Holiday Gift Guide
Things to buy and do
BY SUSAN BURGESS
You won’t have to travel far for holiday gifts this season. Treasure Coast businesses and organizations offer some of these unique gifts and ideas.
MANATEE OBSERVATION AND EDUCATION CENTER
480 North Indian River Drive
Fall instantly in love with the cuddly Moe the Manatee, a soft hand puppet at the Manatee Observation and Education Center. Give as a gift to any child, or — shhh, don’t tell — buy it for yourself just because it’s adorable. Moe is a little version of the center’s mascot, and he likes to travel! Bring him along wherever you go to remember the beautiful Indian River Lagoon and the critters that live within it. Take pictures of him on his travels and post them on Facebook using #ManateeCenter. Or email them to Manatee@ManateeEducationCenter.org.
New members who join at the Family Level ($50) get a free Moe the Manatee hand puppet. Price: $14.99
VERO BEACH MUSEUM OF ART
3001 Riverside Park Drive
The gift shop at the Vero Beach Museum of Art is exquisite. If you have hard-to-please people on your list, this is a good place to go first. You’ll find jewelry, ceramic art, clothing, hats, scarves, lovely bags, books and a variety of unusual gifts that make it easy to select something. You can get an advance peek at part of the Museum Store on their website.
One of the wonderful things you’ll find is this collection of necklaces by LPL Creations. They are 18-karat gold plate with freshwater pearls and blue agate. Price range: $38-$45.
Florida Classics Books & Gifts
11300 SE Dixie Highway
If you know somebody who doesn’t own Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ The Everglades: River of Grass, this is a winner of a gift for friends or family. She is a powerful and vivid writer who will send the reader’s mind soaring through the Everglades at the southern end of Florida. She describes it as “never wholly known,” with a “vast glittering openness” and writes the fascinating history of the Everglades in a relatable way that will bring readers into the story and make it hard to put down.
This is a great gift for adults and teens. And by the way, Florida Classics Library has loads of wonderful books — visit their website to find out. Paperback price: $9.95
Indian River Citrus Museum Gift Shop
2140 14th Ave.
Citrus is an important part of Treasure Coast and Florida history. Vintage citrus packing labels are making a big comeback — this time as collectors’ items! Now considered folk art, crate labels are a popular collectible due to the unique and sometimes whimsical artwork that was representative of the era. Whether you already have a collection or are looking to get one started, the Indian River Citrus Museum has just what you need — authentic labels, replica labels and the popular coffee table book, “Florida’s First Billboards: Florida’s Citrus Crate Labels.” While you’re picking up your unique labels, stay for a tour and a taste of Indian River orange juice!
THE LYRIC THEATRE
59 SW Flagler Ave.
The 1926 Lyric Theatre in downtown Stuart is a great place to see shows that appeal to many different tastes. That makes it easy to decide to give gift certificates that the recipient can use for any show. After all, who doesn’t deserve a night out?
From divas to tenors, blues to jazz, dance to comedy, bluegrass to rock, The Lyric is bringing in a little noise, a little funk and a little something for everyone in the family.
Don’t miss legendary performers Taj Mahal, Jim Messina, John Mayall, Bruce Hornsby, Paula Poundstone, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn. Then check out shows by Sheléa, Steep Canyon Rangers, Robert Klein, the Jersey Tenors and StepCrew. Bring the family for Steve Trash the Rockin’ Eco Hero, “junk rock” band Recycled Percussion, Mutts Gone Nuts and two National Geographic Live! presentations with stunning photography.
The beautiful Lyric Theatre began as a silent movie house. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
3250 Riverside Park Drive
Riverside Theatre puts its own stamp on popular plays and on new plays audiences should have a chance to see.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, La Cage aux Folles, The 39 Steps, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon are just four of the productions Riverside offers this year.
In November, the Festival of Trees takes over the entire campus with a forest of 50 custom-decorated trees, wreaths, a synthetic ice skating rink, a unique gingerbread village and vendors selling unusual gifts.
Riverside is one of a very small group of regional theaters that has the resources to produce multiple large-scale Broadway musicals and relevant contemporary plays season after season.
It has a main stage and a smaller, versatile stage for smaller productions. And it has a children’s theatre. Prices vary.
117 S. Second St.
The beautifully restored 1923 Sunrise Theatre is the gem of historical downtown Fort Pierce. A gift of tickets to the Sunrise includes a chance to experience its history while walking in the footsteps of people who were there almost 100 years ago.
Gift tickets to the 1,200-seat theater with its striking red carpet and comfortable seats offer a chance to see an enjoyable variety of local, regional and national shows.
This year the whole family will love wildlife expert Jack Hanna’s presentation of live animals along with his stories of what he’s seen and done. The Catapult dancers will amaze with their shadow dancing behind a screen to create different shapes. An American in Paris is a show everyone should see. There is a lovely tribute to singer Whitney Houston. And don’t forget ABBA Mania and One Night of Queen.
The 210-seat Black Box Theatre, which can be arranged to suit the show, is an ideal space for comedy, cool jazz and more.
The Sunrise Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places. Prices vary.
GARDEN CLUB OF INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
2526 17th Ave.
Give an important piece of history when you choose the Garden Club of Indian River County’s tree ornament as a gift this year. The club chose Humiston Park, built in 1937, for its 28th annual ornament. It features a sit-upon dolphin, colorful slides, bright pavilions, and — way off in the distance — the blue ocean. W.H. Humiston was a major developer of land on the island, and the park was named after him in 1953. The GoPlayVero group revitalized it in 2015.
The ornament was designed by Garden Club member Arun Wijetilleke and comes with the history of the park written by member Nat Jackson. Visit the club’s website for a list of 18 places you can buy it. Proceeds go to civic beautification projects and scholarships.
A.E. BACKUS MUSEUM AND GALLERY
500 N. Indian River Drive
Canvas reproductions of the work of Florida Artists Hall of Fame landscape painter A.E. “Bean” Backus (1906-1990) portray cherished scenes that continue to captivate viewers today.
The museum’s store offers authorized giclée reproductions on canvas of select Backus images in limited editions. Each reproduction is hand-textured to echo the brushstrokes and create an illusion of depth and sourced and produced locally. These canvas reproductions make a handsome addition to the home or office and an impressive gift for any special occasion. New or current members receive a 25 percent discount.
Bootlegger — Bill McCoy’s Rumrunner, 1937 by A.E. Backus
Hand Textured Limited Edition Canvas Reproduction. 30 by 30 inches (custom sizes available). Prices: $1,100 framed or $750 unframed.
BARNES & NOBLE
3001 NW Federal Highway
How many people know that the inventor of crayons from Westchester County in New York state also played a big role on the Treasure Coast?
The intriguing story of Edwin Binney and the invention of Crayola Crayons — and dustless white chalk for use in schools — is told in a picture book called The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons. He loved the bright colors of flowers and translated them into the colored sticks that children still draw with today. His wife named them Crayolas.
Binney eventually bought citrus groves in St. Lucie County and built a home at Indrio. He also played a major role in cutting through Hutchinson Island to create the Fort Pierce Inlet. Price: About $11 to $16
INDIAN RIVER MAGAZINE
308 Avenue A
What could be better than a gift that keeps arriving all year? Especially when it is an award-winning publication packed with intriguing features by leading writers and photographers. Read about little-known history that comes alive in our pages, the rich performing and visual arts on the Treasure Coast, the outstanding homes, the social scene and, of course, the ever-popular datebook. Price: $20