Ford Lake Frozen Leap

The Magazine

November 29, 2011

Lovely Novelty

The Rocket

Novelty gifts from local favorites

Now, I don’t know about all of you, but around the holidays, I like to avoid any shopping mall at pretty much all costs. The crowds, the parking lots, the constant stream of the same five Christmas songs—it just doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.

However, fear not. Along with having some of the best local food and music in this area, the Washtenaw County area is lucky enough to also have some of the best local shopping as well.

For those of you looking for some original gift ideas this season, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite local shops that sell more than your average holiday gift. Be sure to check out some of these places while shopping for your loved ones—you’ll be sure to put a smile on their face with some of these novelty items.

The Rocket (Ypsilanti)

With items like Bacon Strips Bandages ($5.25/pack) and a Graffiti Cocktail Shaker ($21.99), The Rocket is known for its quirky novelty gifts and fun holiday decorations. Located in Downtown Ypsilanti, this store offers something for the kid in all of us. Items include everything from novelty and retro toys to “Devil Duckies,” Star Wars merchandise, lunch boxes and novelty bath and body products. Most popularly known for their selection of wrapped and unwrapped bulk candy, The Rocket is located at 122 W. Michigan Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit

Orchid Lane Warehouse (Ann Arbor)

One of my favorite stores to browse is the Orchid Lane Warehouse in Ann Arbor. Located right next to Orchid Lane and offering a wide range of clothing, jewelry and home décor, all items are $15 or less. Orchid Lane Warehouse doesn’t just offer gifts for women – there is a pretty decent selection of menswear and home goods that any guy in your life would appreciate. Some of my favorites are their all-natural lip balm for $4.50 or the selection of hand-crafted photo frames for $15. You can find Orchid Lane at 421 E. Liberty with hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit

The “M” Den/Ned’s Bookstore (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti)

For any current college student, alumnus, or any college sports fan, The “M” Den and Ned’s Bookstore offer the best gift selection for the two major universities in the area—The “M” Den catering to U of M and Ned’s Bookstore to EMU. Here you can find anything from clothing to coffee mugs, flags to shot glasses and pretty much anything else that can fit a logo. You’re sure to find more than just your average t-shirt at either of these stores.

Acme Mercantile (Ann Arbor)

Acme Mercantile’s mission is to bring customers the finest environmentally friendly products they can find that “focus on wellness for you and your pet as well as your home.” Acme Mercantile sells everything from chorine free tampons to organic dog food, natural fiber clothing and earth friendly cleaning, laundry and paper products, making Acme Mercantile the place to shop sustainably this holiday season – and beyond! For more information, visit





About the Author

Marissa McNees
Marissa McNees
Currently a journalism student at Eastern Michigan University, Marissa is looking to persue a career in sports journalism. Marissa usually covers all things campus between EMU and UofM, so if you've got a great story idea or know someone doing some amazing things, reach out and let her know!

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