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Tour and Score in Philadelphia’s Gift Shops

September 4, 2019

Check out one of the many standout gift shops at Philadelphia attractions to find that perfect souvenir to remember your trip to Philadelphia

A truly unique experience, the PENN MUSEUM gift shop features souvenirs celebrating all of the various cultures found throughout the sprawling museum in University City. Items include reproductions of artifacts on display in the numerous galleries like symbolic African masks, as well as an Egyptian pharaoh dig kit and Chinese Foo Dogs.

If you’re looking for an unconventional gift, the MÜTTER MUSEUM certainly has you covered. Think: a snuggly e.coli or bird flu doll, Victorian post-mortem morning photography, Cephalothoracopagus glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, umlaut perfume and much more.

Notorious RBG Collection at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Bringing to life the 360-year history of Jews in the U.S., the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY gift shop boasts an extensive collection of ceremonial Judaica, Jewish gifts and jewelry as well as an unmatched Ketubah gallery perfect for brides and grooms. You can also pick up a rare Liberty Bell Mezuzah or Proclaim Liberty Kiddush Cup and shop the Notorious RBG collection celebrating Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Photo courtesy of the Independence Visitor Center.

The INDEPENDENCE VISITOR CENTER opened a sprawling new gift shop inside its recently renovated building. Buy goods designed by local artists or pick up regional treats like salt water taffy and fudge along with Philadelphia inspired memorabilia like Rocky souvenirs or “Saved By the Bell” T-shirts, and more including custom souvenirs featuring the HERSHEY’S brand.

Fans of the founding fathers will delight in the books, apparel and other merchandise at the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN MUSEUM. Items range from the silly (a Ben bobblehead, anyone?) to the inspirational (coffee mugs with Franklin quotes). Other treasures include period reproductions of hand-blown glass from Jamestown and colonial wooden toys.

Photo by L. Matlach courtesy of PAFA.

The first museum of art and school of fine arts in the country, PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS is known for its extensive collection of 19th- and 20th-century American artwork. Equally impressive is its gift shop, which offers handcrafted wares, cool jewelry, extraordinary ceramics, prints and more—plus items from Mural Arts Philadelphia. Pick up LOVE coasters, Great Modern Artists cases, ties with the map of Philadelphia and more.

Amateur and expert constitutional scholars will enjoy delving into the document’s creation and impact on the world today at the NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER, just across from Independence National Historical Park. Visitors can pick up themed gifts like We the People bar tie clips, Supreme Court ruling coffee mugs, presidential bobble heads and more. If the museum leaves you feeling extra inspired, nab an antiqued parchment stationary set on which you can scribe your own Declaration, Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Pick up a replica of the front gate key to Eastern State Penitentiary. The key was carried by the front gate officers for 109 years. The old key remains in the historic site's archival collection. Photo by R. Bloom for PHLCVB.

An eerie stone fortress in the Fairmount neighborhood, EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY was once home to notorious criminals like Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton. After touring the former prison grounds, stop by the gift shop for souvenirs, including a tee with Capone’s mugshot or a replica of the front gate key, or peruse the handmade wares from currently incarcerated people. The former prison transforms into a spooky haunted house, “Terror Behind the Walls,” in the fall and offers a creepy pop-up gift shop with a Teddy Scare Bear that has a new design each year.

Can’t score Hamilton tickets? Console yourself with an Alexander Hamilton pin from the MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION gift shop. In addition to their myriad Revolutionary era-themed pins, patches and magnets, you can pick up founding father ornaments, replica documents (including a rough drafts of the Declaration of Independence), period flags and George Washington War Tent magnets, pins and T-shirts.

The National Liberty Museum gift shop photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Awed by the NATIONAL LIBERTY MUSEUM’s eye-popping Flame of Liberty by famed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly? The museum, which honors heroes like Nelson Mandela, Jackie Robinson and Malala Yousafzai, also sells a range of glass objects, including hand-blown ornaments, wishing ball gratitude globes, paperweights, ring holders, wine stoppers and animal figurines, plus Philadelphia related souvenirs.

Barnes Shop at the Barnes Foundation. Photo by S. Murray.

If you’ve fallen in love with an Impressionist, Post-Impressionist or early Modern painting at the BARNES FOUNDATION, you’re in luck: You can purchase a reproduction at the museum’s custom print shop. The world-famous museum seeks creative ways to reinterpret the collection with extensive options in every price bracket including patches, scarves and totes, creative toys for kids and jewelry handmade exclusively for the museum. Tip: Van Gogh socks are a current favorite.

Photo courtesy of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Dinosaur fanatics will delight in the full-size T-Rex skeleton at the ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF DREXEL UNIVERSITY. Indulge in the excitement at the gift shop, where dino-inspired items range from “Hangry” T. rex t-shirts, rubber dinosaurs and dinosaur skull models that can be displayed on bookshelves and desks. Visitors can also score educational kits and books, rocks and minerals, UFO magnets and more.

Fabric Workshop and Museum photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Free and open daily, the FABRIC WORKSHOP AND MUSEUM is dedicated to creating works in new media and new materials. Head to the museum gift shop for affordable artwork and cool accessories and gifts designed by its artists in residence, ranging from canvas bags, scarves and napkins to pillows, t-shirts and umbrellas. Purchases help support artist programs.

Thrilling families since 1976, the PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM engages children through a variety of hands-on interactive exhibits that help kids learn through play. Visitors can bring the fun home with them by picking up an educational and eco-friendly toy at the on-site Kid Shop. Options include well-known brands like Legos, Picasso Tiles and Bristle Blocks as well as museum- and Philadelphia-themed t-shirts, books and more.

Betsy Ross Gift Shop photo courtesy of Historic Philadelphia.

A visit to the BETSY ROSS HOUSE is a must when surveying the city’s Historic District. In addition to learning about America’s favorite flag-maker, visitors can pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs like a Betsy Ross Byers Choice Doll and Flag, a handcrafted-in-Pennsylvania collectible of the famous early American. The impressive gift shop also features other locally made dolls dressed in colonial gear as well as colonial costumes and, of course, official flags.

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