By Linda Cameron

Gift cards have outpaced traditional gift gifting. Small wonder. A gift card removes the angst of what to buy. The shining knight of gift giving, a gift card comes to the rescue of many last-minute shoppers. Gone are the days of struggling to a store during the holiday season. Gift cards can be purchased online, unless you prefer buying one at a store. And there are interesting local stores to choose from.

The Uffda Shop 
202 Bush St.
Red Wing, MN 55066
(651) 388-8436
www.uffdashoponline.com

Shopping online or in person at Uffda is a true holiday and post-holiday experience. If you love Scandinavian ware and décor, Uffda has artisan gifts, home goods, and winter wear to keep you warm. Many make perfect stocking stuffers. Socks, hats, mitts and scarves are warm gifts, and so is an Uffda gift certificate. This shop in downtown Red Wing is across from the St. James Hotel.

ZRS Fossils And Gifts 
3018 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 824-1068
www.zrsfossils.com

At this fossilized gift shop, new to Twin Cities, you can purchase ancient artifacts and ageless petrified specimens. Welcome a rare species such as Ursus Uralensis into your home. Baby bears such as this 70,000-year old need big space, because they won’t fit under the tree. If Ursus is already adopted, consider a dinosaur, authentic prehistoric estate jewelry, and other B.C. relics. ZRS has gift certificates for up to $100. A gift certificate for a piece of the past can be as exciting as gadgets of the future.

North House Folk School  
500 W. Hwy. 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604
(218) 387-9762
www.northhouse.org

The gift of education is one of the best. Courses in furniture making, blacksmithing, tool-making, book binding, jewelry and clothing, traditional arts and crafts and more have led to livelihoods and personal fulfillment. North House Folk School offers gift certificates for courses and classes. The school also has learning packages that include a course gift certificate. The programs and instructors are inspiring. Students must be at least 18 years of age.

Related: Best Places For Handmade Gifts In Minnesota

Minnesota State Parks Gift Card
Minnesota DNR License Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 259-5600
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks

A gift of the great outdoors is as special as the gift of learning. A state park gift card can be used any time of the year. It’s convenient for camping, day trips, getaways, tours, and park and playground facilities. The gift card can also be redeemed at any Minnesota state park for seasonal outdoor rentals and gift items. Purchase online, in person or by phone.

Zaiser’s
25424 Main St.
Nisswa, MN 56468
(218) 963-2404
www.shopzaisers.com

A casual boutique, Zaiser’s opened in 1948. But don’t call it vintage or antique. Its fun wares are never outdated. Many supplant the styles of the New Age (whatever that is). Spurred by high demand and the lightning speed of incoming inventory, Zaiser’s only accepts online orders paid for with a store gift card. But the gift card must first be bought online. Gift card giving was never easier.

Related: Best Twin Cities Boutiques

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