The Arabic Bazaar in the Hyde Park area of Austin is a direct importer of gifts, clothing, antiques and furniture from Syria, Egypt and Morocco. The Arabic Bazaar sells belly dance costumes, jewelry, jewelry, clothing, glass and ceramic ware, music CDs, DVDs and other unique gifts from the Middle East.
First opened in 1975 as a collective called The Common Woman Bookstore (based on the Judy Grahn poem) BookWoman offers not only the largest selection of books by and about women in Texas, but provides a performance space, a safe space and a center for education and outreach for all types of women. A variety of readings and discussion groups are regularly held at BookWoman. Supporting the careers of local female writers, artists and musicians, BookWoman's stated goal is to value books as cultural and intellectual expressions, not merely commodities. While BookWoman guarantees the availability of books by feminists, lesbians and woman of color, the store also stocks books on many issues relating to women as well as children's books including some titles in Spanish. BookWoman also carries a unique selection of gift items, T-shirts, cards, posters, and music.
Located on South Congress Avenue in the heart of the SoCo District, Tesoros has an wide selection of folk art and gift items from around the world, including jewelry, clothing, purses, bags, magnets, posters and household decorative items. Items from over fifteen countries fill the store. Among the treasures are handpainted bamboo curtains, colorful oil cloth by the yard, mexican wrestler collectables, tin ornaments and religious medallions.
Texas Memorial Museum is part of the Texas Natural Science Center at the University of Texas and admission is always free. Texas Memorial Museum has exhibits featuring dinosaurs and fossils, Texas wildlife and gems and minerals. Texas Memorial Museum also has a working Paleontology Lab where visitors can observe and ask questions as scientists work with real fossils. Exhibits of dinosaur fossils found in Texas include the largest flying creature ever found, the Texas Pterosaur, with a wingspan of nearly 40 feet, and the 30-foot Mosasaur that swam the shallow sea that once covered most of the state. The Texas Memorial Museum also has a gift shop with lots of fun and interesting gifts for kids.
Independent music retailer Waterloo Records has been part of the Austin music scene since since 1982 and has won the Austin Chronicle “Best Record Store” almost every years since it opened. Besides being a great place to buy music, one free thing to do in Austin regularly presented by Waterloo Records is free live appearances and performances by both local and nationally-known artists. Most performances and CD autograph signings begin at 5:00pm and feature free refreshments courtesy of Shiner Beer. No flash photography is allowed during the in-store performances and the use of recording devices is prohibited. Waterloo Records carries an extensive selection of music of all styles and always has a exhaustive selection of local and regional Texas artists located at the front of the store. The staff can be very knowledgeable about the music carried by Waterloo and records are arranged alphabetically without division into genre. Waterloo has listening booths to listen to CDs before purchase and a liberal ten day return policy.