It’s the thought that counts, and for many Wichitans, shopping local is part of what makes a gift thoughtful and intentional. For several years now, Wichita on the Cheap has endeavored to help with that by showcasing local small businesses that have affordable gifts for everyone on your list.
We’re back again with more local gift ideas. Buying gifts from these folks is a gift to the local economy as much as it is for your intended recipient, so that makes them doubly good.
Gift a membership to a local attraction
Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum has a fantastic membership deal that’s also priced right. A Cowtown family membership includes two parents and all the kids in that family, and gets them FREE admission to Cowtown’s special events, plus discounts at the gift shop and saloon. If you know someone who loves history – or someone who has kids who would enjoy all the family-friendly local events, a membership to Cowtown is just right. $35 single | $65 family
Sedgwick County Zoo Gift Memberships
During the holiday season, the Zoo often offers a few extras with the purchase of a membership, making it a fun gift idea. The Sedgwick County zoo membership deal is definitely a money-saver. Even without the extras, almost every family would enjoy a gift membership to our fantastic zoo. $93.50 Single or Couple | $136.50 Family
We have a long list of Wichita attractions here, most of which offer memberships. Choose one and you’ll be supporting local while also gifting a whole year of activities for a special person or family.
Gift a subscription
The Wichita Eagle
You can’t get a much more local than a gift subscription to the local newspaper, and your recipient won’t have to worry about paywalls anymore. It’s easy to think in this day and age that all information should be free, but we definitely want to support local journalism. The Eagle has print or online subscriptions, and either would be a great gift. Options and prices vary, but there’s a Groupon that makes subscriptions a great deal. $84 for 52-week Sunday home delivery + unlimited digital access
Kansas! Magazine features beautiful photography of Kansas as well as the people and places who make our state unique. Now is a great time of year to gift someone four issues and the Kansas! wall calendar. $18 for 1-year + calendar | $30 for 2-year + calendar each year
Gift some food
Wichita has some awesome local restaurants and a gift certificate from any of these would make a welcome stocking stuffer this year! From fine-dining to fast food, you can find a local foodie experience to gift. Check out our roundup of holiday restaurant gift card deals as well as the list of some favorite Wichita coffee shops.
(And while we’re talking coffee, a few years ago I put together a list of great gifts for coffee lovers. We have a lot of coffee lovers in my family.)
Gift a new hobby – or a bunch of hobbies
MakeICT is a maker’s dream come true, providing access to tools and shop space that are not inexpensive if you were to procure them all yourself. But a MakeICT membership is very inexpensive, and once a member is trained on the use of an area or machine, he or she can use it whenever! Do you see how amazingly cool that is? (If you do, you’re probably a maker yourself.)
Gift memberships to MakeICT are available in one- to six-month increments or one- to three-year increments. A month is literally just $25. Can you believe it??? That is so cheap!
Gift some entertainment
Music Theater of Wichita
Help your friends plan for an entertaining summer with the purchase of a Music Theater of Wichita gift certificate. MTWichita brings live theater from the streets of Broadway to downtown Wichita with highly entertaining singing, dancing, and acting. Any amount
Tallgrass Film Association
If you know anyone who likes independent films, you’ll want to look into getting them a TALLPass – the VIP all-access pass for Wichita’s own annual independent film festival. $160
Other Wichita theaters and performance venues are also likely to have gift certificates. You can choose just the right one for your gift recipient!
Gift the outdoors
Kansas State Parks
An amazing gift for outdoorsy families would be the Kansas Annual Camping Pass, and it’s cheaper to buy during the off-season, so this makes a great gift idea for frugal folks. The pass covers camping fees for the year, but does not cover utility fees or prime site fees. It only takes 20 nights of camping for the pass to pay for itself, and those camping nights add up quickly. (Major holiday weekends, for example, have minimum stay requirements of three or more nights each.) $202.50 Oct through Apr | $252.50 Apr through Sept
An alternative gift for those same families is a year’s subscription to the Kansas Wildlife & Parks Magazine. With six issues per year, they can plan all their outdoor adventures, even when it’s too cold to camp. $13 1-year | $22 2-year | $32 3-year
Give the gift of fun
City of Wichita Park & Recreation
Another affordable option for local gift-giving is a gift certificate for classes and activities through the Wichita’s Park and Recreation department. Whether you know a youngster who would like to sign up for sports or a person of any age who wants to start a new hobby or fitness routine, this gift will cover that. And all of the classes offered through the City of Wichita are affordable. Any amount
Wings of the Wind Kites and Toys
Here’s a local shop near and dear to my heart, because its owners are dear friends! Wings of the Wind’s Mark and Susan have curated a collection of fun stuff (kites, flags, wind-spinners, other wind-related things, toys, etc.) in every price range that will keep anyone entertained. (I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in their shop, because I keep finding something else to be fascinated by.) They have expertise in both kites and fun, so these are your go-to folks if you need advice on either of those subjects. Any amount
Related to local gift-giving: