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Gift ideas: South Florida has great museums, gardens & more where you can shop

Want to buy the perfect gift – all while avoiding the mall? The Miami-South Florida area has great cultural institutions and other attractions with gift shops!

You’re likely to find one-of-a-kind items, handmade items and other interesting items at gift shops that aren’t necessarily at the local department store. Plus, depending on who owns and operates the shop — the nonprofit or a concessionaire — your purchase could be tax-free.

Here’s a sampling of five types of venues where you’ll find unique gifts for even the hardest person to shop for on your list — and chances are the items can’t be found in a department store. 

Additionally, purchase tickets to an  attraction and wrap them up.  Make a day of it and share the gift of good company and camaraderie!

Zoo gift shops

Most items at a zoo gift shop are perfect for the animal lover — and who doesn’t love animals? At many of these shops, you’ll typicall animal-related clothing, ornaments, plush animals, toys, books, home décor and many items available only there. And it’s not just zoos, we also have animal theme parks and attractions!

Some examples in South Florida:

Museum of Discovery and Science

Science museum gift shops

At a science museum shop, the range of gifts — including books games, apparel, build-it kits, rocks and more — covers everyone from baby to teen to adult to grandma. 

Some examples in South Florida:

(Photo: Boca Raton Museum of Art)

Art museum gift shops

Not only is this the stop for the art-lover on your list, it’s often a place to pick up great unusual gifts for kids and adults alike. Jewelry, glassware, masks, prints and posters are just some of the items you’ll find in art museum gift shops.

Some examples in South Florida:


HistoryMiami Museum

History museum gift shops

From books to antique toys, history museum gift shops also offer a unique array of gifts including T-shirts, prints, tote bags, mugs and other items. Usually, museum gifts shops will also feature items related to their current exhibits.

Some examples in South Florida:

Bonnet House

Garden gift shops

If you have a gardener on your list, or even if you don’t, a garden gift shop is a great place to shop. Here you’ll find items such as books, gardening tools, calendars, rain sticks and, of course, plants.

Some examples in South Florida:

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Information from our parent site, Living On The Cheap, was used to supplement this article. 

Want to buy gift cards instead? Check out these gift card deals!




About Melina

Melina I. De Rose is a veteran editor and communications specialist with a special love for all things Miami. The longtime resident spent 22 years at the South Florida Sun Sentinel in roles such as section editor, department head, social media specialist and web producer. Melina has much experience in the freebies-and-bargains arena, having edited the popular Sun Sentinel feature, “Doreen’s Deals,” for many years. She also is editor of, a media hub for local music, theater, dance, visual arts and independent arts coverage. Contact her at

Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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