With the holiday season underway, it's time to get shopping for the people on your list. Many area stores and shops are open with coronavirus precautions in place. Start with some gift ideas, then dive into the places you can shop around The Bend this holiday season.

9 Unique #OnlyinTheBend Gifts

There are dozens of local shops and boutiques scattered throughout The Bend. All of them are worth our support. But let us dial things in a little bit. Here are eight specific gift ideas.

Christmas Crunch from South Bend Chocolate Company

For the chocolate lover in your life, you can't go wrong with this seasonal mix of caramel corn, milk chocolate, almonds, cherries and cinnamon. Visit the South Bend Chocolate Café in downtown South Bend to pick up a big and browse all the other chocolatey goodness.

RELATED CONTENT: Find Out More About South Bend Chocolate

Swag from South Bend Locals 

If you love South Bend, there's a local group that's been rolling out some pretty fun swag repping the area. South Bend Locals has sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, stickers, totes and more. They've even collaborated with Indiana Whiskey Co. on a special bourbon


South Bend Cubs Gear

Just because it's the offseason doesn't mean you can't support the home team. Swing by the Cubs Den for a seemingly endless supply of shirts, caps and all sorts of other gear. 

Holiday Décor from The Village Shoppes

This New Carlisle gem brings shoppers from across the region all year, but specifically during the most magical time of the year. The Village Shoppes are decked out in holiday decor, including a whole wall of tree ornaments. While you're in town, Feeney's Hometown Goods is worth a stop too. It includes local pottery, handmade jewelry and other eclectic items.

Aprons from Indiana Rug Co. Studio + Gift Shop

Located in downtown Mishawaka across from Central Park, this small-but-mighty family owned shop as it all. The aprons are adorable and handmade. You can also find home décor, t-shirts and mugs dedicated to Mishawaka, outdoor-inspired clothes for men and women, purses and more.

Jewelry from Satori Boutique

A locally owned women's boutique in Granger, Satori Boutique has a little bit of everything — jewelry, tops, handbags, jackets, you name it. It's perfect for someone that's fashion forward and always looking for that next great accessory. If you want to boutique hop in hopes of finding the right gift, here are more ideas.

  • Inspire Me! (South Bend)
  • Ali on the Boulevard (South Bend)
  • Unique Boutique International (South Bend)
  • Glam Boutique (Granger)

A Bottle of Hoosier Sweet Heat from Indiana Whiskey Co.

Locally and veteran owned, Indiana Whiskey Co. has made a name for itself over the years as a top-flight whiskey maker. "Just Whiskey" and "Silver Sweet Corn" are two of its better known products. You can't go wrong. If you want something different, however, we suggest "Hoosier Sweet Heat." The cinnamon-infused whiskey will keep the recipient warm all winter.

Restaurant Gift Cards

OK, this isn't totally specific. But we highly recommend picking up a gift card from your favorite restaurant and passing it along to someone else. It's still one of the best ways to support local restaurants, plus it's a great way to introduce someone to a new place. 

Candles from Make South Bend

Located in the River Park neighborhood of South Bend, this maker space has a little shop up front with many locally themed gifts. The candles are among our favorites with their custom scents and local themes with names like Twyckenham (a prominent street) and Bendix Woods (a county park near New Carlisle).

More Places to Shop

That's just the beginning of any shopping list. There are malls and shopping districts throughout the Bend. Here are a few more possibilities.

University Park Mall

Home to some local shops and many known brands — an Apple Store, Victoria's Secret, J. Crew and more — this is a regional retail hub. Head to UP Mall and you'll be in the heart of the Mishawaka retail district, where stores line Grape Road and Main Street.

RELATED CONTENT: Shopping in Mishawaka's Retail District

South Bend Farmers Market

It's not just fruits and vegetables at the South Bend Farmers Market (although there are plenty of those!). You can find other edible goods like coffees, candy, honey, baked goods and more. Plus there are vendors selling season items like wreaths, books, hats, candles and jewelry.

RELATED CONTENT: A Guide to The Bend's Farmers Markets

Eddy Street Commons

If you're on the hunt for a Notre Dame fan, head to Eddy Street Commons and visit the Hammes Bookstore location there. The on-campus location is open as well. You can also stop at Urban Outfitters or one of the many restaurants within walking distance.

Heritage Square

Granger's Heritage Square has a long list of retail tenants. Unity Boutique, Eddie Bauer and a Trek Store are just the start.

Centennial Place

This locally owned shopping center features some great stores. Vintage Charm is a boutique with clothing, jewelry and curated vintage finds. Ten Thousand Villages specializes in artisan-crafted home décor and gifts.