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Museum Store Gifts Everyone Loves

By Editorial Staff

museum store giftsby Info Guru Angela K. Van Winkle

Museum stores are veritable treasure troves of great gift ideas.

Here you have history, educational items, authentic art replicas, and all sorts of odds and ends. The only worry is buying too much! (I’ll have one of each, please.)

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10. Buy the T-shirt

buy the tshirt

It’s a running joke that so-and-so went to (insert great location here) and all I got was this lousy t-shirt, but sometimes the t-shirt can actually be pretty cool. Museum apparel frequently dons images of the items they display, and can even offer a bit of nerdy museum humor. Either way, you won’t be able to get this particular shirt anywhere else.

9. Replica prints

Replica prints

So, you wandered around this great big art museum, and the place was dripping with talent and the products of creative minds galore. However, you just kept being drawn back to that one display, that one artist, maybe even that one particular piece. Great news! Most museum stores offer prints —everything from collections of post cards all the way up to the pricier autographed giclee prints—of the artwork on display. If you’re really a fan of the work, this is where to get a replica of your very own.

8. Jewelry


Every museum store offers jewelry of some kind, making this a fantastic opportunity to find something truly unique for that hard to buy for bling-fan in your life. From earrings made from tiny bits of motherboard at the computer science museum to necklaces showcasing their favorite painting at the fine arts museum, you’re almost guaranteed to procure an adornment Miss-I-Have-Everything can add to her horde.

7. Educational Toys for Kids

Educational Toys for Kids

Don’t forget the kids! In these halls of history and human accomplishment, there is so much to learn and experience. This is why nearly every museum store has a kids section full of toys, books, and activity kits —so you can take the learning home.

6. Figurines and Sculpture

british figurine

Much like art prints, figurines give you the chance to take home another county – on a more manageable scale. All of England won’t fit in the Anglophile’s suitcase, but a British bulldog does quite nicely, thank you.

5. Accessories


It’s no secret, museums have style. You can find all sorts of quirky and meaningful odds and ends to give your wardrobe a touch of class and interest. What about that beautiful Van Gogh umbrella from the art museum, or those fantastic Athenian owl cufflinks from the history museum? These sorts of odds and ends can be some of the most expressive ways to wear your personality on your sleeve.

4. Exhibition Gifts

Exhibition Gifts

When curators put together exhibitions, they like their shops to have great exhibition gifts their patrons can take away from the experience. And, if you went to a fantastic exhibition that you wish a certain friend or loved one could have experienced with you, what better way to give them a lovely “wish you were here” than to get them something—an art book, a shirt, a DVD, etc. —with a little taste of what they missed?

3. Home Accents

Home Accents

There are some home pieces you simply can’t find anywhere else. Weird science-y baubles for your desk, art replica rugs, great pieces of furniture, and bits and pieces of history are all on offer at many gift shops.

2. Books


As any book lover will tell you, these shops are absolute treasure troves for really great books. Shopping the book section is a good way to delve deeper into some of the subjects, artists, and historical moments touched on in the museum’s exhibits.

1. Collector’s Items

Collector's Items

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You have that one friend, mother, uncle who is an avid collector of whatever. Be it rare coins, state magnets, owl figurines, or coffee mugs, your museum shop is sure to have something to fit the bill. These places are full of cool trinkets and oddities, with a new unique surprise behind every display corner or mouse-click. Have fun; look around. You’ll be amazed at how many times you say, “That is just the thing!”


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