We can now shop our way through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. The newest addition to our post-Thanksgiving shopping options is Museum Store Sunday, now in its second year.
The international event, sponsored by the Museum Store Association, will take place today — Sunday, Nov. 25 — in 700 museum stores across all 50 states, 10 countries and three continents.
The organization’s president Ione Saroyan says this shopping initiative gives people a chance to support local businesses, give back to the community through local non-profit museums, find unusual holiday gifts and enjoy an entertaining and educational experience — all at the same time.
Susan Tudor, first vice president of the Museum Store Association, says consumers should consider shopping in museum stores this holiday season because our cultural institutions need our support. “All museum store revenues help defray operating and program expenses of that institution,” she explains. “In addition, your purchases help spread the word that museum stores are important with their curated products and unique shopping experiences.”
Dayton Art Institute’s gift shop manager Diane Haskell says what differentiates each store is its specific focus — depending on whether it’s an art museum, history museum or nature center.
We’ve put together a sampling of what’s available locally. Keep in mind that even if the museum charges admission, guests are usually welcome to stop at the shop without paying a fee.
The Carillon Historical Park Museum Store specializes in products that commemorate Dayton’s history. “We offer a vast range of exclusive items ranging from handmade candles by our historical interpreters to print shop merchandise printed in our very own 1930s print shop,” says store manager Emily Irvin. “We sell everything from apparel and books for all ages to historical toys, ornaments and home décor. We have a vast collection of friction toys and building kits, Limited Edition art prints, magnets, postcards, key chains and more.”
Gift Ideas: Dayton Triangles Merchandise honoring the semi-pro football team from Dayton that played the first game of the American Football Association that later became the NFL); a 2019 Dayton History Calendar that celebrates the legacy of the Wright Brothers.
The shop, located at 1000 Carillon Blvd., is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Parking is free. Phone: 937-293-2841. Special Extended Hours for “A Carillon Christmas, Nov. 28-Dec. 30. For wrapping, the shop offers tissue paper and printed paper bags with ribbons.
The Museum Store at the Dayton Art Institute carries items related to the permanent collection and special exhibitions. “We have something for everyone — from a DAI magnet for $3.95 to a $6,000 Dale Chihuly Studio Edition piece of glass,” Haskell says. “One of our newest and best-sellers are our men’s and women’s Art Socks from Hot So. You can wear everything from Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ to Claude Monet’s ‘Waterlilies’ on your feet!”
Gift ideas: A limited-edition snow globe that marks the museum’s centennial; JellyCat Rainbow Pompom, a big soft ball of colorful fluff; Wall art from Macone Clay handmade in Northern Wisconsin by Michael Macone and his family; Black Wire Necklace with Chunky Twist and Pearls from Sea Line Jewelry.
The shop is located in the museum at 456 Belmonte Park Drive, North. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. There’s an online store at daytonartinstitute.org/shopdai. Phone: (937) 512-0130. Parking is free. Gift wrapping available.
Aullwood Audubon Nature Store & Gift Shop sells everything from bird feeders, houses and birding reference guides to high-quality toys that encourage active play and imagination, beautiful books for all ages, nature-inspired puzzles and games, personal care items made from natural ingredients, home décor, quality tools for gardeners.
“The items in our store are carefully selected to remind you of your time here at Aullwood,” says store manager Dalynn Sours. “A gift from the Aullwood Audubon Nature Store & Gift Shop can reflect your desire to care for the earth and the creatures that inhabit it, or teach the next generation about the importance of sustainable farming and caring for pollinators, or maybe to remind the recipient that there are still places to breathe and be still.”
Gift ideas: Anna King Sterling Silver Jewelry; Motawi Tileworks Decorative Tiles; All Natural Personal Care Products by Spinster Sisters, Our Family Soap & Earth Luxe; Gift Baskets designed by Aullwood Designing Diva Volunteers; local honey, apple butter, jam and maple syrup.
The shop is located at 1000 Aullwood Road and is open from 9 a,m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Phone (937) 890-7360. Today, for Museum Store Sunday, the shop will be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and will feature guest artist, Sharon Stolzenberger, who will be painting live throughout the day. Warm spiced cider and home-baked cookies will be served. There is also a raffle for holiday gift baskets.
The Museum Store at the National Museum of the United States Air Force is well-known for its wide range of aviation and military-related gifts, many of which are exclusive. “Our store is known by many aviation enthusiasts for its excellent collection of books and beautiful hand-carved display models,” says Melinda Lawrence, Chief of Museum Store Operations at the Air Force Museum Foundation, which operates the store. “We also have a large selection of gifts for all ages — from aviation to space to STEM learning. ” The store also stocks apparel, drink-ware, jewelry and toys.
Gift ideas: Pictorial Tour Book with a tour of museum hangars; Aircraft Catalog with specifications and history of hundreds of planes found at the museum; freeze-dried Astronaut Ice Cream; Rosie the Riveter mug with a “We Can Do It!” design.
The store, 1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Gift wrap is provided. The store’s website is store.airforcemuseum.com. Phone: (937) 256-6245. Parking is free.
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center museum store offers art, jewelry, books and other products reflecting the diverse cultural experiences of African-Americans.
Jerolyn Barbee, the museum’s assistant director and store manager, says the shop will be hosting a holiday bazaar Saturday, Dec. 8. There will be a Breakfast with Santa (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with advance reservations) and Black Holiday Magic Gift Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Included with regular museum admission.) For more information, call (800) 752-2603, ext, 7 or ohiohistory.org/naamcc. The museum is located at 1350 Brush Row Rd, Wilberforce. Phone: (937) 376.4944 ext. 2120. Parking is free.
The Discoveries Gift Shop at the Boonshoft Museum carries a wide range of items from plush animals to dinosaur- and space-themed toys. “We offer branded T-shirts and mugs, many different science kits, and a variety of items for those interested in natural history, including books and rock and mineral specimens,” says Angela Shaffer, gift shop manager.
Gift ideas: Astronaut ice cream in a variety of flavors; metal detector robot; realistic plush otters, meerkats and sloths.
The Discoveries Gift Shop, 2600 DeWeese Parkway, Dayton, is open during regular museum hours: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Website: boonshoftmuseum.org. Parking is free.