Last-minute gift ideas for kids in Lake County

According to my Christmas music station, there are five shopping days left until Christmas. When I was working, long before kids, I used to get a Christmas bonus (Ahh, those were the days) and my husband and I would wait until we got that check (the week before Christmas) and use it to go shopping. Good or bad, that habit has stuck around and here we are, less than a week before Christmas and I have two gifts that I ordered months ago and nothing else. We plan to shop on Saturday.

Whether you are late shoppers or just need a last-minute gift for a niece, nephew or cousin that you didn’t know you were seeing, here are five great local shops to hit up for those gifts and a suggestion for a gift at each one. Happy last-minute shopping!

C & A Robot Factory

326 Peterson Rd., Libertyville

Don’t let the name fool you, this is more than a robotics camp or after school classes. If you have a Lego lover (basically any child over the age of seven) on your list, this is the place to go.

They carry a HUGE selection of Lego, Duplo, and Lego Friends kits, as well as some other toys and small Lego gifts. The best part is it’s a stand alone store so you can run in and out without fighting mall crowds or Target parking. It’s the perfect place for picking up Lego- themed stocking stuffers like the series 13 minifigures. The only downside is limited hours during the week, so call them at 847-996-0123 or follow on Facebook.

Green Kids Resale

8333 E. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach

Resale is their name, but deals are their game! While they are the best resale shop around and can save you a pretty penny on holiday dresses or everyday clothes for your kids, they also carry new items. In fact, in my opinion, they have the largest selection of Melissa & Doug products in all of Lake County. What’s even better is that all month they are 25 percent off.

Currently, there is also a special running. Their Elf on the Shelf (the clumsy Elf) is knocking prices down all over the store. Follow them on Facebook to find out which items are discounted. But here’s a hint: through Dec. 20, it’s TOYS.

There is a reason this is the first stop on our shopping excursion this weekend.

Learning Express Toys

315 S .Rand Road, Lake Zurich

There is a reason I go out of my way to shop at this store.  Its the best toy store in Lake County. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly (A must!). They will personalize anything you buy (For FREE). And they gift wrap everything (Also FREE!). So we can buy our Christmas presents and bring them home wrapped? It’s like Christmas shopping Nirvana! They are also the Rainbow Loom Headquarters with the worlds largest loom, a huge selection, and a staff that knows how to use them.

Follow them on Facebook where they post deals and updates on specials, like being the first store to get the Minecraft Hangers Series 2.

Artist @Heart

344 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville and 10 N. Lake Street, Unit 105, Grayslake

I know, I cheated. The same store with two locations still equals five. What can I say? I do math like Kari.

Artist @Heart is a walk-in open studio for art – painting, mosaic and ceramics,  as well as classes and events. However, they also carry a great selection for craft supplies and kits perfect for kids including the very popular Fashion Plates and Spirograph. If you follow them on Facebook you can snag a deal too. I got Sands Alive today for 50 percent off!

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