Albany is a shopper's paradise. Whether you prefer big name retailers or the quaint charm of a locally owned independent, Albany has the shopping experience you're looking for. And during the holidays, these merchants really add something special to the shopping experience. Here's our favorite places to shop during the holidays.
The Capital Region is known for its museums -- and museum gift shops! The New York State Museum Gift Shop offers items that are unique to this great State. There you will find maple candies, stuffed versions of the animals in the exhibits, books, mugs, models, and more, all having something to do with New York. These items make perfect gifts for the out-of-state friend or family! And on December 4, the museum will host the Taste of New York Holiday Market with locally grown and produced food, beverages, and gifts--a great stop for that special foodie on your list!
The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center Gift Shop (AHAVC) offers artisan crafted jewelry, prints, posters, pottery, soap, puppets, t-shirts and unique Albany items like hats, mugs, and pint glasses. And a portion of the proceeds go to supporting programs at the Visitors Center. On November 30, the visitors center will host the fifth annual Albany Holiday Market, with handcrafters from around the region, and free tastings from local restaurants. Eat, mingle, and enjoy the spirit of the season!
The gift shop at the Albany Institute of History and Art is astounding, and it should be! This museum is the second oldest museum in the country, and boasts and outstanding collection. This shop has beautiful jewelry, books on the art of the region, images from the museum's collection, educational toys and games, puzzles and more! You have to see this collection of unique items for sure, they are the perfect gift for the art or history lover on your list, the intellectual, and pretty much anyone else.
The Empire State Plaza Visitors Center Gift Shop has apparel with clever sayings and Albany icons, historical finger puppets, coloring books, ornaments, and more items unique to the State and the City!
Stuyvesant Plaza is home to many incredible stores, and this outdoor plaza offers the charm of "Main Street" shopping, with all the conveniences of a big plaza. Visit unique retailers like Ten Thousand Villages, Different Drummer's Kitchen, Oliva, Circles, Rad Soap, and Ta-Da, or big name fashionistas like White House - Black Market, Anne Taylor Loft, Chico's, or Lane Bryant. During the holidays, the plaza is decorated with garland and ribbon, and horse-drawn carriages are available to take weary shoppers from one end of the plaza to the other.
Crossgates Mall is a shopping mecca for locals and visitors alike. This massive mall offers big retailers like Nordstrom, Macy's, JCPenney's, and Burlington Coat Factory, as well as entertainment businesses like Lucky Strike Social, Dave & Buster's, Funny Bone, and Rascal's. So whether you're buying a gift, or an experience, this mall is it. And during the holidays, Santa and his elves are available for a nice visit and photo opp with the kiddos.