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Nothing is more satisfying than finding—and receiving—the perfect gift. In an age of instant gratification, when an Amazon drone can leave a purchase on your doorstep in mere hours and you never have to brave the crowds at the mall again, what is more surprising—and delightful—than unwrapping a box and finding a thoughtful, unique present just for you?

Granted, there is a reason that gift cards still rank as the number one most requested gifts. You and Grandma may not see eye-to-eye on jewelry, after all. But at local, curated gift shops, you are sure to find the gift for even those with the most discriminating tastes. Peruse gift guides from The Henry Ford and the Detroit Institute of Arts to see the range of offerings found deep within the gift shop, and if nothing else, a gift of a day at a museum spans generations.   

AA giftshopPhoto courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Center

Black Friday isn't just for deals on electronics. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Art is hosting a Black Friday Marketplace from 9am-7pm on Friday, November 24th, with vendors throughout the museums, and children's workshops to keep the kids busy while you get your shopping on. Find deals for the STEM enthusiasts in your life at the Michigan Science Center's Explore Store, which is offering 15% off to non-members, and 30% off to members on Black Friday.

Have you heard of all of the new shops that have opened up throughout Detroit, but don't know where to begin? The folks at the Detroit Experience Factory are leading a series of Holiday Shopping Walking Tours, encouraging you to keep your holiday gift buying local. Spend Small Business Saturday, November 25th, in Grandmont Rosedale, explore Detroit's very own Avenue of Fashion with the December 2nd tour of the Livernois/Live6 neighborhoods, and each Saturday, tour the mix of local and designer boutiques that have opened in the heart of downtown. 

Special holiday shopping events include the BBAC's annual Shop & Champagne on November 29th, Holiday Shopping at the Troy Historic Village's Village Store on December 2nd and Pewabic's Holiday Shopping Night on December 13th.

BBAC holidayBirmingham Bloomfield Art Center

Leelanau Trading CoPhoto courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art CenterPrefer to shop on your own schedule? Holiday markets throughout Southeast Michigan are open now, with handcrafted gifts for the young and the young at heart.

Finally, no gift is complete without a card. Eastern Market's letterpress print studio Signal-Return is the place for one-of-a-kind paper goods. Or try your hand at making your own card at their workshops throughout December.  

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