This gift guide comprises two categories: Kids and Local Adventurers. I don’t have kids myself, but I love buying unique gifts for my friends’ children and our nieces and nephews. It can be all too tempting to buy kids a lot of presents. So that’s why I’ve included some experiences in this gift guide that will help inspire you if you want to gift an experience, rather than a thing. In this gift guide, you’ll find ideas for kids and local adventurers from snacks to cute items for their bedrooms.
This guide is part of Sophie etc.’s Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide 2022. Businesses have paid to feature in the guides, but the guide has been entirely curated by Sophie. We hope it inspires you to shop small this Christmas! Every effort has been taken to ensure the information in this blog post is correct. Please refer directly to vendor websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information for Christmas delivery and products. If you do see an error, please email email@example.com.
Gift ideas for kids
A Little Big Kid
A Little Big Kid is a small family-run business creating healthy subscription snack boxes for children. For every box purchased they make a donation to St Mark’s Meals, a charity that provides meal kits to schools.
Priti is passionate about creating healthy habits, after struggling with weight gain in her own lifestyle. She’s also conscious of the rise in Type 2 Diabetes in Children (Referrals have increased over 50% in the last 5 years) Overlaid with the economic crisis this all creates the perfect storm. If Priti’s family story, nutritional support and cost-effective snack boxes can help just one family to be kind to themselves, and create healthy habits which are carried on into the future, A Little Big Kid will feel they have succeeded.
Our products are subscription snack boxes in two sizes – Little (£7.25) with 4 – 6 items or Big (£12.50) with 9 – 11 items. This also includes postage. There is also a choice of delivery from fortnightly, monthly or one-off purchases along with a fun kids activity. All the snacks have been carefully developed especially for children which means the nutritional content and portion size are just right for little ones. The snacks are made primarily with naturally occurring sugars and taste yummy! All the snack boxes are brightly coloured, with magical gender-neutral characters (called Nibbles, Ocean and Star), colouring in, positive affirmations stickers and monthly themed activities making healthy snacking fun and interesting. All in all a great gift for foodie kids!
Milk and cookie for Santa? Check! Carrot for Rudolph? Check! Christmas Eve mat but classy?! Double check! This Dear Santa mat is made from Jesmonite and finished with gold, rose gold or silver metallic paint to help send Santa on his way in style.
By Claire is a trained stage production manager and runs a business in her spare time. She creates all the design ideas, markets the business, branding, admin, creating and packaging… A familiar story for many small business owners I’m sure.
Hey Ray Bespoke
I absolutely adore these gorgeous muslins and crochet rattles from Hey Ray Bespoke, based in Bedford. They would make such lovely gifts for a new mum and a little one that are still super cute but practical! (My mum was never without a Muslin cloth!) We bought our niece a rattle and muslin last year and a year on she is still looking super cute with them!
Kirstie Watson is a local children’s author and storyteller. She is a self-published author. Kirstie writes stories of fun, friendship, bravery, tenacity and self-love – all brought spectacularly to life through beautiful, vibrant illustrations. They make the perfect gift for young bookworms aged 3+.
Little Prints Charming
This animal alphabet print from Wolverton-based Little Prints Charming is just SO cute. There’s a number one too and both of these prints would make such a lovely addition to a jungle-themed nursery. The print is available as pictured or you can request it in a variety of colours and sizes. Name prints are also available which make lovely gifts.
MK Gallery is an ‘architectural gem’ that presents significant exhibitions of contemporary and historic art and design, alongside extensive public programmes. Three major exhibitions are presented each year across five elegant and spacious galleries, from thematic group exhibitions to in-depth solo presentations. Alongside our exhibitions, we offer music, dance, talks and conferences, mixing emerging and locally based talent with established names. We also deliver a weekly film programme featuring the best of independent cinema in partnership with Curzon.
They have created these fun Christmas Biscuit Boxes which are ideal for families. For just £8.95, the boxes come with 500g of dough which creates 8-10 biscuits depending on how thick you like them. Also included are a biscuit cutter and three colours to decorate the biscuits with.
Olive and Pip
Home of the Love Notes and Secret Messages, Olive and Pip specialise in making lovely things to help you and your little ones feel loved, happy, confident and connected (even when you are not together) alongside our playful clothing and gifts made from their own artwork. They are based in Newport Pagnell but they ship worldwide, you are of course welcome to collect and say hi!
Olive and Pip take your children’s drawings and bring them to life. I absolutely love these “Draw Your Own Pyjamas.” The perfect surprise gift for a child who loves to draw, these snuggly children’s pyjamas can be made with their own artwork. And if that wasn’t fun enough, they can also GLOW IN THE DARK! These make such a cool Christmas present or Christmas Eve Box filler for your little ones. For children who find bedtime hard, we can also add a print in your own handwriting on the sleeve with a secret message that glows in the dark. Inspired by Lucy’s own little one who suffers from separation anxiety, particularly at night.
The Love Note Heart Patch is a super sweet little heart-shaped love you patch that irons on, The patches are made with your handwriting, so you can pop them on your child’s clothing (or bag) so they can feel loved all day long. They are perfect for children starting school or those with separation anxiety, but they would also jazz up denim jackets and can be added as a Secret Message sleeve print to clothing or can be tucked away and hidden inside a coat. Match them to your child’s school uniform or go for their favourite colours.
Stoke Goldington Christmas Tree Farm
Chris and Jenny run a pick-your-own Christmas tree business on their family farm at Stoke Goldington. They have around 45,000 trees in our plantations including Norway Spruce and Nordmann Fir of all shapes and sizes. They open for five weekends each year before Christmas for visitors to choose their own tree from the field and cut it down for them.
If you are looking for a real Christmas tree, this is THE place to go. Why not start to create a festive tradition of your own by visiting the farm to choose your own tree straight from the field? At Stoke Goldington Christmas Trees, You can walk around all the plantations to choose your own tree, which is then cut down for you. There are plenty of helpful ‘elves’ to carry the tree back to the farmyard where it’s netted to make it easy to pop the tree in your vehicle. There’s also holly and mistletoe, tree stands and logs and kindling for sale, along with the farm’s own range of The Fruity Farmer homemade fruit gins, liqueurs and rapeseed oils.
Norway Spruce and Nordmann Fir Christmas trees are available, ranging from tiny trees through to 12ft giants! Bring your wellies and enjoy a walk around the plantations, take as many photos as you like and you can enjoy refreshments from Really Awesome Coffee (every Saturday) and Good Times Cafe (every Sunday).
The farm opens on Saturday 19th November for five open weekends before Christmas, Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-4pm, plus two Friday openings. No need to pre-book tickets, just come along. See the website for a full list of open dates. Prices are charged per foot after the tree is measured for you in the farmyard and you can pay by debit/credit card, Apple Pay or cash.
I hope this Christmas Gift Guide has inspired you to shop small this Christmas. If you do decide to support these businesses please let them know who sent you their way and share your purchases with my Facebook Community Group, Eat & Explore MK. You can also share your local finds on Instagram with the hashtag #EatandExploreMiltonKeynes.
Will you be buying any of these lovely gifts this year?