Guides

21 Gallery and Museum Gift Shops That Just May Have the Perfect Present

Give back to your favorite cultural establishments by visiting their on-site and online stores this holiday season. 


Philadelphia’s gallery and museum gift shops are bursting with unique gifts for all the unique people in your life. Photograph Courtesy of the Fabric and Workshop Museum

It’s crunch time for holiday shoppers. For those struggling to decide what to buy, the gift shops of Philadelphia’s art museums, galleries and related sites offer the chance to shop local and find something special. Some of the most popular shops have intriguing, but often lesser-known, counterparts. The Mütter Museum store, for example, is a wealth of weirdness, but did you know that Laurel Hill Cemetery has its own line of macabre gifts, including stocking stuffers?

Because museum and gallery store sales benefit the venue, shopping at them also provides a way to give back to the community. “Our gift shop is a very valuable source of income for Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens,” says visitor relations manager Stephanie Cabezas. “People are being more thoughtful about the way they spend their money.”

Woodmere Art Museum store director Stephen Kerzner notes that many shops have items that are made just for the venue, yet also provide a range of items to appeal to a broad customer base. “My philosophy is simple: Have something for everyone at every price point,” he says.

Keep in mind that online shopping may be convenient, but visiting the brick-and-mortar stores presents opportunities to both avoid shipping anxiety and to take a pause from holiday chaos to pop in and see the exhibits. Be sure to check gift shop websites for holiday hours and COVID-19 protocols.

Here’s our guide to 21 gift shops of Philadelphia’s museums, art galleries and other attractions:

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the nation’s oldest natural history museum. It’s also home to highly popular permanent exhibits like “Discovering Dinosaurs” and “Butterflies!” The on-site and online Academy Shop features a variety of nature-inspired educational toys and activity kits, books and field guides, and real fossils and minerals. There’s dinosaur stuff, too, for dinosaur lovers of all ages, like a toddler dinosaur raincoat and a dinosaur silk tie. The Academy also offers a holiday gift guide. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) tells the story of African Americans, from the African Diaspora to the Civil Rights Movement, to the present day. Among the exhibits is “Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876,” which recounts the contributions made by people of African descent in Philly during the nation’s founding. The online gift shop features AAMP-branded clothing, tote bags, home décor and more. 701 Arch Street

Barnes Foundation

Art collector Albert C. Barnes amassed a one-of-a-kind collection of paintings, sculpture and metalwork, and made it his mission to make art accessible and teach people how to look at art. Naturally, the Barnes Foundation’s on-site and online gift stores feature a wide range of art-inspired items. The museum also provides the opportunity for outside-the-gift box thinking with on-site and online art history and art appreciation classes that could be just the right present for the art lover in your life. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Photograph Courtesy of the Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

Tucked away in Old City, the Betsy Ross House is where Betsy lived, worked as an upholsterer, and sewed the first American flag. Storied items on display include Betsy’s bible and glasses. The museum’s on-site and online shops sell gifts including ornaments, flag reproductions, books, and counted cross-stitch kits. 239 Arch Street

Carpenters’ Hall

Carpenters’ Hall, built by the craftsmen of the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, has played many historical roles. It hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774 and once housed Franklin’s Library Company, the American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks of the United States. The online shop of Carpenters’ Hall features prints and books about the hall’s singular place in Philadelphia’s history. 320 Chestnut Street

Eastern State Penitentiary

Sobering by day, spooky at night, Eastern State Penitentiary once held notorious criminals including Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton. The former prison, a monument to American criminal justice history, is now known for its fortress-like architecture and crumbling interiors. The online store offers a variety of gifts for Philly history aficionados. Top sellers include a keychain with a replica of a prison front gate key, clothing with prison-related graphics and logos, and a book about the prison’s history called Eastern State Penitentiary: The Crucible of Good Intentions. 2027 Fairmount Avenue

The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Innovative contemporary works of fabric art are both created and exhibited at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. The museum’s collection includes large-scale installations, drawings and paintings, and hand screen-printed fabric garments and textiles. The online store features home goods, accessories and clothing, like the colorful Edgar Heap of Birds: ‘Neuf Series #36’ Scarf. 1214 Arch Street

Fireman’s Hall Museum

It’s a special year for the Fireman’s Hall Museum—2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s establishment in 1871. The museum, located in a restored 1902 firehouse, has preserved the history of firefighting in Philly through its collection of firefighting tools, apparatus, uniforms, photographs, and prints. Its online store is also a go-to resource for official Philadelphia Fire Department merch, such as patches and clothing, as well as toys, books and novelties including mugs and shot glasses. 147 North Second Street 

Astronaut ice cream at the Franklin Institute. / Photograph Courtesy of the Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute

A monument to curiosity and discovery, the Franklin Institute aims to make learning about science and technology fun. That museum’s on-site Sci-Store is a destination unto itself, with no tickets required to visit. The Franklin Institute’s gift guide also offers membership and gift certificate options. One of the most unique gifts in the store is Astronaut Ice Cream, a freeze-dried treat enjoyed by astronauts starting with the Apollo space program up until the present. No refrigeration is needed, so the dessert is ready to be gift-wrapped. 222 North 20th Street

Independence Seaport Museum

Home of the Cruiser Olympia, the oldest floating steel warship in the world, and the World War II-era submarine Becuna, the Independence Seaport Museum has one of the largest collections of maritime art and artifacts in North America. Holiday gifts from the online-only store include Pirate Santa-themed clothing, mugs and ornaments; Olympia- and Becuna-branded apparel; and prints and posters of the historic vessels. 211 S. Columbus Blvd.

Laurel Hill Cemetery

Philadelphians know Laurel Hill Cemetery as the final resting place of prominent citizens, a peaceful green space dotted with sculptures and other art, and a National Historic Landmark. But the cemetery also has unexpected, offbeat gifts for the holidays. Check out the online shop for a range of gift ideas, from Laurel Hill Cemetery T-shirts to home decor. The stocking stuffer bundle for kids includes toys shaped like skulls and tombstones, a skeleton excavation kit, and a handmade string doll in the form of the Grim Reaper, a ghost, or a mummy. 3822 Ridge Avenue

Inside the Museum of the American Revolution. / Photograph Courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.

Museum of the American Revolution

There’s far more to the birth of the nation than 1776, as any U.S. history buff will tell you. The Museum of the American Revolution explores all the drama and details behind the forging of an independent United States through a collection of artifacts, art and immersive experiences. Gifts for the Revolutionary-minded, including books, figurines, prints, clothing and toys, can be found in the on-site gift shop and the online store’s Holiday Gift Guide. 101 South Third Street

Mütter Museum

Who doesn’t know someone who loves or would love the Mütter Museum’s unnerving yet fascinating collection of medical oddities? The museum’s collection of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments is intended to shed light on disorders of the human body and the history of disease treatment. Naturally, the on-site and online gift stores are filled with curiosities like the desk weight with a laser etching of the skeleton of a Cephalothoracopagus (a rare type of conjoined twins) and informative books such as “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels.” 19 S. 22nd Street  

National Liberty Museum

The National Liberty Museum tells the stories of inspiring individuals who have had an impact on the pursuit and protection of liberty and independence around the world. The museum’s on-site and online gift shops offers a wide selection of glass art, local art and Philadelphia-inspired merchandise. The National Liberty Museum is also holding a Craftivism Holiday Marketplace, inspired by the exhibition “Craftivism: Activism Through Craft.” The special pop-up market includes embroidery, fiber and hand-printed works made by local artists. 321 Chestnut Street

Penn Museum

The Penn Museum houses 10,000 years of history from around the world, from Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean to the Americas. Echoes of ancient artifacts can be found in the museum’s on-site and online gift shops, as well as accessories, books, and gifts for children. Popular holiday gifts include jewelry, such as the Egyptian-inspired pendulum drop necklace, and “Dig Kits” complete with tools that help kids lead their own archaeology expeditions. 3260 South Street

Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts

Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum and school combination in the United States. The museum displays historic and contemporary American art, with a focus on women and marginalized artists to showcase a broad variety of artistic influences. Both the on-site Museum Store and the online shop feature an eclectic mix of gifts including crafts, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, and books. 118-128 N. Broad Street

Take care of Each other print at Philadelphias Magic Gardens. / Photograph Courtesy of Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

A South Street slice of local art, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is covered by artist Isaiah Zagar’s mixed-media mosaics made from tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors, and international folk art. Visitors can roam the two indoor galleries and outdoor sculpture garden to find something new at every turn. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ on-site and online gift shops offer clothing, books, mugs, magnets, and more featuring Zagar’s distinctive folk art designs. 1020 South Street

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Located atop the iconic Rocky steps, the world-class Philadelphia Museum of Art has not one, but three gift shops on site, plus an online store. The Main Store offers jewelry, ceramics, crafts, art supplies from around the world, and a children’s section. The American Gallery Store includes gifts made by local artisans and the Design Store features modern design books and décor, among other things. If all that sounds a bit overwhelming, the museum also offers an online holiday gift guide with curated categories such as museum exclusives, kids and teens, and gifts under $25. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Viewing a painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. / Photograph Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

National Constitution Center

The U.S. Constitution takes center stage at the National Constitution Center, an interactive museum and a hub of constitutional education and debate. The on-site and online gift shops feature educational and Constitution-related items as well as more unusual gift options, such as The Contender: The Game of Presidential Debate, a Presidential Pets mug, and the “How Women Won the Vote” coloring book. 525 Arch Street

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History celebrates the history of Jewish people in America. On-site and online gift stores feature jewelry, accessories, books, home goods, and holiday items, including menorahs and Havdalah sets. An entire collection is devoted to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from biographies to bobble-head dolls. Bestsellers include the irreverent Secret Jewish Space Laser Corps patches, keychains and pins. The museum also offers a Hanukkah gift guide. Fifth and Market streets

Jim Loewer blown glassware Sequoia candlesticks ad Woodmere Art Museum. / Photograph Courtesy of Woodmere Art Museum.

Woodmere Art Museum

Located in a 19th-century mansion in Chestnut Hill, the Woodmere Art Museum showcases more than 8,000 works of art by Philadelphia-area artists, including a collection of local Impressionist painters. Highlights of the on-site and online Museum Store include jewelry and glassware, as well as textiles and home decor. 9201 Germantown Avenue

For more gift ideas, read our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.