If you're struggling to find something different and unique for everyone on your gift list this year, try one of these unique gifts in Sarasota, sure to make someone happy on your gift list!
Tickets to the Theatre
Sarasota has many theatres, but it’s fanciest is certainly the Historic Asolo Theatre at the Ringling. If you want your loved one to feel like royalty while enjoying the best of plays, this is the gift for you. For an early gift, grab tickets to The Music Man, running through December 29. Other shows starting in January are The Crucible and A Doll’s House Part 2.
Of Sarasota’s theatres, only one is purple, and that is the Van Wesel. This season’s 100 hundred plus events have supported the tradition of presenting Broadway musicals, top performers and comedians, music and dance. For your high-culture loved ones, consider getting them an early gift of a night at the theatre with Christmas productions such as John Brickman, A Christmas Carol and the Moscow Ballet: Great Russian Nutcracker. Or choose from their regularly scheduled programming, including The King and I, Celtic Thunder and The Sound of Music. After Christmas, theater-goers will enjoy On Your Feet, the Sweet Caroline Tour, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert and Something Rotten. To really create the best Christmas, there are season ticket packages of four, six or seven shows.
Sarasota’s contemporary theatre, Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is located in the heart of downtown and has been open since 1973. FST is a campus comprising of five theatres, two historic theatres, two Parisian-style cabarets and Bowne’s Lab Theatre. This winter they are presenting A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Straight White Men, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Wednesday’s Child. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder runs through January 6 and the others run through March and May. The winter cabaret season includes Unchained Melodies, Guitar Girls and The Wonder Years.
Support Sarasota’s local communities by seeing Player’s Centre community theater’s plays. Player’s Centre is a haven for retired professional actors, and they share their knowledge with their fellow community theatre performers. This season, for an early gift, go to All Shook Up, a show combining Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. Next up are Hairspray and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a play about middle school kids fighting for the coveted title of Spelling Bee Champion.
A black box theatre in Sarasota’s downtown, Urbanite Theatre’s intimate atmosphere provides a unique theatre-going experience. This season, an early gift is Dike a play about sisters from a religious family that runs until December 16. After Christmas, check out Apples in Winter, a play about an apple pie and a heinous act two decades old.
For music lovers' everywhere, tickets to the Sarasota Opera is the perfect gift. Winter season starts in February and will comprise Turandot, The Magic Flute, Nabucco and Rita/Susanna’s Secret. Get individual tickets or give the gift of a subscription, with discounts on tickets and perks like same performance seats and priority for specials.
Art from a Local Galley
If your loved one enjoys contemporary fine art, take them to Dabbert Gallery, voted number one gallery in Sarasota for the past nine years. Their collection of original art includes oils, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, etchings, drawings and sculpture from award-winning artists. December’s exhibit will be Victoria Mayol’s “Contemporary Visions” which focuses on color and beautiful moments. To truly give them a generous and unique gift, make note of the art they particularly love and buy a piece for them, custom framing is available.
Located at the anchor of Sarasota’s Gallery Row, Palm Avenue Fine Art’s collection exclusively comprises of internationally recognized artists. Original art done “en plein air” on a wide range of subject matters from figurative to still life, adorn the walls. Enjoy strolling past exhibits with your art-lover, and if they really enjoy it, the Palm Avenue staff is there to help them get their collection started.
Why give just one gift when you can go to an art gallery, a shop, a paint-your-own pottery studio, take a spin on a pottery wheel and even take an art class, all at the Artful Giraffe. The art-enthusiast in your life will love the tropical, marine-inspired artwork and will appreciate the detail behind the handmade jewelry. Painting pottery together is a bonding experience that will be a gift to both of you, or you could take art classes together.
Unique Artsy Gifts
Chocolate is always a safe bet, but try spicing it up this year with the artsy Banyan Tree Chocolates. These treats are handmade, taste delicious and look like gorgeous pieces of art. They used locally sourced ingredients and also have a line of “bean-to-bar” chocolate bars that take beans from small plantations in the coco belt and create chocolate. While you shop for the perfect truffles and hand-dipped chocolate goodies, have a snack at their café, serving up simple but quality breakfasts and lunches. Be sure to try their coco inspired signatures including, chocolate chili, coco vinaigrette, coco cured baked ham and bacon and chocolate dipping sauce.
Art comes in all forms and Empire Ballroom Studios provides the best instruction to start and enhance dance skills. This is the perfect gift for someone looking for a new hobby or to learn something new. The gift of dance comes in two options, two private lessons and one group class or $99 and four private lessons, one group class and one party for $199.
Give the gift of glass this season, with Malbi Décor’s handblown glassware. Their wine decanters are full of whimsy, in the shape of sea animals including molly fish, parrot fish, octopus, seahorse and turtle, as well as a dog, bull and Dumbo. All these decanters can be used as a centerpiece when not full of wine and all are adorable. There are also glass pitchers with fun designs, glasses, and plates.
Selby’s Garden Shop has something for everyone, from plants, garden accessories and floral arrangements to clothes, jewelry, and home accessories. Orchids are a perfect gift that keeps giving, with each bloom remembering the happy memories of the person who gave the best gift. Locally made soaps and jewelry are available as well. If you don’t know what gift to get, Selby gift cards and membership are the perfect solution: they can be used in the store, to purchase admission, classes and membership.
Jewelry is another common back up gift, but it can shine as a brilliant idea when the jewelry is made personally by a master. Otto Jewelry, on the second floor of St. Armand’s Circle, is run by master jeweler Misha, son of Otto. They specialize in wedding rings and bands and carry certified stones. Misha’s specialty is custom work, transforming unwanted or broken jewelry into new masterpieces. You’ll be sure to find a beautifully, stunning and out of the ordinary gift here.
For more things to do with the people you love this holiday season, check out Six Splendid Things to Do with Your Family Around Sarasota During The Holidays. Be sure to register for free at 941area for more shopping in Sarasota and Bradenton, and best of all, it's free!
Cover photo from Unsplash