
Humboldt House
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Foxtail + Moss

LOGAN SQUARE — With new shops opening seemingly every day, you'll have no trouble finding a gift for someone special in Logan Square and Humboldt Park. 

Here are a few things we've had our eye on. 

Walking into Humboldt House, 1045 N. California Ave., can be a bit overwhelming. You'll find yourself wanting to move in, or at least spend your life savings on all of the cool vintage furniture. Buy a beautiful Kilim rug for yourself, and pick up a Logan Square-made candle by Hidden Folk for a pal. We dig the Patchouli Black Pepper Peru Balsam scent ($38). The shop also sells gorgeous wall hangings made by Humboldt Park artist Attalie Dexter ($47) that will please mom or your hipster bestie. Photo on upper right by Foxtail + Moss.

We all could stand to put down the phone once in awhile and read a book. Head over to City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Ave., and look through the shop’s own Holiday Gift Guide, a collection of more than 50 books in a range of categories, from science fiction to cookbooks. Away from the TV but want to get your fix? Try “Yes Please!” by Amy Poehler ($28.99) or “Choose Your Own Biography!” from Neil Patrick Harris ($26). City Lit offers free gift wrapping in-store and will ship anywhere in the world.

Let us guess: Your Facebook feed is filled with photos of friends who have toddlers or kids on the way. Stop by Play, 3109 W. Logan Blvd., to get a gift for your friends’ kids. We love the shop's mascot, a jet-setting stuffed elephant featured regularly in Play Instagram shots. The shop's cute stuffed animals range in size and price. The small ones start at $14.95 and a 2 ½-foot tall version will cost you about $40.

As a bonus, Santa will be in-store December 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature special raffle prizes and complimentary gift-wrapping. And if a stuffed animal isn’t your child’s speed, try a Janod’s Graffiti Easel and Chalkboard ($89.95) or Play’s extensive children’s book section.

Done shopping for the kids but want toys anyway? Toy de Jour, 2064 N. Western Ave., has gifts for that big, vintage-loving, lunchbox-carrying kid in you. For the nerd on a budget: grab a vintage ninja turtle ($8) or Care Bear plush toys from 1980s ($15). For the serious shopper: try the Fart Machine #2, a remote-controlled fart machine that can be triggered from 15 feet away ($20). And for the true vintage bargain hunter: a G.I. Joe Cobra Commander Base from the 1980’s ($350) or a 1949 Zenith TV, in working condition but analog, so there’s that ($400). All prices are starting offers.

Logan Square’s longtime flower flower shop Fleur recently moved to a new, larger location, 3149 W. Logan Blvd., making this the perfect time to stop in for some gorgeous gifts. Fleur’s knowledgeable staff recommends Fairbault Woolen Mill Cabin Wool Blankets ($100.95), Linnea's Lights candles ($16.95 to $31.95), Amelia Mancini Tea Towels ($28.95) and Sparrow For Everyone essential oil by the owners of Logan Square salon, Sparrow, located a short walk from Fleur at 2545 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Cup and Spoon, 2415 W. North Ave., opened earlier this year but has quickly become a local favorite through its restaurant and regular community arts events with Dreambox Foto Studio. Stop by the WOW District coffee shop in Humboldt Park for three special holiday bundles, featuring coffees and teas ($25-$45). If you're heading in this week, pick up a Thanksgiving bundle, which includes one pound of the Hullabaloo Holiday Blend coffee, one bag of Mama Q Caramel Crunch and Walnuts Popcorn, and several Katherine Anne Confections Caramels ($25).

The only good thing about winter is being able to eat a lot and wear thick sweaters to cover up all the weight you gain. If you’re gonna binge, make it on the good stuff. Scrumptious Pantry is a Logan Square-based company that makes hot sauces, pickles, preserves and all sorts of goodies. Their American Persimmon Hot Sauce ($5.99) is made with persimmon fruit foraged from Indiana and spiked with habanero. Put it on pizza. Seriously. Their Beaver Dam Pickled Peppers ($8.99) pack some heat as well and would make the perfect bloody Mary garnish. You can order their products online or pick them up at a local Whole Foods.

Listen to all the great gift ideas in the neighborhoods here: