Start in the northern part of the region (then work your way south!) with Hudson’s charming downtown boutiques like the Crose Nest for tea, herbs, and botanical gifts, The Haberdash’s beautiful women’s apparel and accessories, Owen + Sage for sweet children’s wear and toys, or Vintage Anthropology’s collection of curated antiques and thoughtfully-chosen home goods. Mullahy’s offers not only gorgeous local artisan cheeses but also Goodnow Farms chocolate, winner of more International Chocolate Awards than any other maker in North America. Drive a few minutes farther south and you’ll come to downtown Marlborough, with it’s quaint Main Street and lovely little shops. Dancing Orchid Soapworks specializes in soaps, candles and spa products that are 100% handmade, created in small batches and made to order. Word on the Street offers the best in children’s books, toys, and gifts for all ages. Visit Joy-Den Jewelers for fine jewelry and a wide range of gift items. Marlborough also offers Downtown Pop-Up Shops (open 10am – 3pm Sat & Sun, 13 Weed St) with an ever-changing array of vendors. Visit Magic & Color Co. for handcrafted gifts and vintage treasures, and Vibes Candles for candle-making kits, lotions, and more, in December.
Head east to the Natick Center Cultural District, with galleries and shops showing clothing to jewelry, art to décor, specialty foods to artisanal products. Don’t miss The Hive, a new cooperative of local woman-owned brands with gifts for every occasion and recipient, plus H Brandt Jewelers for holiday sparkles, Five Crows gallery for handcrafted pottery, fiber arts, jewelry and more, Helen’s Handbags for beautiful handmade blankets, pillows and bags, or Uni-T for unique handmade t-shirts and gifts. Round out your trip by driving south again to wander the Franklin Cultural District, with the lovely Little Shop of Olive Oils’ collection of small batch oils, vinegars, honey and condiments, Greco Design for unique home goods and gifts, fantastic games at Pete’s Nerd Emporium, books, toys, gifts, and original art from Escape Into Fiction, and Thru the Looking Glass for handmade gifts and framed artwork.
All shopping and no fun makes for cranky children! So combine your gift purchasing with a little holiday entertainment. MetroWest offers a huge number of Holiday Strolls (most on Dec. 2!) that showcase
handcrafted products, yummy treats, and live entertainment, as well as a wide range of family-friendly events—from tree lightings to menorah lightings—and holiday performances. Don’t miss Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra’s famous Holiday Pops concert on Dec. 9, or ātac: downtown arts + music’s free family screening of The Grinch movie on Dec. 15, or Hopkinton Center for the Arts’ The Nutcracker Ballet on Dec. 22-23. For a complete list of holiday events, visit our event calendar.
For more exceptional retailers, plus restaurants, hotels, and events to plan a trip to central MA, search our site or download our digital Visitors Guide!