It’s always a treat to shop at a museum store, especially at this festive time of year. The items on display typically reflect the museum’s mission, whether the focus is art, nature, culture, science or history.
For the past five years, the Sunday after Thanksgiving has been designated as Museum Store Sunday. The international event, sponsored by the Museum Store Association, takes place in more than 1,900 museum shops around the world.
“When you shop at cultural institutions, you are not only strengthening the institutions’ programs, you are also supporting local artisans and vendors that those stores feature,” says Elizabeth Price, Executive Director of the Museum Store Association. “The impact that these purchases have reach far beyond the joy felt by the gift recipient; they support a whole community of small businesses and help enrich the cultural offerings in the localities they serve.”
Why not consider shopping at a museum store today and year-round as well. Don’t be dissuaded by an admission charge; you are welcome to browse at the shop without paying an entrance fee if you explain that you’ve come specifically for that purpose.
We’ve put together a sampling of what’s available in the Dayton region.
Aullwood Audubon Nature Store & Gift Shop
The Aullwood gift shop stocks a wide-variety of nature-inspired gifts including holiday ornaments and décor, jewelry, kitchenware and greeting cards. The shop carries Aurora and Douglas plush toys, Barefoot Books, Birds Choice bird feeders, Carruth Studio cast stone sculptures, Cavallini & Co. vintage style jigsaw puzzles, note books and tea towels, eeBoo puzzles and games.
Gift ideas: Folkmanis puppets, Lucuma gourd art, Motowi Tiles; Pomegranate jigsaw puzzles, Stonewall Kitchen specialty foods, Trimdin Knitwear, Woodlink bird feeders. Kids love the little birds that sing authentic birdsongs!
The Nature Store is located at 1000 Aullwood Road and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Phone (937) 890-7360. Visit us at www.aullwood.org. For Museum Store Sunday the store will open at noon and complimentary coffee and cookies will be served.
The Carillon Historical Park Museum Store
This attractive shop carries products that commemorate Dayton’s world-changing history. Choose from apparel, books, historical toys and ornaments. Items made on-site at the newly expanded 1930s Gem City Letterpress Company include notepads, coasters, and cards for all occasions. The Tree of Light Christmas card is a favorite.
Gift ideas: One of the most popular items is a brass ornament of the 1905 Wright Flyer III. The store is currently expanding its “Collect the Park” line which includes a new 3D ornament of Dayton’s oldest standing building, Newcom Tavern! The collection includes lapel pins, charms, and keychains, with a new ornament arriving in December. The Christmas Shoppe is open and stocks hundreds of ornaments, Christmas décor, books, apparel, and more.
Located at 1000 Carillon Blvd. in Dayton, is regularly open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Since November 22, it’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Parking is free. For more information: (937) 293-2841 or Shop.daytonhistory.org Dayton History members receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases above $10.00.
The CoSHOP at Contemporary Dayton
The revamped shop in The Co’s new Arcade location now features fine art items and gifts created by both local artists and artisans from around the world.
Gifts are arranged by theme: Adorn, Serve, Bestow, Care, Envision, Holiday, and Curated. The COllection also features items by local artists, sustainable studios, and Black and Indigenous people.
Gift ideas: olive wood bowls, hand-turned ceramics, candles, art prints, creative greetings and jewelry.
The shop will be open for Holly Days in the Arcade, from 3-8 p.m. on December 6, 7, & 8. A Friends & Family Holiday Shop & Sip is slated for 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Open until 8 p.m. on Dec. 2, 6, 7, 8.
The Museum Store at the Dayton Art Institute
This attractive and expanded gift shop at the Dayton Art Institute is now located in a prominent position near the entrance to the museum. Here you’ll find items related to the permanent collection and special exhibitions as well as other art and decorative items and accessories. You’ll see everything from a DAI magnet for $3.95 to a $6,000 Dale Chihuly Studio Edition piece of glass.
Gift Ideas: Amber Honeycomb & Bee Necklace; “The Day Saida Arrived”; Van Gogh Irises 3D Paper Bouquet; Charley Harper Cardinal & Seed Mug; Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles– DIY Miniature Wooden Room.
The shop is located in the museum at 456 Belmonte Park Drive, North. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. There’s an online store at daytonartinstitute.org/shopdai. Phone: (937) 512-0130. Parking is free. Gift wrapping available.
The Museum Store at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
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, like books and hand-carved display models, many of which are exclusive. The store also stocks apparel, drink-ware, jewelry and toys.
Gift ideas: 2007 Wright Brothers Lecture Series Signed Numbered 3 Panel Print; Aircraft Catalog with specifications and history of hundreds of planes found at the museum; freeze-dried Astronaut Ice Cream.
The store, located at 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)-656-9286. Parking is free.
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Museum Store
This museum store offers art, jewelry, clothing, and other products reflecting the diverse cultural experiences of African Americans. Books available for purchase range from inspirational children’s coloring books to locally relevant historical non-fiction and award-winning cookbooks.
Gift ideas: Pre-matted prints from acclaimed Columbus photographer Kojo Kamau; original artworks from local and national artists are available through purchase and displayed in the museum’s nationally juried art show, “Art of Soul!”
The museum 1350 Brush Row, Wilberforce. Visit from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday or call (800) 752-2603 ext. 0 for more information.
The Discoveries Gift Shop at the Boonshoft Museum
This museum store carries a wide range of products from plush animals to dinosaur and space-themed toys, T-shirts, mugs, science kits, rock and mineral specimens and more. You’ll find framed (and unframed) prints of Dayton’s mummy, Nesiur, by local artist Michael L. Sampson. Gift cards can be used in the shop, food admission or towards a membership.
Gift ideas: Astronaut ice cream and freeze-dried astronaut food in a variety of flavors; plush toys of museum residents such as the river otters, meerkats, or sloth. Rocks and minerals including amethyst or rainbow flint specimens.
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.
SunWatch Gift Shop
The SunWatch Gift Shop offers authentic Native American jewelry and crafts as well as Native American inspired gifts. The shop features a range of books and original art by talented artists from diverse tribal affiliations including paintings, wearable art, and sculpture.
Gift ideas: Copper-wrapped Selenite pendant($24.99) jewelry from $35-$40; beadwork; arrowheads, leather goods.
The SunWatch Gift Shop at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park is located at 2301 West River Road, Dayton, OH 45417. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For information: (937)268-8199, www.sunwatch.org, or shop online at https://dsnh-discovery-shop.square.site/shop/sunwatch-shop/10.
Wegerzyn Gift and Garden Shop @ 2nd Street Market
The gift shop which supports Wegerzyn gardens foundation is totally volunteer-run and carries gifts for gardeners and plant enthusiasts including tools and a selection of house plants. In addition the shop has greeting cards that are locally sourced.
Gift ideas: Bird houses and accessories, wall art, small toys for children, and more.
The shop is located at the Second Street Market in downtown Dayton. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday & Sunday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Phone: (937) 474-3760.
Westcott House gift shop
The Westcott Shop is part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House Museum, the famous architect’s only Prairie House in Ohio. All the proceeds directly support the architectural landmark.
The shop sells a variety of products inspired by Wright, as well as other architects and designers. You’ll find a range of items developed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Home decor includes holiday decorations, dish towels inspired by Wright designs, flower vases.
Gift ideas: Earrings by David Howell & Company; wooden toys for babies; puzzles, sleek cars; wooden peg figures and ornaments made by Goose Grease that feature “Jazz Cats,” “Modern Artists,” and little Nativity Sets.
Westcott Shop is located at 85 South Greenmount Avenue in Springfield. Current hours are 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Street parking is available. The online store is westcottshop.org. photo: Westcott House
For Museum Store Sunday today the shop will offer refreshments onsite and special gifts for orders of $100 and above (both onsite and online).