As a nonnative Marylander who has fallen in love with Baltimore, I couldn’t wait to venture into Howard County and see what it has to offer in the gift department.

What I found didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few places across Howard County to buy gifts for your loved ones — pets included!

Want more gift ideas? Check out the full 2023 Baltimore Banner Gift Guide

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Handmade dog bakery item
(Courtesy photo)

Clipper’s Canine Cafe

Located in Old Ellicott City, this canine cafe offers unique goodies for a furry friend. The store will be decorated for the holiday season and will have holiday items for purchase — but only for pets, of course. Kate Bowman, the owner and manager, said holiday toys, sweaters for dogs and bakery treats, such as painted cookies, peanut butter cups and doughnuts, all made from natural ingredients, will be part of the holiday collection. Bowman, who opened the store 19 years ago, recommended the Advent calendars — with dog treats — do-it-yourself dog gingerbread houses, and toy wreaths as best gifts for the pet lover’s best friend.

8407 Main St. Suite A, Ellicott City

A set of vintage Legos at Bearing Gifts
(Courtesy photo)

Bearing Gifts

For the vintage lover or someone who wants a taste of nostalgia this holiday season, Kathy Warshauer, the owner of Bearing Gifts in Savage Mill, recommends popping into her store. From vintage collections to new clothes, jewelry, fragrances and even collectible sports items, Warshauer says her store has it all. The holiday collection features vintage and new Christmas ornaments, and collectible ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s Kentucky Derby glassware, along with vintage glassware for sports teams. Warshauer has been collecting vintage items for 45 years by scouting at shows and receiving items from people who sell and even donate them to the store. One holiday gift item that gets a lot of attention in her store is vintage Legos. “A lot of parents are buying the Legos they remember when they were kids,” she said. Her favorite item is a steamer trunk made between 1900 to 1920.

“It’s spotless and has everything from a briefcase inside, to a footstool, a pillow and even a magic hidden compartment,” Warshauer said.

8600 Foundry St., Savage

The ropes course at Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill.
(Courtesy photo)

Terrapin Adventures

Look no further for the perfect gift for the adventure seeker. Terrapin Adventures in Savage is an aerial adventure park — they have ropes courses, a zipline, a climbing wall and even a giant swing, said Emily Minter, the camp director and youth programs manager. Usually around Black Friday, discount deals will be offered for gift cards to the adventure park, Minter said. The gift cards can be used for any adventure inside and outside the park, like kayaking and caving.

Fair Street and Washington Street, Savage

Toby's Dinner Theater
(Courtesy photo)

Toby’s Dinner Theater

Do you know someone who likes musical theater? Do you have a buffet lover in your life? How about someone who likes both? This might appeal to your favorite foodie-thespian. Just outside the Merriweather Post Pavilion is Toby’s Dinner Theater, which is exactly what it sounds like: dinner and a show. Musicals are showing year-round, allowing patrons to watch a live performance with a live musical accompaniment. A buffet and a full-service bar can serve you while you watch “Beauty and the Beast,” “Jersey Boys” and many other shows. Cheryl Clemens-Everidge, director of sales, said from Nov. 10 until Jan. 7, “Miracle on 34th Street” is showing. Patrons can buy gift certificates online and have them mailed to their homes. Gift certificates are valid for five years and include the musical, dinner and select beverage.

5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia

Lost Ark Spiced Rum
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Lost Ark Distilling Co.

For the spirits lover — alcohol, not ghosts — Lost Ark Distilling Co. in Columbia could be a dream come true. Distillery tours are offered for $25, and all ages are welcome. Patrons can book a tour online, and after the tour they can hang out in the cocktail lounge and sip on drinks with rum made in the distillery.

9570 Berger Road, Suite L, Columbia

Charm city run club
(Courtesy photo)

Charm City Run Club

As the weather gets colder, the runner in your life might be looking for new, warm gear, and Charm City Run Club in Columbia can fill those needs, said Matt Milner, the store lead. Socks, hats and winter accessories are great stocking stuffers, he said. For the show-stopper gift though, shoes are the way to go. Milner said along with shoes, the store recently received shipments of Brooks running tights for men and women and long-sleeved shirts. If you don’t know the size your running friend needs, gift cards are also available.

7090 Deepage Drive, Columbia

Skinsational Scents
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Skinsational Scents

Located in Savage Mill, Skinsational Scents is an organic, clean-ingredient bath and body shop. Libby Upshaw, the director of operations, said the store offers designer fragrant oils as well as customizable lotions, body washes and body butters. To customize a product, shoppers can ask for any scent, such as a strawberry body wash, and the store workers will make it on the spot, she said. Many of the products are made to order, and patrons can customize gift sets in person and online. For holiday presents, Upshaw recommends gift sets, body butter, shower steamers, bath bombs and soaps, which are all popular stocking stuffers. For the gift giver who isn’t sure what scent someone might like, Upshaw recommended the scent called Baccarat Rouge 540 Type — a musky and floral fragrance — which she said is a unisex scent everyone adores.

New Weave Building, 8600 Foundry St. # 2057, Savage

Candles by candy class
(Courtesy photo)

Candles by Candy

For someone who’s hands-on and likes to craft, a gift certificate to a candle-making or room spray-making class could be the way to go. As well as having locally made candles for purchase, Candles by Candy offers classes in the store and will even bring classes to you, said Candace Randall-Bell, the store’s owner. In the beginner candle-making classes, which are just over an hour long and $40, guests choose any size and color of jar they want, choose from more than 10 fragrances for their candles, and then get to work making them. In the advanced classes, which are two hours and $50, Randall-Bell said they go deeper into candle making and can add crystals, flowers and dyes. In both classes — which are BYOB — customers create their own labels, adding a personal touch for a loved one. For anyone looking to purchase a locally made candle without doing the work, Randall-Bell recommended the green tea shot candle, which is a mixture of green tea and lemongrass.

8600 Foundry St., Savage

🎁 Looking for more gift ideas?

🎁 8 places to shop for holiday gifts in Baltimore City

🎁 9 great gift ideas to buy in Baltimore County

🎁 8 places to buy gifts for the holidays in Anne Arundel County

🎁 7 places to shop for holiday gifts in Bel Air and Harford County

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

🎁 7 places to shop for the holidays in Sykesville and Carroll County

Abby Zimmardi is a reporter covering Howard County for The Baltimore Banner. Zimmardi earned her master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism in December 2022.

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