Find your holiday gifts in Berkeley's thriving local shopping scene

Although the internet has made it easy for consumers to get their holiday shopping done from the comfort of their own homes, many communities still have thriving retail sectors that offer shoppers convenience, value and a feeling of local togetherness. Cities with thriving shopping districts often provide residents with more personalized and memorable options than the web could ever hope for. People considering purchasing one of the homes for sale in Berkeley will likely be happy to hear that the city boasts one of the strongest local shopping scenes in the region, which can help transform holiday shopping from a chore to a joy.

Whatever you are looking for, Berkeley is sure to have a store that offers it. With a little diligence and some inside information, it is easy to find the perfect gift for everybody on your list without having to order anything from the internet. Indeed, not only does Berkeley have a raft of local, independent shops, but it is also home to many unique companies that manufacture some of the products sold in those stores.

What child wouldn't love a one-of-a-kind, intricately crafted puppet? For centuries, these toys have been delighting children of all ages as they use them to stage plays and engage their imaginations. It should not be surprising that Berkeley, a metro known for its creative residents, birthed one of the country's most-beloved puppet makers. Over the last 35 years, Folkmanis, which is based in the Bay Area, has earned a reputation for crafting some of the most inventive and lifelike puppets on the market.

For the slightly more advanced recipients on your list, Colorforms may be the perfect gift. These small, simple shapes have been a mainstay of developing minds for nearly half a century. Owners of a Colorform set often find that there is no limit to what they can do with this inventive educational toy. In fact, this geometry-based set has been so influential and well received that it has been recognized by the Museum of Modern Art. If you want to expand the mind of someone on your list, head over to Games of Berkeley at 2151 Shattuck Avenue.

Not all communities are blessed with long-standing independent retailers and creative companies, but Berkeley is one of the lucky ones. Whatever you need this holiday season, you will certainly be able to find a local retailer or manufacturer that has it.