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Tampa Bay gift guide: How to shop local for everyone on your list

Our lists highlight hyper-local options both online and in person.
Our holiday gift guides include suggestions like St. Petersburg glassware from ZaZoo'd, a Buddy Brew coffee gift set and a sloth sweater from ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
Our holiday gift guides include suggestions like St. Petersburg glassware from ZaZoo'd, a Buddy Brew coffee gift set and a sloth sweater from ZooTampa at Lowry Park. [ Courtesy of ZaZoo'd, Buddy Brew and ZooTampa at Lowry Park. ]
Published Dec. 4, 2020|Updated Dec. 9, 2020

After the year we’ve had, just about everyone could use a present.

Members of our Life & Culture team wrote guides for every type of person on your shopping list. Each guide has suggestions for in-person shopping and online ordering. The emphasis is on locally made and sold gifts, so you can send something special while also supporting businesses and artists around the area.

For the pets and their pet-obsessed owners

Paw Paws in Gulfport sells gifts for pets and their owners.
Paw Paws in Gulfport sells gifts for pets and their owners. [ Courtesy of Paw Paws ]

A guide to buy gifts for pets and their owners: Do you know someone who regularly wheels their dog around in a stroller? Maybe you have your own furry friend who deserves a treat. These shops for dog and cat lovers stock everything from animal sweaters and supplies to home decor.

For the thrill-seekers and mouse ear collectors

At its gift shop, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium sells this Marine Life Rescue Boat Playset for $19.99. Photo courtesy Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
At its gift shop, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium sells this Marine Life Rescue Boat Playset for $19.99. Photo courtesy Clearwater Marine Aquarium. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium ]

Gift guide to unique finds at Tampa Bay attractions and theme parks: Our resident theme park expert, Sharon Kennedy Wynne, rounded up the unique items found at aquariums, zoos and theme parks. Read on for the coolest toys, clothes and hats that you can’t find anywhere else.

For the artsy one

Ornaments with designs by Bryce Hudson, Cecilia Lueza, Jennifer Kosharek, Derek Donnelly, iBOMS (Jabari Reed) and Zulu Painter are part of the Local Artists of St. Petersburg Ornament Series 2020.
Ornaments with designs by Bryce Hudson, Cecilia Lueza, Jennifer Kosharek, Derek Donnelly, iBOMS (Jabari Reed) and Zulu Painter are part of the Local Artists of St. Petersburg Ornament Series 2020. [ Courtesy of Nylm's World. ]

Look to Tampa Bay’s arts scene for unique finds: It’s been a terrible year and the Tampa Bay arts community could use support. Arts Reporter Maggie Duffy rounded up a ways to help local artists and cross some items off your shopping list. Her list includes local galleries and museum stores, plus how to donate if you’re feeling generous.

For the person who loves having way too many T-shirts

Grove Surf + Coffee sells these shirts for $25.
Grove Surf + Coffee sells these shirts for $25. [ Courtesy of Grove Surf + Coffee ]

A guide to 13 Tampa bay business T-Shirts that make cool Christmas gifts: Culture reporter Christopher Spata rounded up the local bars, restaurants, markets and shops with the most creative T-shirts. Represent the favorite parts of your city, or ship one as a gift to a local who moved away and misses home.

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For the friend who is always hungry

Christmas Morning gift box at Gracie Pasta and Provisions, Pass-a-Grille. Includes coffee, tea, hot cocoa, cookies, honey.
Christmas Morning gift box at Gracie Pasta and Provisions, Pass-a-Grille. Includes coffee, tea, hot cocoa, cookies, honey. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]

A holiday guide for Tampa Bay foodies: From coffee bars to local distilleries and specialty food stores, food and dining critic Helen Freund has plenty of ideas to help you shop local for the foodie in your life. Her rundown includes recommendations for wine lovers, local cookbooks and gift baskets, and tasty ideas for stocking stuffers.

For the bookworm

Grounds for Murder cover
Grounds for Murder cover [ Crooked Lane Books ]

Shop Tampa Bay area’s local bookstores for local authors: Want to support the local lit scene? Book editor Colette Bancroft highlights three new books that are not only written by local authors but also focus on the Tampa Bay area. Bonus points if you shop for these at one of the area’s independent bookstores.

For the fanciest person you know

Designer handbags in vintage styles are available at Dillards.
Designer handbags in vintage styles are available at Dillards. [ Courtesy of Madeline Segundo ]

Gift guide to high-end items around Tampa Bay: Are you prepared to go big or go home? Here’s a rundown of luxe gift ideas, including jerseys, liquor, designer bags and jewelry.

For the person who missed indie markets during lockdown

Blue Sage Eco Boutique's Chakra Align Candle set.
Blue Sage Eco Boutique's Chakra Align Candle set. [ Courtesy of Christina Arenas ]

A guide to gifts from Tampa Bay indie makers and shops: Tampa Bay indie makers and small businesses have had to pivot away from selling at markets due to the pandemic. Many have gone virtual or started offering curbside options. Here’s how to find locally made items, from bath products and cosmetics to succulents and candles.

For the person with an overwhelming sense of city pride

A wooden sign from Gulf Planks, T-shirt from Wide Sky and a minaret ornament from the Henry B. Plant Museum gift shop are some suggestions in our holiday gift guide for locals.
A wooden sign from Gulf Planks, T-shirt from Wide Sky and a minaret ornament from the Henry B. Plant Museum gift shop are some suggestions in our holiday gift guide for locals. [ Courtesy of Gulf Planks, Wide Sky and the Henry B. Plant Museum ]

Our guide to Tampa Bay-themed gifts: For longtime locals and people who miss the Sunshine State, Tampa Bay-specific gifts are always fun. Here’s where to find the clothing, ornaments and decor celebrating quirky local landmarks and neighborhood pride.

For the person who loves knowing what’s happening in their community

A man reading the newspaper.
A man reading the newspaper. [ Shutterstock ]

Give the gift of local news, aka the hottest gossip about the issues that matter most to you. Our stories, photos and videos are produced by local journalists, and every day the newspaper and website are assembled by local designers, editors and web producers. Did we mention that the Tampa Bay Times is locally owned by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school in St. Petersburg? subscribe.tampabay.com

correction: The sloth sweatshirt in the lead image of this story can be purchased at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified it as a Busch Gardens product.