By Megan Horst-Hatch
For many shoppers, snagging deals on Black Friday is as much of a holiday ritual as eating turkey or watching football games. To find great Black Friday deals in Chicago, consider shopping off the beaten path and avoid the crowds by checking out smaller independent stores in the area. The following stores are planning deals and specials for Black Friday. To stay up to date with the deals, check out the stores’ websites.
Building Blocks Toy Store
3306 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Price: 20 percent back in gift certificates for future use
For many shoppers, finding that perfect toy will be part of Black Friday shopping. This year, skip the big-box retailers and head to Building Blocks Toy Store in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Building Blocks offers a variety of games including Apples to Apples and 10 Days in the USA. Other products include educational toys, bathtub crayons and musical instruments. It also carries books including titles featuring “Curious George” and “Knuffle Bunny,” as well as practice books to teach children the fundamentals of printing. This year, Building Blocks’ Black Friday deal lasts all weekend and shoppers purchasing at least $25 in items pre-tax between November 23 and 25 will receive 20 percent back in gift certificates for future use between January 2 and March 31, 2013. Building Blocks has a second location in Wicker Park and the Black Friday discounts and deals apply to both locations.
Mercado Navideño 2012 at National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Price: 30 percent off all merchandise for museum members
If you’re looking for a more unique gift, consider checking out the Mercado Navideño — or holiday market — at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The event features a variety of items for sale from Mexico and can provide numerous gift ideas, especially for that one person on your list who already has everything. Museum members receive a 30 percent discount on all merchandise at the market. For more information, contact the museum. Before shopping, check out the museum’s collection of photographs, clothing, decorative textiles, paintings and sculptures. Admission to the museum is free.
O’Reilly’s Stained Glass
58 N. Williams St.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Price: 20 percent off select merchandise
For a gift that will brighten up any room, consider heading out to Crystal Lake for stained glass creations from O’Reilly’s Stained Glass. From window panes to lamps, the variety of stained glass products available for sale includes works by individual artisans and the store’s owner, Suzie O’Reilly. If you’re looking for literal hands-on gifts, consider signing up yourself or your gift recipient for the store’s classes on working with stained glass. The Black Friday discount is 20 percent off select merchandise at O’Reilly’s. For more details, contact the store.
Related: Best Chicago Toy Stores
1200 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Glenview, IL 60025
Price: Discounts that apply all day
One of the largest appliance and electronic retailers in the U.S., Abt sells just about everything, including kitchen sinks. Shoppers can custom design kitchens, pick up a new set of washers and dryers, buy new mattresses or order equipment for home theaters all under one roof. If you’d rather sleep in a bit on Black Friday but still want to score a new TV or iPad for someone on your list (or yourself), then keep Abt in mind. The store’s planned deals for Black Friday include discounts that apply all day, so there’s no need to get out of bed before sunrise and battle the crowds. For information on upcoming deals, check out Abt’s website.
Amy’s Candy Bar
4704 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Whether you’re looking for a treat for someone with a sweet tooth or just want a sugar rush after a long day of shopping and battling the crowds, Amy’s Candy Bar should be on every shopper’s list on Black Friday. Located in Lincoln Square, the store offers a variety of handcrafted sweets including caramels, nougats, cookies, ice cream and cupcakes featuring seasonal flavors. Amy’s Candy Bar also offers malted milk bars, licorice, taffy and nostalgic favorites like wax lips, Fun Dip and Razzles. The store also offers imported candy including Cadbury Crunchie and Nestle Aero bars. For information on Black Friday deals, check out the store’s Facebook page.
Printers Row Wine Shop
719 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60605
Price: Discounts on select wines; free wine tasting
After a long day of shopping, consider attending a free wine tasting while also picking out a bottle or two of wine for your favorite oenophile. Printers Row Wine Shop, located in the famed Printers Row area of Chicago, also sells malt, vodka and beer and hosts events and wine education classes. The owners of Printers Row Wine Shop have a second location, Gentile’s Wine Shop. Both stores carry a variety of labels including Sheep Dip, The Macallan and Cristalino.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.