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Experience Harlem 2017 #ShopHarlem Holiday Gift & Events Guide

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

There’s no place like Harlem, and with scores of local entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and artisans, there’s no better place to shop for all of your holiday needs. While you’re doing that, ring in the season with rich cultural events for family, friends and neighbors, all infused with the energy that has made Harlem an iconic community. Ho! Ho! Ho! from us at EXPERIENCE HARLEM —Harlem doesn’t have a St. Nicholas Avenue for nothing, you know.

KEY GUIDE: Men = M Women = W Kids = K Home = H Pets = P

GIFTS FOR HIM Delight and dress up the men or male-identified folks on your list this holiday with picks from the following Harlem shops:

Harlem Haberdashery 245 Lenox Ave, 646 707 0070, Just stepping inside of Harlem Haberdashery is an experience worth savoring. The retail expression of 5001 Flavors almost exclusively features unique designs; and inventory ranges from unique Ts to more bespoke accessories, like the fast selling two-tone scarf, which can dress up any look. M, W

Flamekeepers Hat Club 273 W 121st St, 212 531 3542, The chapeau is a fine expression of style and cool, and at Flamekeepers, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for the modern man (or woman) in your orbit! Stop here to impress those for whom good taste is a must. M, W

Bébénoir 2084 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr Blvd, 212 749 0400, This upscale boutique for the fashion-conscious shopper is a must. Collar-less shirts with Afrocentric details are the hot item this season, and there are loads of shimmering holiday dresses for her, too. M, W

GIFTS FOR HER Harlem is ground zero for all the women and femmes you want to impress this season—from church mothers and co-workers to girlfriends and sorors.

The Brownstone 24 E 125th St, 212-996-7980, The Brownstone dresses women for the important moments in her life with ethnically-inspired fashions like leather trimmed shawls or funky jewelry that are sure to be conversation starters. There are also one-of-a-kind gifts for home and special holiday cards, too. W, H

Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic 2119 Frederick Douglass Blvd, 917 309 6607, They say true beauty lies within, but if you want your outer to reflect your inner, there’s no better place. From facials and chemical peels, to laser hair removal and waxing, HS&L has only one objective: to make skin beautiful. W, M

Polished Finger Tips 2119 Frederick Douglass Blvd, 212 222 4466, Treat the well-groomed woman in your life to a salon 10 levels beyond the average nail shop. With an environment drenched in the sweet smells of aromatherapy, Polished offers unique treatments such as its extended manicure, an experience you’re sure to remember fondly. W, M

GIFTS FOR KIDS Ground the children in your life with unique, culturally-diverse gifts that can’t be found anywhere else.

A2Z Children’s Boutique 2220 Frederick Douglass Blvd, 212 932 2220, Make the children in your life exceedingly cool with unique and fashion-forward finds at A2Z, whether it be a straw fedora for boys or faux fur vest for girls. There’s also baby gifts, shoes, and accessories. From newborn to size 14. K

Grandma’s Place 84 W 120th St, 212 360 6776, Pick up ethnically diverse dolls, books (ages toddler through pre-teen), action figures, wooden puzzles, games and puppets—all hand selected and curated by Grandma herself, a retired Teacher of the Year award winner. K

Schomburg Center Gift Shop 515 Lenox Ave, 917 275 6975, The Schomburg gift shop features all sorts of sweet chotskies for children drawing from an extensive selection of books through young adult reading levels, to culturally reflective dolls, posters, pins and buttons. K, M, W, H

Harlem Underground 20 E 125th St, 212 987 9385, A Harlem staple for almost 20 years, Harlem Underground has a bevy of hats, t-shirts, jackets and sweatshirts that are sure to please even those hard to please teens. From black superheroes to jazz legends, HU is a mainstay because of its contemporary and quirky products. K, M, W

GIFTS FOR HOME Whether it’s for your own home during the holidays, your best Martha Stewart/B.Smith-esque bud or hostess gift, the following shops have you covered:

NiLu 191 Lenox Ave, 646 984 4926, There’s literally something for everyone at Nilu, but we’ll focus on home. Find everything from framed original photography or collages from local artists, culturally reflective dinner wear, funky pillows and candles, or even disco ball ornaments for your trees. Proprietor Katrina Parris Pinn’s taste is unparalleled and your home finds here will be coveted by one and all. H, M, W, K, P

Serengeti Teas & Spices 2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd, 212 866 7100, At the forefront of African tea gastronomy, Serengeti crafts unique botanical blends, sea salts and the loveliest tea sets in glass or cast iron. A Zen moment isn’t far away… H

Studio Museum 144 W 125th St, 212 864 4500, As with most other museum gift shops, the Studio Museum delivers on wonderful gifts for the home like its best-selling “Black Is Beautiful” mugs and everything you need to celebrate Kwanzaa, including wooden hand-crafted kinaras and unity cups, candles and mkekas. H, K

FOR PETS Our four-legged friends are like family, and certainly deserve some TLC during the frenzied holidays, too. Make ’em howl with delight as they’re pampered and primped for prime time.

Mia’s Bathhouse for Pets 247 W 145th St, 212 694 8607, There’s no hands your pet knows better than yours, so head over to New York’s premiere do-it-yourself dog wash to clean your pooch with your special touch for a fraction of the cost of dog groomers (and let Mia’s worry about the clean-up!), P

Harlem Doggie Day Spa 734 St Nicholas Ave, 646 386 7789, If you’re away for the holidays, Harlem Doggie Day Spa has got you covered with the finest cage-free boarding, daycare and grooming facility around. Its 24-hour on-site dog staffing and two locations provides the best, most professional support for your pooch pals so you can rest easy. P


Harlem for the Holidays Sat & Sun Dec 9-10; Dec 16-17, 12-6pm The Gadson Gallery, 225 W 134th St, 212 694 0262, Presented by the Harlem Aesthetic, Harlem for the Holidays focuses on promoting and preserving artists and artisans of the African Diaspora who spin and create everything from sculptured hats and quilts to leather bags and unique jewelry. Free.

Harlem Holiday Live! at Harlem School of the Arts Theater Dec 8-10, Dec 15-17; Fri 7pm, Sat 3pm & 7pm, Sun 3pm Harlem School of the Arts Theater 645 St Nicholas Ave, 212 926 4100, Celebrate the holiday season with a multi-disciplinary performance by the HSA Theatre Alliance, Dorothy Maynor Singers, HSA Dance Ensemble and HSA Dance Junior Ensemble. $20 Advance, $25 Door, $15 Students & Seniors and Groups of 10 or more.

Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland at Apollo Theater Sat, Dec 9, 2pm-6pm Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, 212 531 5300, The Apollo transforms into a winter wonderland for the family to experience holiday-themed activities including picture taking with Santa Claus and amazing performances. On this day, bring your new or used books, CDs, clothing and toys suitable for boys and girls ages 3 to 18 to benefit a local charity. All donations should be unwrapped. Free.

Shop NiLu Sip & Shop Dec 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 21 NiLu 191 Lenox Ave , 646 964 4926, Pick up a range of uniquely curated and variously priced gifts at Harlem gift shop Nilu, which features a vast range of local creators. Pick up unique gifts from scented candles to funky jewelry and kids books. Check the website for pop-up shops from artisans throughout December. Free.

Fantasia Christmas After Midnight: Celebrating Her Hits at Apollo Theater Wed, Dec 13, 8pm Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, 212 531 5300, Between soulful hits like “Truth Is,” and “When I See U,” Fantasia is a sure crowd pleaser. After wowing in The Color Purple, Fantasia returned to Broadway in 2013 in After Midnight, a dance-focused musical that celebrated Harlem’s iconic Cotton Club during the Harlem Renaissance. See it all at the legendary Apollo. Tickets start at $59.

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night at Apollo Theater Sat, Dec 30, 2-7:30pm Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St, 212 531 5300, Since 2006, the Apollo has established an annual show to celebrate Kwanzaa , a joyful evening of dance and music honoring the holiday’s principles around family, community and culture. $14-$35.

Hands On: Kuumba Kwanzaa! At The Studio Museum Harlem Sun, Dec 31, 2-4 pm Studio Museum Harlem, 144 W 125th St, 212 864 4500, Children and adults can join together in celebrating Kuumba, the Kwanzaa principle of creativity. Engage in a variety of special art-making activities, explore the galleries in an interactive scavenger hunt and more! Free.

Enter for a Chance to Win a $100 Shop Harlem Gift Card

To make your holiday season even merrier, we’re giving away five, $100 gift cards to Experience Harlem newsletter subscribers. Click here to register.


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