Published: November 18, 2021
Updated: August 2023
By: Frances Ellison
If there’s anything consistent about the last few years, it’s that how we approach everything, especially holidays, will be completely different now and maybe beyond. Juggling the adjustment to the new normal and trying innovative new ways to celebrate with loved ones may have pushed shopping plans to the backburner or left many feeling overwhelmed. If you’re still stumped on ideas for gifts this year, then look no further than your local museum! Many museums have retail stores and gift shops that can help you find that perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list.
There are many great reasons to consider doing your holiday shopping at a museum store this year*: museums are full of expertly curated items that can range anywhere from jewelry to gourmet food. Your purchase will directly support your local museums that may have been forced to close their doors in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
Whether you’re shopping for a medical history buff, an art gallery gatherer or a super science enthusiast, the diverse museums and cultural institutions of the Philadelphia region have something to offer for everyone. This is our list of local museum stores where you can get the best in holiday gifts, but there are many more.
*Please be sure to view and participate in these activities safely. For up-to-date information on the City of Philadelphia's COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, visit their official website.
The Mütter Museum Store showcases an eclectic mix of items that represent the collections of The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The College of Physicians was established in 1787 by some of the most esteemed medical professionals in Philadelphia at the time. The Mütter Museum operates as a non-profit subset of the College in order to display some of the numerous anatomical and medical specimens the museum has within its collection.
The Mütter Museum Store hopes to exemplify the unique and curious nature of the museum by providing its guests with an array of items both reflective and exclusive to their visit. Here you'll find books, gifts, and custom items that celebrate the medicinal history and unique distinctive nature of the museum itself.
Wow your friends and family with haute history finds inspired by a world-renowned collection! From fairtrade treats and kitchen essentials, to jewelry and fun games, the Penn Museum shop has global gifts for everyone on your holiday list.
Web link: https://penn-museum-shop.myshopify.com/
A woman-owned mainstay for 11 years, Moon+Arrow is Philly’s go-to socially responsible and environmentally conscious boutique for jewelry, clothing, accessories, home-furnishings, decor, and apothecary. We feature rotating visiting artists and vintage sellers and have our own line of Moon+Arrow handmade jewelry, plus lots for kids and babies.
Shop in person or online at https://moonandarrow.com/@shopmoonandarrow
742 S 4th Street, Philadelphia, Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 11am to 6pm. Also open Mondays throughout December
The Brandywine Museum of Art is the best place for holiday shopping, with a curated selection of unique items including art reproductions, handmade artisan jewelry and accessories, children's items, exclusive gifts and much more. This year the Museum celebrates a holiday tradition- the 50th Anniversary of the Brandywine Railroad, a dazzling array of both toy and scale model trains. Shop with purpose since all proceeds benefit the mission and programs of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.
Museum Store Sunday is Sunday, November 27th and shoppers will enjoy a 20% discount on most items and can enter a raffle to win a Wyeth Lovers Art Gift set, a $150 value and along with other prizes.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the largest public art program of its kind and our city has proudly been designated as the Mural Capital of the World. This holiday season give the gift of art with a variety of beautiful and unique limited edition items, including: Mural tour gift certificates, bags, hats, shirts - depicting mural artwork throughout the City. Visit muralarts.org/shop to purchase for virtually everyone on your list.
Re-issued in 2022 to celebrate the Association for Public Art’s 150th Anniversary, these items feature Barbara Kruger’s artwork Untitled (When I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook). This 1985 artwork by Kruger was first featured on a t-shirt given to attendees as part of our organization’s Public Art in America ’87 conference held in Philadelphia. The conference was the first national, interdisciplinary forum to examine public art in its broadest context through the perspectives of politics, urban design, cultural anthropology, and the social sciences.
Support local Philadelphia artists at the Da Vinci Art Alliance virtual store, ShopDVAA. By collecting from Da Vinci Art Alliance, you are supporting the growth of the local creative economy and making direct connections to the South Philadelphia art community. Browse their current collections at ShopDVAA.org to find the right artworks for your loved ones this holiday season.
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center explores the relationship between faith and liberty in America from its founding to today. An interactive and high-tech attraction, it reveals the influence of the Bible on individuals in key moments in U.S. history, from independence, to emancipation, to women’s suffrage, to civil rights. The center’s gift store offers a wide selection of merchandise reflecting values highlighted in the exhibit—faith, liberty, justice, hope, unity, and love. It’s a great gifting source for t-shirts, jewelry, journals, books, and ornaments, as well as inspirational products and even Philly souvenirs.
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) offers a wide variety of gifts for everyone on your list! Shop PMG apparel, puzzles, mugs, and more online. Check out their in-person store for handmade folk art from Mexico as well as unique local jewelry.
The Wagner Free Institute of Science is a National Historic Landmark, a natural science museum, a Victorian-era time capsule, and an active educational institution all wrapped up in one – which means, it has a pretty eclectic gift shop!
Find vintage school charts and tea towels of mushrooms, butterflies, birds, and minerals, pocket-sized notebooks to take field notes, tiny figurines of your favorite animals, real geodes to break open yourself and natural crystals, minerals, and fossils to add to your collection! Browse their bookshelf and find interesting reads for scientists, historians, and artist alike. Explore the world (or just Philly!) through books like Atlas Obscura, Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City, and Historic Landmarks of Philadelphia.
Discover artwork by local artists inspired by the Wagner and by nature. And if you loved the museum, grab some Wagner swag! Magnets featuring shots of the collection, stickers, glasses, pins and totes are all available. The Wagner's gift shop is not online, but when you visit the museum between 9:30AM – 4:30PM Tuesday through Friday or 12 – 4PM on Saturday, you’ll be sure to check some unique holiday gifts off your list!
Elfreth's Alley is well known as one of Philadelphia's most historic streets, and this holiday season you can show your pride in our city and your enthusiasm for its history by shopping for gifts at their museum store! Shop online or shop in person -- the store will be open to the public on select dates in December.
The PAFA Museum Store offers an eclectic assortment of handcrafted housewares and holiday decor, distinctive jewelry, children’s toys and books, PAFA swag, and much more. Browse original artwork from local artists and PAFA students, all carefully curated to reflect the collection and teachings of PAFA. The PAFA Pop-Up Shop will be open from Friday, November 25-Friday, December 23 with even more unique holiday items to explore.
The PAFA Museum Store and Pop-Up Shop are located at 128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Open Wednesday-Sunday for in-person shopping or visit store.pafa.org to shop online 24/7!
The Laurel Hill Cemetery gift shop features a plethora of products representing their sculpture garden, arboretum, and important place in Philadelphia history. Laurel Hill sells spooky décor, novelties and self-care, exclusive chocolates, jewelry, apparel and more! They also offer many books about the history of cemetery art, notable figures buried in their cemeteries, and plants and wildlife. Stop by to find gift shop goodies for all ages and interests!
All proceeds contribute to Laurel Hill's mission of preserving, promoting and protecting their monuments, statuary, historic buildings and grounds.
Celebrating 20 years – the Art Shop at Moore is your destination for unique Holiday gifts as well as décor to brighten your home. The Shop has jewelry, ceramics, wearable art and wall art all made by current Moore students and alumni. Artwork arrives weekly, which means there's always new things to see! Shop in person Monday - Friday, 10am to 6pm and Saturday 10am – 5pm through December 23. Shop in person, online and have it shipped to you, or have it ready for quick pick-up.
At Shop InLiquid, it only takes a few clicks to find the perfect piece of art for you or your loved one. Their virtual store boasts an expansive collection from over 50 artists, and is a cultivated array of different types of artworks spanning several mediums, so there is something for every type of art lover! Bring joy and original art to your loved ones from the safety and comfort from your own home while supporting your local community of artists. When you purchase from the Shop InLiquid virtual store, your philanthropic reach goes even further, as a portion of all proceeds will be distributed to other organizations to expand on much needed community-building in this challenging time. With Inliquid's virtual store, shopping small during the holidays has never been easier!
The Clay Studio's shop is full of handcrafted objects ranging from functional forms to ceramic jewelry to one-of-a-kind ornaments made by local and national artists. Whether you are looking for dishes with whimsical illustrations or more traditional forms, there is something delightful for everyone. They even have a DIY Ornament Making kit so you can craft your own charming creations.
Find unique gifts featuring the work of celebrated contemporary artists in The Fabric Workshop and Museum's store. Since 1977, FWM has worked with Artists-in-Residence to explore new techniques, materials, and media. This model of collaboration between institution and artist has led to the creation of a wide spectrum of artist editions, available exclusively through the Museum Shop. There's something special for everyone, including wearables, bound sketchbooks, plush items, printed yardage, and home goods.
The Weitzman's Museum Store is popularly known for its unique gifts, Judaica, jewelry, and pop-culture favorites that appeal to Jewish audiences and shoppers of all backgrounds.
Find the perfect gift with the African American Museum in Philadelphia's gift shop! They offer branded apparel, mugs, and many more things the whole family can enjoy!
Find the perfect gift, from fine Scandinavian textiles and handmade items by Scandinavian artisans, to children’s books and toys, unique jewelry, Dala horses, eco-friendly products, a variety of books and stationary, imported foods and candy, and so much more! The American Swedish History Museum has everything you need to create the traditional Swedish holiday feeling, as well as great gifts for every occasion. From October to December they open their Holiday Shop and fill the shelves with Swedish tomtar, ornaments, lights, and treats.
Visit the Betsy Ross House’s Museum Store for unique gift items celebrating the Stars & Stripes, women’s history and more. From ornaments, to sassy shirts and, of course, flags, there is something for everyone on your holiday list.
History-lovers, artists, activists – there’s something for everyone in Eastern State Penitentiary’s online store! Pick up a Pep the Dog plush or add an Al Capone shirt to your cart. Shop their selection of scarves, shirts, and shot glasses featuring the historic site’s iconic radial plan.
Fireman’s Hall Museum is one of the nation’s premier fire museums. Located in historic Old City Philadelphia, the museum is housed in a renovated 1902 firehouse. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the first volunteer fire companies; Fireman’s Hall Museum is focused on the preservation of Philadelphia’s fire history and the promotion of fire safety throughout the region.
Shop local, shop Liberty! National Liberty Museum (NLM) invites you to a unique holiday shopping experience -- one that makes a difference. Inspired by their exhibition Craftivism: Activism Through Craft, the Craftivism Holiday Marketplace supports local artists and makers who are promoting positive change with enlightened, handcrafted, and sustainable gifts.
Featuring screen printers, embroiderers, potters, and more, the Marketplace invites you to put liberty into action by buying local and supporting Philadelphia artists and makers who are promoting positive change through sustainable practices and representation.
America’s National Parks™ supports educational, interpretive, and preservation efforts at parks like Independence National Historical Park. Shop our collection of hand-picked, ranger-approved products for your loved ones this holiday season. 100% of all park store purchases support Independence NHP.
Independence Visitor Center is home to the official gift shop of Philadelphia, the largest retail location for Philadelphia-themed merchandise. Shop fun Philly gifts for friends and family including houseware, apparel and accessories, and more – all donning favorite Philly themes and scenes from the Liberty Bell, to LOVE Park, the Rocky Statue and beyond.
The American Philosophical Society has the longest continuously-running scholarly press in the nation. Since the first issue of Transactions of the American Philosophical Society in 1771 featured research on the Gulf Stream and the Transit of Venus, the APS Press has been committed to promoting useful knowledge in all areas of research. Here, find some highlights from the press for your reading and gift-giving needs.
Named by the Huffington Post as among the best for one-of-a-kind gifts, shoppers can explore exclusive museum-inspired designs, work by Philly-area makers, plus expanded assortments of art-making supplies, creative gifts for kids, and books. With a wide range of product from around the world, there is always something new to discover.
Find the perfect gift for friends and family this holiday season onsite and online at the Museum of the American Revolution’s Shop. Find unique gifts for the whole family from books to apparel and even home décor. From gift memberships, to the official catalogue for the new special exhibit, to a cozy blanket or sword bottle stopper, the Museum has the perfect selection of meaningful gifts for everyone on your list.
Come visit Independence Seaport Museum’s Museum Store for all of your holiday shopping needs! With gifts for every age and interest on your list, with items spanning from jewelry to books, Philadelphia souvenirs to ship models, we have you covered. And the best part of shopping at the Museum? You do good while you shop! All proceeds are redirected directly back into the Museum’s programs and collections.
From Black Friday through Museum Store Sunday, receive a free ISM floating pen (a $5.95 value) with a $25 purchase. Receive a free mug (a $9.95 value) with a $50 purchase.
*The Museum Store is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM. It will close at 3 PM on Christmas Eve and be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia's Print and Gift Store offers a number of items featuring 19th Century prints, 20th Century Life Magazine covers, architectural drawings, and more, all from their vast collection. Shoppers can find something for the whole family including puzzles, yoga mats, notebooks, and most importantly face masks! Proceeds from the Athenaeum Store help support the types of collections you'll see featured in the online shop.
Carpenters’ Hall is a hidden gem of a historic site in Old City that hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774. They are open to the public every day except Monday. Their online gift shop features notecards, prints and books, as well as their newest item: one-of-a-kind Carpenters’ Hall face masks.