For holiday shoppers struggling to decide what to buy, the gift shops at the Philadelphia art museums, galleries, and related locations provide an opportunity to shop local and find something special. As museum and trade fair sales benefit the venue, shopping in them also provides a way to give back to the community. “Our gift shop is a very valuable source of income for Sagic Gardens Philadelphia,” says Stephanie Cabezas, Director of Visitor Relations. “People are becoming more thoughtful about the way they spend their money.”
Woodmere Art Museum Store Director Stephen Kerzner notes that many stores have items made specifically for the venue, but also offer a range of items to appeal to a broad customer base. “My philosophy is simple: Get something for everyone at every price point,” he says.
Museum Store Day is Sunday, November 27, but museum stores are a great source for gifts all season (and year).
Keep in mind that online shopping may be convenient, but visiting physical stores offers opportunities to avoid shipping anxiety and pause the holiday chaos to pop off and see the exhibits. Be sure to check gift shop websites for holiday hours.
Drexel University Academy of Natural Sciences
Especially for young dinosaur fans, the Academy Store inside the nation’s oldest museum of natural history is a must-visit. Toys, books, clothing (a raincoat in the shape of a dinosaur, anyone?), and plenty of dinosaur stuffing can be found—plus nature-inspired activity kits, books, field guides, fossils, and real minerals. There is also an adult side of the store with nature-inspired art, jewelry and homeware. Need more advice? The Academy has a handy guide to holiday gifts. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Circle.
Naturally, the Barnes Foundation’s on-site and online gift shops feature a wide range of art-inspired items. Find a unique selection of homewares, books, jewelry, clothing, and more inspired by Barnes’ collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modern art. They also have a great variety of games and puzzles for the creative little kids in your life. In addition to their usual collection, the store has special items to celebrate Modigliani’s current exhibition. The museum also provides an opportunity to think outside the gift box with art lessons that could be just the right gift for the art lover in your life. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Circle.
Betsy Ross House
Betsy lived, worked as an upholsterer, and sewed the first American flag here; The Historic Sites Store sells gifts including trinkets, flag reproductions, books, and cross-country kits. Plus, stop by for special holiday occasions: November 30th is the lighting of the tree, and December 18th is the lighting of the menorah. 239 Arch Street, Old Town.
Eastern State Prison
The former prison, a monument to the history of American criminal justice, is now known for its fortress-like architecture and dilapidated interiors. Top sellers in the store include a keychain with a replica key to the prison’s front gate and merchandise featuring famous former residents like Al Capone and Pip, an imprisoned dog. 2027 Vermont Street, Vermont.
Textile workshop and museum
Contemporary creative works of textile art are created and displayed in the Museum and Tapestry Workshop. The store features unique home goods, accessories, and apparel, including exclusive items created by featured artists specifically for the museum. One of the highlights this year: an indicative deck made of hand-drawn images designed by artist-in-residence Rose B. Simpson. (You can check them out dream house Install through March 26, 2023.) In addition to the Museum Store’s Sunday deals, FWM is planning three Store + Sip Saturdays in December where you can save 20 percent store-wide. 1214 Arch Street.
The Franklin Institute’s lobby-level gift shop is a destination in itself, no tickets required to visit. The store has toys, books, clothes, and more to satisfy your little (or big) science fan. And yes, they still sell crushed astronaut ice cream that we all tried as kids. They also make a different nerdy ugly sweater-themed shirt every year, too, for some unique holiday outfits. The Franklin Institute gift guide also offers membership and gift certificate options. 222 North 20th Street, Logan Circle.
Independence Harbor Museum
The Port Independence Museum contains one of the largest collections of marine art and artifacts in North America. Holiday gifts from the online-only store include Pirate Santa-themed apparel, mugs, and ornaments; Clothing and art that celebrate the museum’s historic ships Olympia And the baconacute reindeer items, and more for all ages. 211 South Columbus Street, Old Town.
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Philadelphians know Laurel Hill Cemetery as the final resting place of notable citizens, a peaceful green space filled with sculptures and other art, and a National Historic Landmark. But the cemetery also holds unexpected and offbeat gifts for the holidays. Check out the online store for a range of spooky gift ideas: coffin clutches, tombstone soaps, anatomical heart chocolates, and dozens of skull eggs. The list goes on and on. 3822 Ridge Avenue, East Falls.
Museum of the American Revolution
For US history buffs old and young, the gift shop at the Museum of the American Revolution is a dream come true. Revolution-minded gifts, including books, figurines, prints, clothing, and toys, can be found in the on-site gift shop and the online shop’s Holiday Gift Guide. 101 South Third Street, Old Town.
Tensor’s collection of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments aims to shed light on the disorders of the human body and the history of disease treatment. Likewise, the on-site and online gift shops are full of curiosities like this desk weight with a laser engraving of the skeleton of a Cephalothoracopagus (a rare type of conjoined twin), this “Spit Spreads Death” face mask, this oddly cool eyeball earrings and informative books like Masterpieces mother dr. 19 South 22nd Street, Fitler Square.
National Liberty Museum
One of NLM’s biggest draws is its collection of glass art, including the iconic Dale Chihuly The flame of freedom. So it’s no surprise that the on-site and online gift shops offer a wide selection of glass art—plus local art and Philadelphia-inspired merchandise, too. 321 Chestnut Street, Old Town.
Echoes of the museum’s ancient artifacts can be found in the gift shops on-site and online, along with accessories, books, and gifts for children. Popular holiday gifts include jewelry, like this replica of Queen Puabi’s necklace, a “dig kit” complete with tools to help kids lead their archaeological expeditions, and one-of-a-kind art pieces. 3260 South Street, University City.
Philadelphia Magic Gardens
A South Street staple of local art, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is covered in artist Isaiah Zagar’s mixed-media mosaics of tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors, and international folk art. Visitors can tour the two indoor galleries and the outdoor sculpture garden to find something new at every turn. The Magic Gardens of Philadelphia gift shops on site and online offer clothing, books, mugs, magnets and more in Zagar’s signature folk art designs. 1020 South Street, Bella Vista.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has not one, but three gift shops on site, as well as an online store. The main store offers jewelry, ceramics, crafts and art supplies from around the world, and a children’s department. The American Gallery Store includes gifts made by local artisans, and the Design Store features modern designer books and decor, among other things. From kids to adults, there’s something for everyone on your list, no matter how classic or quirky. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount.
National Constitution Center
The United States Constitution takes center stage at the National Constitution Center, an interactive museum and center for constitutional education and debate. The on-site and online gift shops feature Constitution and educational items as well as more unusual gift options, such as the Constitution Quest game, Presidential Pets mug, and How did women win the vote? coloring book. 525 Arch Street, Old Town.
Weizmann National Museum of American Jewish History
The shop at Weitzman’s has a great selection of Judaica—from candelabra to mezuzahs, and everything in between—by artists like Michael Aram and Joy Stember. (Always a great Hanukkah gift for dads). They also have clothes, toys and books for the little ones, including a ‘Schmutz Happens’ mini. Among the bestsellers are the irreverent “Secret Jewish Space Laser Squad” items, OY/YO Merchandise (a reference to the Deborah Cass statue installed in the front when reopening). Need more ideas? Check out the museum’s Hanukkah gift guide. 5Ten Street and Market Street, Old Town.
Woodmere Museum of Art
Housed in a 19th-century mansion on Chestnut Hill, Woodmere Art Museum displays more than 8,000 artworks by artists from the Philadelphia area, including a collection of local Impressionist painters. Highlights of the museum’s on-site and online shop include jewelry and glassware, as well as textiles and home decor. 9201 Germantown Street, Chestnut Hill.