Museum Store Holiday Shopping

Museum Store Holiday Shopping
Let’s face it: box stores are convenient and might save money, but they aren’t usually a great deal of fun. In addition, they do not do much for the local economy. Why not try something unusual this holiday season? Local museums and art centers offer unusual choices and allow you to support the institutions at the same time. And, while it is always more fun to actually visit the institution in question, each of the following stores offers web access as well as a brick-and-mortar room.

In San Marino, the Huntington Library Shop offers a beautiful setting with carefully curated gifts that reflect the interests of visitors to the gardens and art exhibits. For cooks and tea drinkers, there are a variety of cookbooks as well as tea accessories, linens, and tins of the famous Huntington tea blend. For writers, historians, gardeners, and travelers, there is an excellent selection of books as well as themed gifts such as calendars. The shop also offers unusual jewelry and wearables that you will not find anywhere else, as well as a large selection of gifts for children.

Across town in Los Angeles proper, the Getty Store at the J Paul Getty museum is hands-down one of the greatest museum shops in the world. You will find a fascinating collection of books related to art and creativity as well as coffee table tomes, art glass, jewelry, home decorations, and holiday cards utterly unlike the ones at the mall. The website includes a selection of gifts under twenty-five dollars.

The De Young Museum in San Francisco offers unique wearables for kids as well as adults, including color-blocked knitted hats and leather wallets. You will also find watches, bracelets, a beautifully shaped hip flask, a selection of artist and writing materials, and of course books. Know someone decorating a new home? The store carries a variety of art reproductions, from Chiura Obata to Ed Hardy and other California artists.

California aficionados will find gift ideas at California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento that range far beyond railroad history. How about Polar Express or Rosie the Riveter memorabilia? Or find china patterned with the California poppy? Of course, there are also books about California Railroad History and tee shirts that you definitely will not find anywhere else.

Animal lovers of all ages will be delighted with the finds at the San Diego Zoo shop. While the selection leans heavily towards accessories, clothing, plush toys, and books, the items are well-priced and designed. The selection of books for children is particularly interesting.

The Huntington Store, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 91108. 626-405-2110.

Getty Center Store, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California, 90049. 310-440-7059.

DeYoung/Legion of Honor Museum Store, Golden Gate Park. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, California, 94118. 415-750-3642.

California State Railroad Museum, 125 I Street, Sacramento, California, 95814. 916-323-9280.

San Diego Zoo Gift Store. 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, California, 92101. 619-231-1515.

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