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  • Jamie Killian

Shop Unique, Shop Local, Shop Gaston — This roundup makes shopping for kids easier than it should be

Shopping local is more important than ever and who is usually at the top of our lists? The kids, of course. If you have children of your own, nieces or nephews or maybe are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new family member, there are lots of great places to get gifts for children in Gaston County.

All Things Collectible

Photo Courtesy of All Things Collectible

4520 Wilkinson Blvd., Gastonia

Tuesday-Sunday, 12 p.m.- 7 p.m.

This Gastonia treasure offers comic books, collectible figurines, Funko Pop collectibles and more. They are a family owned business that prides themselves on having hard-to-find collectibles--and if they don’t have it, they will work to find it for you. In addition, they offer sports memorabilia. This shop offers online buying.

Back in Time Collectibles

Photo Courtesy of Back in Time Collectibles

194 S. South St., Gastonia

Open daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed on Wednesdays

Back in Time is your go-to place to find figurines, comic books and other collectible toys. They have an amazing collection of action heroes, wrestling and movie action figures. They also carry Funko Pop and Star Wars toys.

Buttercup & Co.

Photo Courtesy of Buttercup & Co.

123 N. Main St., Lowell

Thursday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday 1 p.m.-5p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Grab a coffee from Fyreday Roasting Company and head to Buttercup & Co. Offering contemporary children's clothes as well as maternity items, this shop the perfect place to find a gift for the expectant mom or children of all ages in your life. They also have coordinating sibling outfits for that perfect holiday photo op. Even better? They offer online ordering.

Cotton Candy Factory

Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Agenda

21 N. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

For the kids in your life with a real sweet tooth--the charming Cotton Candy Factory would make a great place to take someone during a “gift of time” or grab a gift card so that your favorite kiddo can come back and get some fresh cotton candy, retro candy or gumballs. You can feel extra great about this gift since The Cotton Candy Factory provides vocational training for the differently abled.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (taken pre-COVID)

6500 S. New Hope Rd., Gastonia

Check website for hours

Have a child who loves nature? Gift them a membership to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. There is so much to see and do here and the offerings evolve throughout the year--from Christmas lights to various exhibits. They also offer homeschool classes. Some of their content is offered virtually as well which makes this a great gift for 2020.

LuLu’s Old Fashion Candy Shop

Photo Courtesy of LuLu's Old Fashion Candy Shop

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m -7 p.m.; Friday -Saturday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m; Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

LuLu’s is located on the first floor Eastridge mall and serves up nostalgia in the form of candy. Stuff your kid’s stockings with rock candy, gold chocolate coins, and mallo cups for a Christmas morning that feels like your own childhood relived.

Once Upon a Child

Photo Courtesy of Once Upon a Child

2930 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia

Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Shopping but want to think sustainable? Once Upon a Child offers gently used clothes and toys and much lower prices. This is an especially great place to find gifts for younger babies and children who cycle through clothes and toys quickly. You can often find items new with tags or name brand gear for a steal.

Retro Toys and Collectibles

Photo Courtesy of Retro Toys and Collectibles

400 E. Main St. Suite A,, Cherryville

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

This fun shop has some items that are a true blast from the past, including retro action figures and hard-to-find games. They also carry collectibles like Funko Pop figurines and Pokemon cards.

The Schiele Museum

Photo Courtesy of blazeCLT

1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia

Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Give the gift of experience! The Schiele Museum is a great place to take kids to explore nature and science. Giving a membership allows children to experience the exhibits year round, including programs on space and gardening. Now through December 18th, memberships purchased at the Family Level and above will include a 16 oz. container of the museums award-winning local, wildflower honey. Honey cannot be shipped.

The Teacher Box

Photo Courtesy of The Teacher Box

225B Market St., Cramerton

Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

This local staple offers much more than just teacher supplies. They have engaging games, books and materials for arts and crafts. This is a great place to get a child something unique and fun. They also offer online ordering.

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