Are you looking for last minute gifts? Don’t stress! I will let you in on my secret shopping places. The lines are usually short, limited crowds and excellent customer service. You can always find the most exceptional and one of kind items there. These retailers are located all over Illinois. I enjoy receiving gifts from these shops too, because they can be very unique and exclusive. While someone looking in from the outside might think they are expensive, you will soon see the prices vary and the options are endless. The displays will draw you in with their beauty. You can usually find something unique, ordinary, one of kind, quirky or just fun. Are you ready for my big secret?
Since I live in Chicago, I have the luxury of going to the various museums around the city. If you’re a museum member you get a discount. You can find some great items for all ages. The objects are from all over the world and you don’t even need a plane ticket. If there is a special exhibit one of your recipients like, score! The shops will usually carry unique items relating to the exhibit. When I am traveling, I always stop in the Museum shops. Here’s a tip for next year, I try to buy holiday gifts when traveling throughout the year, easier on the wallet. I have a few gifts from the Illinois Artisan shop in Rend Lake from the summer I will be giving away this Christmas. I store them in a Christmas decorated box until wrapping season arrives.
Here are the list of places I have visited and my purchases, but don’t limit yourself. I am sure there is a museum shop near you. A portion of your purchase help support the many fine programs at the museums.
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph Street, Suite 2-200
Chicago, IL 60601
Monday – Friday 9AM-5PM
Purchase – A hat for my son’s girlfriend.
Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center
14967 Gun Creek Trail
Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM
Purchase – Jewelry for my 4 nieces and pottery décor for my friend’s newly remodeled bathroom.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Purchase – Book of Wisdom for my 23yr. old son, I thought what 23yr old couldn’t use some wisdom.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Ave
10am–5pm Christmas Eve
10am–5pm New Year’s Eve
Purchase – A puzzle for my 3yr old neighbor.
The Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
9:30AM – 4PM
Purchase – Dr. Suess bag, book and plushed toy for my 2yr old niece. Dr. Suess exhibit is being featured at the museum until Jan. 8th.
These are a hand full of my shopping purchases. Shhh…mums the word, I hope my family members don’t see this post, it would be like peeking before Christmas.
If you can’t find the perfect gift, the Museum usually sell gift certificates that can be used at a later date. Make sure you include a brochure and Muesum calendar for future exhibits so they can plan their visit.
Shop local and Happy Holidays!