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Best Shopping District

Forest Park

Sure, there are the obvious ones: South Grand, the Loop, the Galleria and Cherokee Street. But smack-dab in the middle, and conveniently located for all, is Forest Park. The Art Museum's Museum Shop offers vast tasteful options in jewelry, art books, cards, kids' toys and even teapots, lamps and bowls. Exhibition products, many of them designed in-house, also sell fast. You loved the van Gogh exhibit? Commemorate it by drinking mocha latte from a van Gogh mug on a starry night while wearing your van Gogh T-shirt

At the Zootique, stuffed animals, games, puzzles and educational books await. Dongola the Hippo and Ruwaba the Rhino need someone to cuddle with. Board games such as Funky Monkey and Rainforest Roundup both amuse and educate. The little ones will want to handle everything in the store and will no doubt beg for this or that toy. When confronted with those pleading eyes, just remember: Golden Garden Spider replicas are not so much a toy as a learning experience (but don't tell Junior that).

The Missouri Historical Society's Louisiana Purchase Shop has the monopoly on gifts with a local connection, from the popular Monopoly, St. Louis style, to oh-so-cute historical-figure dolls -- Meriwether Lewis and Kate Chopin, for example -- in period attire. Culinary enthusiasts may want to serve their guests using reproductions of Madame Chouteau's china, from the egg cup priced at $22 to the $162 fish platter. Also, something new and truly unique: reproductions of prehistoric pottery, copied from finds at Cahokia Mounds.

And you can make a day of it and walk through the park from one to the next to the next.

 
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