Make Rochester a Stop on your Holiday List

Black Friday and Cyber Monday started it, catalogs continue to pile up on coffee tables, and the malls have extended hours. The holidays are here and Christmas shopping is in full swing.

There are so many options, but you have a busy schedule. And, you want to impress those on your gift list. What to do? 

Downtown Rochester offers unique shops and a variety of options. Here are just a few places that you may want to put on your list of stops along the holiday path that wraps up the year.

The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library

Located on the ground level of the library, this little shop has a cute array of gifts, cards, and Michigan themed accessories. “The mission of the Friends Library Store is to provide merchandise which fulfills the educational, informational, recreational and cultural interests of the community served by the library.”

The Friends Store uses all volunteers to operate. Around 50 donate 3-4 hours per week to keep this gem open. Rochester artists, including Linda Kozlowski (greeting cards) and Trudy Karas (lighted bottles), have several of their works available for sale in the store.




Catching the Perfect Gift

Nearby, located in the old train depot, is Catching Fireflies. They support many local artists from around Michigan. “Catching Fireflies allows me to gain exposure for my business,” states Maggie Montgomery, “It has been a great experience to add a sampling of my bows to the various products found at Catching Fireflies.” Maggie is from Rochester Hills and produces fancy bows under the name The Lime Bow.

Owner, April McCrumb, also has her art for sale in Catching Fireflies. You’ll find her shadowboxes and frames scattered throughout the store. Baby items, books, bath & body, jewelry, tiles, and home décor are just a few of the many gifts that seem to cover every nook and cranny.


Hop Down the Stairs for something One-of-a-Kind

Geoff Lytle and his store, Froggy’s Toy Stop, is just a block away on Fourth Street. They offer “a wide selection of high-end, high-quality toys at a fraction of the price found at larger toy store chains.” Books, puzzles, art supplies, and toys that seem to leap off the shelf at you fill the retail area down the stairs next to Lytle Pharmacy. Check out the Mini Trebuchet Kit made here in Michigan.







Get a Gift Here

On the border of Rochester and Rochester Hills is Crittenton Hospital. The gift shop in the lobby area is full of gifts for all budgets. “We’re a gift shop in a hospital, not a hospital gift shop,” explains Meg Laurie, the manager of the store. Designed for “patients and their families,” Laurie continues, “It has become a word-of-mouth destination.”

Like the library, this gift shop is run by over 40 volunteers that work one shift per week. Proceeds benefit the various hospital departments.


Look for the Big, Bright Lights

There are numerous places in Rochester to find that perfect gift for that someone special on your holiday gift list. Besides the gift shops around town, there are galleries where you may buy local handcrafted art and restaurants that sell gift cards.

Home of The Big, Bright Light Show and The Kris Kringle Market (held December 2-3), Downtown Rochester offers Christmas shoppers a unique and magical visit during the holidays.

If you go …


The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library
500 Olde Town Drive
Rochester, MI 48307
Monday 10-8, Tuesday 10-5, Wednesday-Saturday 10-4, Sunday (until Dec. 21) 1-5


Catching Fireflies
203 East University
Rochester, MI 48307
Monday-Friday 10-8, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-5


Froggy’s Toy Stop
114 East Fourth Street
Rochester, MI 48307
Monday-Friday 10-7, Saturday 10-5


Crittenton Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop
1101 West University Drive
Rochester, MI 48307
Seven Days 9:30-7:30

Michael Dwyer is a freelance writer and travel columnist. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester Area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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