Max and Marley in Winter Park (Photo: Rafael Tongol)
It wouldn’t be far-fetched to guess that 1,473,891 Orlando shops sell gifts and clothes for kids. But what if you want to deck out your little ones in something more stylish than a theme park t-shirt or some character-emblazoned sunglasses? The outlet malls around International Drive are a start; they stock a wide variety of name-brand clothing. But if you’re looking for a well-curated inventory of unique items, you’re going to want to get away from the more tourist-heavy areas and do a little exploring.
Bebe’s in Winter Park (Photo: Rafael Tongol)
The best place to kick off your shopping adventure is the city of Winter Park, just a few minutes north of downtown Orlando and about a half-hour drive from the theme parks. Home to dozens of upscale, locally-owned shops, the main drag of Park Avenue is beautiful, emminently walkable and a great place to both browse and buy. Right on Park Ave are two shops — tubgoat & the bird and Bebe’s — that cater to somewhat different audiences, but both have unique and stylish items. Bebe’s is great if you need to get something dressy and special (they have lots of pageant and flower-girl dresses), while tugboat & the bird is a little more casual and cute. Both edge toward the pricier end of things, but the sticker shock is worth it for some one-of-a-kind clothes.
Tug Boat and The Bird (Photo: Rafael Tongol)
Just about a block off of Park Ave is Max and Marley, a consignment shop that somehow manages to be very selective (and pricey) while also being incredibly friendly and down-to-earth. Stock here rotates frequently, especially with the changing of the seasons, and is well-curated and stylish.
Sanrio Boutique (Photo: Rafael Tongol)
Also worth mentioning: If your little one is a fan of Hello Kitty, you’ll need to make a stop at the Mall of Milennia and plan on spending some time (and money) at the Sanrio boutique there. Every possible mouthless kitty accessory or gift item you can imagine (and some you coudn’t) is available there. The Mall at Milenia is just about 15 minutes from the main theme park area, and there are plenty of other high-end chain shops there as well.