Animals of the L.A. River guide and plush singing birds at the Audubon Center at Debs Park/Photo courtesy Audubon Center
With Christmas only a little more than weekend away, there is scant time left to shop for gifts, let alone make (0kay, order) tamales and fill out the stack of blank greeting cards sitting on the coffee table. So, here are some nearby places that are not traditional holiday shopping meccas but will help you save time and satisfy the need for quirky and unexpected gifts.
|Audubon Center At Debs Park: The hillside nature center in Montecito Heights includes a small gift shop with books, a bilingual field guide to animals on the L.A. River ($6), and the Audubon’s famous singing plush birds ($10). Open Friday & Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm.|
|Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club Gift Shop: Cops like to shop, too. That’s where this gift shop on the grounds of the L.A. Police Academy in Elysian Park comes in handy for those in uniform as well as civilians. Along with uniforms and other work-related items, the shelves and display cases of the L.A. Police Revolver & Athletic Club Gift Shop also include items like an LAPD Money Clip ($6), a Silver LAPD Piggy Bank ($29.95) and LAPD Eurocopter ($29.95). Open Friday until 5 p.m.|
|Gable Equestrian: In the far north end of Atwater Village, a few blocks but a world away from the holiday shopping madness at the Costco-Best Buy-Toys R Us shopping center, a cluster of stables near the L.A. River cater to the equestrian set. Here, Gable Equestrian offers a one-hour ($85) introduction to horse riding and care. Owner Tori Gable said the private, one-on-one (and horse) lesson is ideal for the beginner. If you want to buy a lesson or lessons as a holiday gift, send Gable an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.|
|Skeletons In The Closet: Dark humor for the holidays? Then the L.A. County Coroner’s Gift shop – Skeletons In The Closet – on the border of Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights is the place to stock up on L.A. County Coroner mousepads ($8), a skull-shaped business card holder ($18) and coroner hoodie (in black, of course, $18). Open until 4 p.m. on Friday.|
Chopper photo from LAPRAC website; horse photo from Flickr