Issue: Winter 2015-16

Tis the be shopping

Shopping experiences over the holidays and everyday are a unique experience. West Hollywood Gateway's Target, Best Buy, Ulta and BevMo offer destination shopping. There's also everyone's favorite the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax where you'll find just about everything including fabulous food choices to sustain you while enjoying one of L.A.'s most historic and unique shopping experiences.

If your family plans on spending a lovely day at the zoo, check out their adorable zoo gift store. Complete your holiday shopping here!" quipped Jake Pugh, Service Systems Associates, which operates the Los Angeles Zoo retail stores for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. "Why fight shopping mall crowds if you are already at the L.A. Zoo? The Rainforest of the America's store is a one of a kind experience. You can find unique gifts that provide a memorable experience with your friends and family."

Pugh noted that the store has a number of precious stuffed animals that your child will love. "Plush animals are most popular and the selection is deeper with hard to find animals not typically found in retail stores. Our very popular items are choices from our special '2 For $30.' plush animals selection."

Another great part about shopping at the L.A. Zoo store is the opportunity for you to contribute to a great cause-saving animals' lives. "We like to send the message that it's more than a gift; you are helping to save animals in the wild. And most items are produced in fair trade areas near the world's rainforests."

According to Natalie Ploos-Solis, Retail Operations Manager,"We have decorative items that can add a 'wild' flare. Our best selling items are our popular selection of books and puzzles for children to help educate them about wildlife. Our selection of unique items goes beyond a toy -- we aim to reach out with the added message that we are saving animals and enriching our guests' experience. Throughout the year our guests tell us they shop here because it makes a difference to support our local zoo and the animals in it. "

Entertainment memorabilia is a fun gift for any pop culture fan who lives and breathes all things Hollywood. A great place to find this kind of material is the popular wax museum, Madame Tussauds Hollywood retail store. "We are a destination for shoppers who want to take a piece of Hollywood magic home with them," said Ashlea Tate, the museum's marketing manager. "This is why being in the heart of Hollywood is the best location for us. Inside are a variety of must-haves that make for the perfect gift or souvenir. From the classic Hollywood era with products related to Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley to cool Marvel Comics memorabilia and trendy popular culture items, our amazing product line covers it all. And we just got in Star Wars-related products too!"

To find intriguing movie items visit the ArcLight Theaters' gift shop. "Every ArcLight has a movie lovers gift shop that can lend to the cinephile in everyone," Ania Wojcieszynska, public relations and marketing associate at ArcLight Cinemas. "Guests can explore and find movie memorabilia, from both classics and new blockbusters, including books, mugs, and knick-knacks. We're of course gearing up for the release of 'Star Wars' and hot items on our shelves will be our t-shirts, lunch boxes, totes, handbags, water bottles and more, which are all in celebration of the release!"

Aside from their movie memorabilia, a guest favorite by far has been their Taschen books-great for the art lover in the family, noted Wojcieszynska. "We have an exclusive partnership with Taschen to carry them at all of our locations. We also carry Paperblanks journals and items from Quotable notecards. You never really know who you'll find a gift for! Also, in celebration of the holidays, we're running a gift card promotion. For every $100 in gift cards they purchase, they'll receive a complimentary ticket valid throughout the month of January at any ArcLight. It's a gift for a friend or loved one and a movie for yourself!"

One of the most impressive museums in Los Angeles is The Autry, which is a great place to see for those visiting Hollywood. After spending the day viewing all the interesting exhibits, check out the Autry Store, which features an impressive array of local artisans' work and local artisans' work for any budget you may be on.  "The Autry Store is a unique experience," said Jasmine Aslanyan, Associate Director, Retail Operations. "We have a wide range of eclectic items including Native American jewelry, pottery, and paintings. You can find music, carvings, and jewelry from Latin American artists. Also, we have a great selection of Western music, books, and clothing. And our children's section is full of toys, clothes, and books. You can find something for anyone here!"

LACMA's Museum Store offers  unique art-related items you won't find everywhere, noted Grant Breding, associate vice president of retail & merchandising.  "The Museum Store showcases  merchandise related to the artwork shown in the museum and makes  much of  its  own product. Our Barbara Kruger mug set based on her iconic artwork is very popular, as well as our own greeting cards that are perennial favorites. Our 'Wear LACMA'  initiative presents a collection of luxurious items created by 19 Los Angeles designers , drawing inspiration from the museum's collection. And, every purchase supports LACMA and the museum's permanent collection."

So shop here, there and everywhere-for a good cause.

Editor;s Note: Other museums such as the Grammy Museum also have interesting gift shops. See More Museums section for addresses.