The Illinois Office of Tourism has released its annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide highlighting 20 small businesses around the state ahead of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25th. The guide offers a wide variety of one-of-a-kind products and experiences that are unique to Illinois, from custom golf clubs to eight nights of delicious tea samples to celebrate Hanukkah, to hands-on experiences like quilt and candle-making classes.
“Promoting small businesses is key to the state’s economic growth as it drives tourism across Illinois,” said Kristin Richards, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). “With the help of our guide, both residents and visitors to the state can discover the perfect holiday gift for everyone on their shopping list this year while supporting local businesses in every region of Illinois.
“This year, we placed an emphasis on highlighting not only incredible handmade products in the gift guide, but also remarkable experiences found all over the state,” stated Daniel Thomas, Deputy Director of DCEO, Office of Tourism. “We aim to inspire holiday shoppers to celebrate the season by planning a trip to relish these local small businesses and their exceptional offerings in person.”
To view the complete Illinois Made Gift Guide, click here.
Illinois Made Experiences
Take a quilt-making class at Art Gallery Off the Square, Vienna – Learn best practices for making a quilt and craft your very own wall hanging or table runner ($100). Explore products and learn how to pre-register here.
Take a candle-making class at Warm Wick, Brookfield – Discover the fundamentals of candle making as you create your own candle and sip wine with friends in this fun-filled experience ($50). Shop products online here.
Gift an incredible tattoo at Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery, Elgin – For something special that lasts a lifetime, gift an intricate tattoo designed by an expert artist (prices vary). Learn more here.
Learn how to forge a knife at Edge of Normal Workshop, Normal – Take a railroad spike, apply heat, sweat and craftsmanship to forge a knife in this edgy bladesmith class ($175). Shop products online here.
Treat a loved one to dinner and a concert at The Norwegian, Rockford – Spend a night out at the Norwegian, offering a tasty Nordic-themed rotating menu to enjoy while listening to captivating live music (gift cards available starting at $25). Shop products online here.
Cozy Gifts + Home Decor
Casting Whimsy Tea, Woodstock – The Eight Nights of Whimsy Tea Set is the perfect Hanukkah gift for tea lovers. The package includes eight samples of teas with a six-pack of delicious shortbread cookies ($20.99). Shop products online here.
Wooden It Be Lovely, Springfield – The ‘Be Jolly’ candle fills the room with the scent of baked cookies for the holiday season ($29.50). All proceeds from purchased items go toward helping the women in the program gain valuable and empowering work experience and heal from lives of poverty and addiction. Shop products online here.
Galena Canning Co., Galena – Give seven jars of different dips, sauces and high-quality, home-cooked flavors that you can find only in Galena – all in one Taste of Galena gift basket ($69.99). Shop products online here.
Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmont – You can never go wrong with the gift of a well-balanced wine, especially this medium-bodied Sleepy Creek 2019 Bull Headed Red Wine bottle ($21.50). Shop products online here.
Lexington Betty Smokehouse, Chicago – Grill masters will be eternally grateful for the LBS Holiday Box featuring andouille beef sausage, “The Ultimate” BBQ seasoning and savory BBQ sauce ($69.99). Shop products online here.
Gifts for Pets
Bear’s Bites, Peoria – Any dog would be lucky to sink their teeth into all the natural treats in the Monthly Bite Box, offering flavors like chicken, beef and pumpkin ($39). Shop products online here.
Sports & Recreational Gifts
Hempstock Pharms, Woodstock – Don’t let aches and pains stop your loved one from playing the game. The Joint & Muscle CBD topical ointment is 100% organic and made with shea and cocoa butters, beeswax, coconut oil and essential oils known for anti-inflammatory properties ($40). Shop all products online here.
To learn more about the Illinois Made program and how to support small businesses around Illinois, visit EnjoyIllinois.com/IllinoisMade.