Hanukkah has already started and Christmas will be here before you know it. You’re still searching for that perfect gift, but it’s too late to ship anything. There’s no need to panic. When you’re in downtown Chicago, you’re surrounded by some of the best shopping in the world, including some amazing boutiques. We’ve found four hidden gems that will help you finish your holiday shopping in no time.
For a unique gift that’s all about the Windy City, visit the gift shop at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Some of their best selling items include a Chicago skyline LEGO set, Frank Lloyd Wright trivets, and a coffee mug with Chicago’s ten tallest buildings lined up. They’ve also got several books, including “100 Things to do in Chicago Before You Die.” Since the shop is on Michigan Avenue, it’s not exactly hidden, but it’s also not at the top of many shopping lists.
The Art Institute of Chicago is another local institution with a phenomenal gift shop. There’s an online store, but it’s more fun to step inside and take a look at everything they have to offer. Expect to find unique creations, as well as gifts themed on the most famous works of art housed within the museum. Monet’s Water Lillies decorate an eyeglasses case and Gauguin’s Day of the God adorns a tote. You can also get the famous lions as bookends.
If you’ve got a bibliophile in your life, skip the big box stores and head to Open Books in the West Loop. They collect used books and there are more than 50,000 of them at their “Literacenter.” Sales fund their literacy programs and events. If you don’t see a specific book that you think would make a good present, you can give a gift card or a membership. Membership provides a 10% discount, a free used book on the member’s birthday, early entrance to sales, and a $10 coupon for every $100 spent in the store.
Fashionistas will love gifts from Florodora. Located in the historic Monadnock Building, this boutique is known for its vintage-inspired contemporary fashions. They’ve also got personal accessories, totes and bags, and unique accents for the home.
You’ll never have to worry about getting someone something they already have with these unique gift shops. For more hidden gems in Chicago this holiday season, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.