Published: November 18, 2021
Updated: December 9, 2021
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.
**November 28, 2021 is Museum Store Sunday, a day where museums across the country offer a fun alternative to the holiday shopping weekend. To learn more about Museum Store Sunday, and find a full list of participating museums, check their official website.**
*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.
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!
Joy to the opera world! It’s time to cuddle up with our Academy of Music blanket, sip cocoa from an Opera Philadelphia Channel mug, or fill our new 21-22 Season tote bag with gifts of the season. These items and more offer the perfect pairing with tickets to live, indoor performances of Oedipus Rex + Lilacs or Verdi’s Rigoletto in 2022. Plus, enjoy FREE SHIPPING!
Use the promo code “FUNGUIDE” to SAVE 15% on all Shop items! Minimum $30 purchase required. One use per customer. Offer expires 12/31/21 at 11:59 p.m.
Art has the power to heal, uplift, teach, and inspire. The Barnes Shop offers art for your home and for your life in a wide variety of forms, including works from contemporary designers and artisans. Shop with The Barnes this holiday season to support their educational mission and gift loved ones with exceptional finds from their curated selection.
Visit in-store and online on Museum Store Sunday, 11/28/2021, for a pop-up holiday market featuring local vendors, and for 20% off all full-priced Barnes merchandise.
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.
Shop while supporting Puerto Rican and Latinx arts and culture at this independent, bilingual bookstore and gift shop! The Julia de Burgos Gift Shop at Taller Puertorriqueño offers unique locally-made jewelry and artisan crafts, as well as a wide selection of books of various genres. In a relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience, you will be able to pick out gift combinations such as a cookbook and apron, a mug and bag of Puerto Rican coffee, or a riveting novel and tote bag.
In addition to their regular Monday-Friday business hours, this season, they will be open 9-5 on the following Saturdays: Nov 27, Dec 11, Dec 18.
As the oldest art school and museum in the country, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a unique space, and the PAFA Museum Store is no different. The museum store separates itself from traditional gift shops by featuring consignment artwork from local artists and students, giving visitors from all over the country a chance to see the talent both within the school and in the city of Philadelphia. The PAFA store features local businesses and artists, making it the perfect gift destination!
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.
Be Bold – Be Creative – Buy Art. The Art Shop at Moore offers a variety of artwork from wall art, jewelry, clothing to ceramics. The art and design pieces are created by Moore’s alumni as well as current students. Artwork arrives weekly, which means there's always something new to see! Shop in person Monday through Friday 10am – 6pm or Saturday 10am to 5 pm through December 23. Shop online and have it shipped or 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. Our 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 our 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 our virtual store, shopping small during the holidays has never been easier!
HANDMADE HOLIDAY TREASURES
Our 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. We 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.
Visit the Fabric Workshop and Museum store at 1214 Arch Street and our online store Tuesday, December 14 through Sunday, December 19 to explore our 2021 Holiday Sale! We're offering discounts on a wide selection of items, such as a cashmere scarf designed by Jim Drain, Kiki Smith's Owl/Pussycat flip doll, and a Rita Hayworth-inspired chair cover by Lysiane Luong. This year's gift options also include Betty Woodman’s Platters, a 5-color screen printed yardage featuring playful patterns in pastel-colored abstract shapes on top of a black background. Free gift wrap is available for all local curbside pickups the weekend of December 18 - 19.
The National Museum of American Jewish History's Museum’s 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 our selection of scarves, shirts, and shot glasses featuring the historic site’s iconic radial plan.
Use code GPCA20 for 20% off your entire order. Offer valid online only through 12/31/21. May not be combined with other discounts.
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 our 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.
The Marketplace opens on Friday, November 26th with a special cocktail hour so you can shop and sip as you support your local artists and favorite museum.
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.
Don’t miss online shop deals with 20% off on November 29 for Cyber Monday, free shipping December 1 and 15, and free 3 Day Air Shipping for orders over $75 from December 15-20. Check out the revolutionary gift guide for even more inspiration!
Just in time for the holiday season, Independence Seaport Museum’s newly relaunched Museum Store opens on Sunday, November 28th! Whether you are looking for the children in your life (check out the cool Kids’ Corner they have!), the nautical lover, or the traveler who’s always collecting souvenirs, you’ll find items for everyone on your list. Come sea what you’ll discover.
*Museum Store is open daily, 10AM – 5PM
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.
Use the promo code “VP1221” to save 10%!