You've Put Off That Christmas Shopping Long Enough
Yeah, walking in with a goldfish in one of those little plastic bags might be really lame, but the folks at Aquarium World can hook you up with a really nice rig to go with it to distract from that. Saltwater, freshwater, plain or fancy, they've got everything that squirms, swims or slides through water. They also have more than a dozen fish jokes online so you can keep your kid entertained should the shiny tank and plastic frogman not be enough. (Why did the whale cross the road? To get to the other tide.) Aquarium World is open today until 8 p.m., tomorrow 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 13157 Northwest Freeway, 713-329-9989, www.aquariumworld.net.
Downtown shoppers will have a chance to do a little last minute shopping if they can tear themselves away from the office party. The seven-story Macy's on Main Street is open until 7 p.m. today, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Downtown Macy's, 1110 Main Street (parking garage entrance on Travis), 713-405-7035.
Maybe you've got a Macy's in a nearby mall, they've got even better hours. They're open to midnight today and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Check www.macys.com for Houston locations.
Domy Books isn't open quite as late as Macy's, but they've got a good selection of off-beat, hip books and accessories. Open today and tomorrow noon to 8 p.m., 1709 Westheimer, 713-523-3369, www.domystore.com.
While you're in the Montrose area, drop by the Magick Cauldron, "Your One-stop Pagan Spell Shop." You'll find everything witchy and wizardy, including magic supplies, crystals, clothes, jewelry and home accessories. Good stuff for all your Goth friends, too. Magick Cauldron is open until 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to "sometime in the afternoon" according to the nice Pagan man who answered our phone call. 2424 Montrose, 713-523-0069, www.magickcauldron.com.
Museum gift shops
If you're looking for a crystal sans magic overtones, check out the Museum of Natural Science, Houston Gift Shop. You'll find geodes by the pound, ready to be cracked open just for you, fossils (yep, real ones), jewelry made from semi-precious stones, clothing, books, art, and lots of exhibit-related trinkets. HMNS Gift Shop is open to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow. One Hermann Drive, in Hermann Park, 713-639-4629, www.hmns.org.
If you're shopping for a rugrat, try the Children's Museum of Houston Gift Shop. Kids books, toys, and yes, even some dreaded "educational games and toys" are all available. The HMNS Gift Shop is open to 6 p.m. today and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1500 Binz, 713-522-1138, www.cmhouston.org.
Houston Computer Works
Finally, you can do something for the environment, provide work for Houston's differently-abled community and save a few bucks on fully refurbished computers at Houston Computer Works, a division of Goodwill Industries. HCW takes your old computers and hardware and either preps them for safe disposal or restores them for sale. You can drop off your old equipment at any Goodwill store or donation center, but you'll find the refurbished computers only at the HWC storefront, which is open to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. 12230 Westheimer, 281-589-1215, www.goodwillhouston.org.
-- Olivia Flores Alvarez