Suffolk Gift Guide, supporting local businesses!

Written by SarahSteel on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 20:26

Shopping for gifts can be quite stressful at any time of the year, whether it's Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Mothering Sunday, Father's Day... or just a thoughtful little extra. And whilst it's pretty easy to shop on line, it's nice to also support local small businesses whenever possible. Hopefully our guide will give you some ideas for shopping locally in Suffolk - remember, when you shop local, and actual person does a happy dance!


Traditional toys can make such a special gift for a child, as well as for the adults around them who might enjoy reminiscing on their own childhood playthings and sharing their stories. In Sufoolk we have some great places to get this kind of gift, including Black Barn Toys and Games at Monks Eleigh, and Celebrations & Toys at Stonham Barns near Stowmarket.

Photo Shoot Session

Even people who are quite camera shy can really enjoy a session in front of the camera, especially if the family are involved too. Shoots might be in the studio, but can also be arranged to be taken outside for a more natural feel. There are some really fantastic local photographers, and most will provide a gift voucher so you can deliver this extra-special present with style. We know that Ruth Leech Photography also offer a home service for newborns, Life is Beautiful Photography in Kesgrave have a mobile studio, and Baby Art UK create unique pieces of photographic art featuring your favourite newborn.

Skiing Lesson

Know somebody who's always wanted to ski but never had the chance? Whet their appetite with a ski lesson at Suffolk Ski Centre - they'll love you for it! Kids can learn to ski too, or maybe just zip down the slope in a ringo.


Cake is for every day and every occasion... so why not consider giving somebody a box of beautifully decorated cupcakes, a bunch of cake pops, or a whopping iced sponge just because you can. If you want to allow the recipient to choose exactly when they get their special sweet treat, most providers will be more than happy to offer a gift voucher. We're so lucky to have so many amazing bakers in Suffolk, you'll be spoiled for choice... you could start with Primrose Cakes in Ipswich, Pat-a-Cake Bakes in Bury St Edmunds, Paul's Creative Cakes in Colchester, Moo Moo Cakes in Sudbury, Lovely Edibles in Eye... in fact there are so many you really should just check out all the listings in our Family Guide under Party Guide - Cakes and Catering.

Personalised gifts

Celebrating the uniqueness of names, a personalised gift is especially lovely for children, who love to see their name sewn, printed or drawn onto clothing, stationery, kit bags, art work and the like. Locally, we have Sarah Jane Designs in Ipswich, and Jane Hamerton.

Baby Slings and Carriers

Many parents enjoy and value the time spent with their baby in a baby sling or carrier. If you know somebody who's expecting a baby or has recently had a child, this could be the perfect gift answer. Try Sleepy Nico Carriers for some great gift ideas.

Gym or Health Club membership

So many people make it their New Year's Resolution to get fitter and healthier... but they'll have no excuse if you've treated them to this! Family memberships are available, making this a really nice way to spend relaxing family time together. For families based in Ipswich, David Lloyd (Ipswich) offers a broad range of activities, whilst Fram Leisure (Framlingham), Great Cornard Sports Centre (Sudbury), and Broadland Health & Fitness (Lowestoft) all have swimming pools to add some splash to the weekend. Who wouldn't want to get healthy with a gift like this?!

Hand made ceramics

There's always something special about a gift made especially for you. What's more, with this present you get the added bonus of spending an hour or two with your children whilst they create something lovely for Grandma or a special auntie.. and somebody else does the clearing up! Check out Wild Raspberry at Jimmy's Farm, Glass & Craft near Hadleigh, Crafty Coffee in Felixstowe, Starglazing Ceramics in Ipswich, Needham Market Post Office Pottery Studio, The Crafty Foxes in Bury St Edmunds or Jars of Clay at Rendlesham.

A round of golf

OK, so there's not traditionally so much of a family feel to playing golf. But many golf courses do have facilities to cater for younger players, after all somebody has to be the next Tiger Woods! There are lots of courses around Suffolk who would be happy to discuss gift options, why not give somewhere like Fynn Valley Golf Club a look for starters.

Ten Pin Bowling

The original family fun afternoon out, you can't go far wrong with the gift of skittles. There are several options across Suffolk, including Planet Laser in Bury St Edmunds, Kingpin in Ipswich, or Mr G's Bowling Centre in Brandon.

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