Shopping for the person who doesn’t really need anything? Try a cultural institution gift shop for something unexpected and unusual.
The Denver Art Museum has two gift shops, one in each wing. In the newer Frederic C. Hamilton Building, the museum is a large shop with about twice the amount of inventory as the smaller store in the North Building. Both have jewelry, children’s books and toys about art and artists, stationery, and items related to current exhibits.
At the Denver Botanic Gardens you’ll find gifts with a green theme — rose-bud soaps, tulip lollipops, books on gardening, and pretty note cards.
For things with a Latin flair, try the Museo de Las Americas. It’s a great place to get Day of the Dead ornaments too.
If it’s design and decorative arts that interest you, go straight to the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art to buy one-of-a-kind ceramics by Colorado artists or items such as a scarf with Vance Kirkland’s own artwork.
Every summer the merchants of Cherry Creek North hold a four-day-long sidewalk sale that draws thousands of shoppers hungry for a deal. Officials with Cherry Creek North say that in January people are already beginning to call to find out the specific dates for the year and other pertinent information. The 38-year tradition includes 320 shops, restaurants, and galleries in the 16-block neighborhood. The dates change annually to make it a four-day weekend and shops are typically open their regular business hours. However, anyone who wants to avoid the crowds is welcome to stop by the day before the official sale begins and see if there are any early markdowns. Go to www.cherrycreeknorth.com for the latest dates and information.
The last weekend in July the businesses in Highlands Square host the “Sip N’ Save” Sidewalk Sale, where customers are invited to enjoy refreshing beverages and stroll from shop to shop looking for great deals. Go to www.highlands-square.com for more information.
South Broadway has long been a haven for antiques lovers, with shops shoulder to shoulder for several blocks of this busy boulevard. It’s a curious mix of antiques as each store has its own specialty from books to dishes to dolls to furniture and everything in between. To get started, either put on some walking shoes and go door to door, or visit www.antique-row.com to find a list of the establishments.
In the midst of all of this is the ARC Thrift Store, one of the city’s busiest thrift stores with a lot of turnover in merchandise. The store receives tons of donations at their back door year-round and is a bargain hunter’s dream.
While the whole strip has seemed antiquated for many years, it’s about to get a shot in the arm with new development. For decades as people drove down this section of South Broadway the first thing they’d see was the Gates Rubber Plant, a large manufacturing site that sat vacant for many years. It’s on the verge of becoming the city’s newest infill project with plans for residences, movie theaters, restaurants, and shops. With an emphasis on mass transit to the new mixed-use urban neighborhood, South Broadway’s antiques row will be that much more accessible.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition