Kalamazoo, Michigan is located only a short hour drive away from where I live which makes it the perfect city to visit for a day trip. I recently hopped in the car and headed out to explore an area that was new to me - the Kalamazoo Mall which holds the claim to fame as the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States. Built in 1959, the area is super walkable and home to a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and brewpubs. The main reason for our visit was to get our creative juices flowing while checking out some of the area makers. We had so much fun creating our own candles and terrariums, strolling the sidewalks lined with local vendors and artisans, and sipping on handcrafted beverages. Keep reading to discover some of my top picks for a day trip to Kalamazoo.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Discover Kalamazoo. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Kalamazoo Candle Company
Our first stop of the day was to make our own candles at Kalamazoo Candle Company. Once you arrive the staff will walk you through step by step how to make one - it's much easier than you might think! You'll start at the fragrance wall and sniff as many scents as you'd like until you find your top 3-4 favorites. Keep in mind you'll be mixing the scents together to make your new candle so it's best to make sure they have a similar vibe. Once you have your scents picked out you'll head to a station and start to fill your jigger with the oils. For my candle I chose to mix lilac and willow, sea salt and juniper. Next you'll dump your full jigger into your jar and then fill it with hot wax and stir. The last step is to place your wick, give your candle a name (my favorite part!) and let it harden for about an hour. Be sure to take some time to wander around the shop and check out the variety of products they offer including a number of pre-made candles. I loved the "Leftover" which was a mix of a variety of scents.
Mason Jar Plant Shop
Our second stop of the day was just a short walk away and was serious plant mom goals. Mason Jar Plant Shop is packed full of plants of all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Their staff are so knowledgeable and helped my mom pick out two plants to take home with her. And the main reason for our visit was their DIY terrarium bar. Again their staff will walk you through the steps to make your plant baby creation. You'll start by picking out a jar or you can bring your own in. Next you'll choose your plants - they had three full trays of different succulents to choose from. The small jar like the one I made fit two plants well but you could certainly fit several different varieties in the larger jars. From there you'll layer rocks, soil, activated charcoal, and more rocks and finish it with fun decorations including colorful sponges, fairies, gnomes and jewels. This would make a perfect date night or girl's day out and I loved being able to bring my terrarium back home with me.
We had worked up an appetite so we walked a short distance to Stamped Robin for handcrafted cocktails, wine, and snacks. The decor here was simply fabulous with a moody old school vibe. They also have a peaceful outdoor patio with ample seating. The staff were very helpful at recommending items from the menu and even put together a custom charcuterie board for us. I sipped on the scarpetta ‘timido’ which is basically a prosecco rosé and my mom had a glass of the Chardonnay. They also have a number of unique cocktails - many that you've likely never heard of before.
The Kalamazoo Mall was truly such a fun area. You could spend all day wandering around and popping in and out of shops and restaurants. While we were visiting there was also a Shop Saturday event going on with local vendors and artisans as well as Vintage in the Zoo which is a handmade, DIY, craft market which takes place the second Saturday of the month through October.
If you're looking to keep the fun going some other fun stops in the area are:
I love creating detailed travel guides to ensure you get the most out of your time. On this blog I'll be sharing some of my past trips in hopes that it helps you plan your next adventure. Pack your suitcase you never know where I'll be heading next!
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