Mall-ternatives: Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping
This is it — shopping's big moment. What used to only be one major shopping event the day after Thanksgiving has now grown into a whole weekend and some change, with Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. Since we know what to expect at the mall, here's a breakdown of ways to shop small this weekend.
The phrase alone evokes a packed mall or people camping out in front of big-box stores, but luckily for those who want to avoid that madness, a few indie businesses are having deals that day too.
If the Skatepark of Tampa seems like an unlikely place to shop, think again. They have one of the best sneaker selections in Tampa Bay, as well as apparel and all things skateboard, natch. They're having a sale in the shop and free skating all day to celebrate. They'll open at 7 a.m. Friday and the first five people in line get free stuff. 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 621-6793. skateparkoftampa.com.
Record stores are getting in on the Black Friday action, too, making it a second Record Store Day of sorts. St. Petersburg's Planet Retro Records will have a huge assortment of limited indie exclusive titles along with a storewide sales on new and used vinyl. They'll make it a party with live music and beer. 9 a.m. 226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. (727) 218-7434. planetretrorecords.com.
Small Business Saturday
American Express created this day in 2010 as a way to remind people to shop small during the holidays.
The indie market model makes it easy for a number of small businesses to get exposure, which is exactly what the Shopapalooza Festival is all about. More than 130 locally owned shops, restaurants, art galleries, nonprofits and community organizations will post up at St. Petersburg's South Straub Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. shopapaloozafestival.com.
Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood is full of small businesses near each other, so it's only natural they'd get together to have a Holiday Shop Hop on Small Business Saturday. Visit at least six of them from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., including the Disco Dolls Studio, Urban Bungalow and Phoenix Glass Studio, for a chance to win prizes. After, they'll have a block party at the Graham Building (6701 Florida Ave.) to award prizes and raise funds for the Lowry Park Zoo. facebook.com/shophopseminoleheights.
Museum Store Sunday
Museum stores have the some of the coolest items. But they often get overlooked as a go-to spot for holiday shopping. So a global committee created an initiative to encourage people to shop at museum stores, which helps museums continue to bring us important exhibitions. Audrie Ranon, director of retail operations at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, was on that planning committee, so be sure to visit her at the museum store on Sunday (255 Beach Drive NE, mfastpete.org). Be sure to also check out the Tampa Museum of Art's store (120 W Gasparilla Plaza, tampamuseum.org), which is full of artful gifts for that creative person on your list.