Still stressing over last minute gifts for family and friends?
Head to downtown Lowell to shop locally and find something unique and different from the run-of-the-mill stuff at the mall.
Lowell's Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., is decked out in holiday décor and featured in Schiffer Publishing's 2015 book Christmas in America's Landmark Homes, which you can purchase at the house. You'll also find all things Whistler here, including peacock-themed gifts, blue and white kitchen accessories and illustrated books about Whistler, the acclaimed artist who was born here.
The HyperText Bookstore, 107 Merrimack St., features a bevy of books for gifting, including a section devoted exclusively to Lowell-based authors. And they've got locally made gifts like soap and body care products, too.
The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., features Winter Lights, offering an array of locally-made gifts by member artists and is open through Dec. 24. Visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com for details.
At the Brush Art Gallery and Studios on Market Street, check out the Annual Members Exhibition 2016, on view through Dec. 23, with purchases available for holiday gifts when the show closes on Friday. The studio artists here also have cool items available for purchase.
The Arts League of Lowell's Small Wonders show, on through Jan. 8 in the ALL Gallery, 307 Market St., features an array of small art works ideal for gifting.
And don't forget Mill No. 5, on Jackson Street, with its array of shops, New England Quilt Museum on Shattuck St., Ayer Lofts Gallery, Gates Block Studios, Zeitgeist Gallery and UnchARTed, all on Market Street, for holiday shopping ideas. And COOL Place on Merrimack St., which is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. every day this week and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Christmas Eve to help you wrap up your gift-giving needs for this festive holiday season.
- RUSSIAN DELIGHTS: The Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton, is a good place to stop and shop for unusual items like nesting doll earrings, festive icon-themed items like ties and ornaments, tasty Russian teas and toys and colorful shawls. Visit www.museumofrussianicons.org for details and hours.
- VACATION WEEK FUN: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) invites kids to join a week-long exploration of travel and art around the world during December School Vacation Week, Dec. 26-31. Throughout the week, art-making activities give kids the chance to create their own masterpieces inspired by works in the MFA collection from across the globe. Activities include painting winter scenes based on Monet's Grainstack (Snow Effect), designing maps influenced by navigation charts from the Marshall Islands and crafting clay vases modeled after Greek alabastron vases. Also check out the Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey exhibit that celebrates the career of the award-winning author-illustrator behind some of the 20th-century's most beloved picture books for kids. The family-friendly show coincides with the 75th anniversary of the publication of McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings. Visit www.mfa.org. for details.
- DISCOVERY HOURS: Acton's Discovery Museums (Children and Science) and Discovery Woods will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 24-25, but will all be open Monday-Friday, Dec. 26-30, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. On New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, all will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m., including a New Year's countdown at noon, and on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, they will be open 12:30-4:30 p.m. Visit www.discoverymuseums.org for details.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.