Indian River’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Home » Indian River’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Sandwiched between the super deals at the big box stores on Black Friday and the online bargains of Cyber Monday, you have Small Business Saturday, where shoppers look for ways to support their local businesses during their holiday shopping. In 2022, Small Business Saturday is November 26, and Indian River has so many small businesses that you can complete your holiday shopping in no time with Indian River’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide.

For Foodies

The holidays are a time for indulgence, so whether you’re looking for something to add to your holiday menu, a gift for the foodie on your list, or a place to host a holiday event, you’ll find just what you’re looking for at one of these places.

Drost's Candy Counter in Indian River

Drost’s Candy Counter in Indian River


Chocolate is a favorite holiday treat, and Drost’s offers a wide selection. For decades they’ve handmade their chocolates and fudge behind their counter on a marble slab. They also have treats like brittles, licorice, caramel corn, and taffy if you’re not into chocolate. These make the perfect thing to add to your holiday board or help round out the Christmas stockings.

Northland Brewing Company

At Northland Brewing Company, grab a local brew and add it to your holiday table. The Bride’s Choice IPA and Mother McClutchey’s Irish Stout are local favorites. Or give a gift certificate to your favorite beer drinker.

Michael’s Tavern & Steakhouse

If you’re looking for the perfect place to hold an upscale holiday party, Michael’s Tavern & Steakhouse might be just the spot. Housed in a renovated 1938 historic log building, it features a rustic chic atmosphere. A perfect venue for a holiday steak dinner, yet they also offer burgers and fries. If you’re looking for an experience for the foodie on your gift list rather than just another kitchen gadget, buy them a gift certificate so they can enjoy a winter meal next to the fireplace.

For Fashionistas

Whether traditional or trendy, you’ll find a gift at one of these Indian River shops, no matter the fashionista’s style on your gift list.


McClutchey’s is a fifth-generation department store sure to have that perfect gift for the traditional fashionista or outdoor-loving person on your gift list. The fashionista will appreciate a beautiful new sweater for those chilly Michigan winters, while the outdoorsman will love the warm fleeces they even offer in larger sizes. McClutchey’s has the perfect fleece. If shopping isn’t your thing, but you need a particular item, they provide comfortable chairs and will bring you a variety of selections.

Wellness Items at Market Mercado

Wellness Items at Market Mercado

Market Mercado

At Market Mercado, you’ll find a mixture of handmade home goods, fashion, body care wellness, jewelry, and green living. Owner Jessica Rosa describes the shop as “Bohemian meets a modern esthetic. Gallery meets boutique.” Market Mercado is a multi-sensory experience, from touching various textures and textiles to smelling multiple body care products and listening to records playing in the background.

Their clothes are primarily for women, and the store features Jessica’s fashion label, J White Originals, which she started in New York City. In addition, Market Mercado features a small collection of 15 handmade overalls in original designs. She used secondhand fabrics found from shopping around northern Michigan.

The rest of their clothes are handmade and upcycled, secondhand items. So, for example, you’ll find upcycled denim jackets, hoodies, scarves, ponchos, and infinity scarves. To upscale them, Jessica adds her original screen print designs, incorporates pockets, or authentically reimagines items. She then displays them with a vintage feel. So if the person on your gift list is strong on sustainability, you’ll find something they’ll appreciate at Market Mercado.

For Adventurers and Outdoor Lovers

If the person on your gift list loves to be in the great outdoors, you can approach their gift as an experience and buy a gift certificate or something they can use while enjoying the fresh air.

Pat and Gary’s

Pat and Gary’s sell rifles, ice fishing gear, and almost everything you’ll need to enjoy hunting and fishing. They offer northern Michigan’s largest selection of archery and firearms, two floors of sporting goods guns, knives, ammunition, and Irish Setter boots. All these items make great presents for the outdoor person on your gift list.

Big Bear Adventures Winter Rafting on the Sturgeon River

Big Bear Adventures Winter Rafting on the Sturgeon River

Big Bear Adventures

When you have an adventurer on your holiday list, get them a gift certificate at Big Bear Adventures. So many people value experiences over things, and you’ll find the perfect adventure here.

The fastest in Michigan’s lower peninsula, the Sturgeon River, isn’t whitewater, but you will find it exciting. Rafting provides the most stability, and they offer five-person and seven-person rafts. A gift certificate for a rafting experience could make the perfect family gift. While many families think of river rafting as a summer or fall activity, the Sturgeon River doesn’t freeze. Exploring a Michigan winter wonderland on the river would be a unique experience. The trip ends at Burt Lake State Park, where you can take on other winter activities, like ice fishing.

For Art Lovers

In Indian River, you’ll find several options for those who love art on your Christmas list.

Sculpture at Cross in the Woods in Indian River

Sculpture at Cross in the Woods in Indian River

The National Shrine At The Cross In The Woods

People come from around the world to Cross in the Woods to view the Marshall Fredericks-designed sculpture called The Man on the Cross. Stop by the Cross in the Woods gift shop to find something for those art enthusiasts on your Christmas list. Another option is to make a gift coupon promising a visit with the art lover on your list and enjoy the art throughout the grounds. The venue doesn’t have an admission charge, so you are giving the gift of time and experience.

Collection of Pineapple Glass at Market Mercado

Collection of Pineapple Glass at Market Mercado

Market Mercado

Market Mercado also supports other makers, from local to global. So, you’ll find hand-painted canvas tote bags from local artists to artisan works like hand-embroidered clothing and terra cotta ceramics the Rosas brought back from their trips to Mexico. The store also showcases headbands, handmade artisan leather bracelets, and jewelry. For example, one artist creates handmade clay earrings.

If the person on your gift list values experience, Market Mercado also offers classes for those who want to make DIY art projects, such as macrame or Christmas ornaments. These classes are great for learning to make handmade Christmas gifts if you’re an artist and want to give a present from the heart.

NorthStar Gardens

North Star Cafe offers a lot of options for everyone on your list. For the hard-to-buy-for male on your list, check out some of the offerings from Gentleman’s Hardware. Their Starbucks gift cards make the perfect stocking stuffer, as they have everything from coffee and hot chocolate to sweet treats. You’ll find things that the gardener will appreciate, plants, and unique gifts. Finally, stop by to find something to finish out your gift list.

So, stop by some of these small businesses in Indian River on Small Business Saturday, and you’ll have your holiday shopping done in no time.


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