Port Huron area businesses are ready to help shoppers with all of their holiday needs. <span class='image-credits'>Chamira Young</span>

Gift local: Port Huron area shops ready to heighten holiday spirits



Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season is kicking into high gear in the Port Huron area.

Usually that means setting a frantic pace and running from one end of town to the other, but with this handy partial list of events, sales, and attractions, you will have plenty of time to plan for the holidays and enjoy some fun activities along the way.

Many stores and businesses are offering special sales and deals, as well as extra events.

Ruboo Boutique in Port Huron is one of those stores. They offer a Ruboo Boutique Wishlist, which you can fill out with ideas Check out the stylish fashion finds at Ruboo Boutique.for gifts you would give to other people. Anything purchased that day that is on the list is 20 percent off and when others purchase from the list they will also receive 20 percent off of those items. That lasts until Dec. 25.

"Also, for every $50 you spend on merchandise," says Ruboo owner Demiree Potter. "You will get a $5 gift card. And for every $50 you spend in gift cards, you will get an extra $10 off!"

This is on top of flash sales, pop-up sales announced the day of for a select few hours, and giveaways on social media and live videos.

Lounie's Soap Company will be hosting a holiday party and a last minute sale event on Thursday, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their downtown Port Huron storefront at 215 Huron Ave.

Stock up on their exotic bath bombs and soaps, or perhaps you need some a Large Lump of Coal (soap) for someone who is on the naughty list.

Handmade lotions and soaps are good gift ideas. Gift local by purchasing from Lounies.They will also offer their lip balms for $2 each, and will have cookies and prizes on hand.

"We are hoping people come downtown to shop, eat and celebrate this holiday season!" says Annie Jelinek, who along with her husband Lou, owns Lounie's.

For those shoppers looking to create your own gift, make sure to check the website for Painting with a Twist Port Huron, https://www.paintingwithatwist.com/studio/port-huron/calendar/, which will list several holiday paintings and discounted and special classes.

"You'll see Thursday, Dec. 14, there is an afternoon 'Seniors' class in which the $25 discounted seats apply to everyone, regardless of age," says Donna Kruzmanovic of the studio. "That same evening, we have a Buy One, Get One Free class, in which two guests can paint for the price of one. We also offer kids' classes, in which the $25 discounted rate is applied to any painter regardless of age on the 17, 23, and 27 of December, all starting at 1 p.m."

Kruzmanovic and studio Manager Shelby James want to make sure guests have complete access to the classes offered. So while they do have a Facebook page, classes are not always advertised there, so make sure to visit the website instead to book classes.

For kids and families, the Hallway Escape at 218 S. Huron Suite B is offering a Holiday Hunt scavenger event.

"I created the Hallways Holiday Hunt for kids because so many of my customers were asking for an escape room for kids," says Hallway Escape owner Carol Hall. "So I figured I'd give it a try this holiday season to see how it goes. If it takes off, I might consider creating a room just for kids."

Kids will be able to open present boxes, search through secret compartments, and more.

"Port Huron has really embraced escape rooms," says Hall. 'It's been so fun to introduce this idea to so many people. I love when customers ask me when I'll be adding more rooms because they're so excited to try more."

Hall also mentions that with her 18-month old son, she is getting to enjoy the holiday moments she did as a kid all over again, like the parades and Festival of Trees and the ice sculptures on Main Street in January."

For information and booking prices, visit https://www.thehallwayescape.com/holidayhunt. Home decor can be the perfect gift for anyone.

One of the newer places to shop in Port Huron is the Grand Trunk Marketplace, at 1201 4th St. It is an antique market that, according to its website, is "rusty, dusty, Vintage-inspired, upcycled, recycled, farmhouse, industrial, steampunk, shabby, makers, bakers, and roadside takers!"

"We opened our doors July 1," says Marketplace owner Kelly Lazano. "I look for someone with passion for what they collect, create, upcycled, recycle, or bake! They have to fit the vintage-inspired market theme."

Debbie Washburn-May is one of those vendors. She is a potter and watercolor artist in the Port Huron area who has recently joined the lineup of vendors at the marketplace--seemingly by fate.

She has known Lazano for many years, but it was fitting that the Grand Trunk caught her eye for a couple of reasons.

"The marketplace is special to me for a few reasons," says Washburn-Nay. "First the name caught my eye and heart. My father worked for many years at the Grand Trunk Railroad here in Port Huron as an inspector. So of course that will always be part of my life."

The second part of it is that name itself sounds like a place that holds treasures and dreams, which reminds her of a trunk her grandfather used to move from the south to Michigan years ago. It reminds her of simpler things, which a lot of the merchandise at the market seems to do for many collectors and shoppers.

"The vendors are all so nice it's like we've known each other for years," says Washburn-May. "The customers are the best. We all love the same things and end up in the same place! How can you beat that?"

For the holidays, the Grand Trunk Marketplace will host a Merry Moonlight Madness Market from 5–11 p.m. on Dec. 22.

"This is to help the last minute shoppers come pick things up for their friends and loved ones and finish up their Christmas shopping in a delightful atmosphere," says Washburn-May.

Beyond the usual 40 small shops will be an indoor pop-up market that will have tons of unique items for sale, including fresh baked goods, condiments, and wine and beer samples.

"Besides my own handmade in Michigan pottery, right here in Port Huron," says Washburn-May. "The marketplace has items to please anyone. There is a clothing line that is outstanding and is becoming very popular, toys for young and old, furniture for your home, kitchen items that you thought you could live without. Food items will be available on the 22nd and then I understand our very own Chef Shells will be having a booth on a continuing basis."

"Port Huron is majestic in its own right!" says Lazano. "We are a beautiful destination that awaits a real awakening. We have it all here--water, lighthouses, beaches, history, restaurants, overnight accommodations, beautiful camping parks, bike trails, and now, the Grand Trunk Marketplace!"

Many communities in St. Clair County have events for the whole family, like those listed below.

Fort Gratiot

  • Birchwood Mall, does indeed, have a Santa. Children can visit him from now until Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Also, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 24. They also have a "Bring Your Pet" night from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 11.

  • PetSmart has a Santa for your pets from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 and 16 and 17.

Marine City

  • "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Riverbank Theatre through Dec. 17

  • "Christmas in Connecticut" Saturdays through Dec. 23 at The Mariner

  • "Polar Express" on Dec. 10 at The Mariner

Marysville

  • Dec. 9 Holiday Bazaar at Community Enterprises--Proceeds will support Community Enterprises. A portion of the proceeds will be matched by Woman's Life Insurance Society. Concessions available.

Christmas Trees
And if you still haven't gotten a Christmas tree, there are several Christmas tree lots around the county, and many offer family fun such as hayrides, refreshments and gifts.

Shea Tree Farm: Located in southern St. Clair County, this tree farm offers a warming barn and campfire, cookies and hot chocolate, and wreaths and trees. http://sheatreefarm.com/. The tree farm is at 6214 Road in Marine City

Country Christmas Tree Farm and Gifts: Enjoy Wagon rides, hot chocolate, family portraits and more as you find the perfect tree. http://countrychristmastreefarm.com/. The tree farm is at 8122 Bricker Road in Avoca.

Centennial Pines Tree Farm: This family owned tree farm is open on weekends and offers hayrides https://www.facebook.com/pg/CentennialPines/about/?ref=page_internal. The tree farm is at 2775 Bricker Road in Wales Twp.

For more information about holiday events and specials, contact the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce at (810) 985-7101.
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