It’s a two-fer when you do your holiday shopping at NYC museum stores – you get great, unique items, and you support the great museums which have lost millions of dollars in admission fees this difficult year.
Several offer free gift wrapping, free shipping, or both.
The recommended order-by date for expected delivery by December 25 is December 13 at 12pm. In-store pickup is available daily through December 24.
Here are some of my favorite choices at NYC museum stores.
Give the special straphanger in your life a little bit of New York City Transit joy. From Christmas ornaments and Hanukkah cards to subway socks, toy trains and transit masks and even a baby bib printed with a NYC subway map.
My personal favorites are the necklaces and cufflinks and other jewelry fashioned from real old subway tokens.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at the nytransitmuseumstore.com.
This is the place for NYC puzzles, a daily calendar with NYC scenes, salt and pepper shakers in the shapes of ttwo NYC landmarks, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, and RBG memorabilia.
My personal favorites are a ceramic version of the world’s most famous paper cup, served everywhere in NYC, and a NYC snowglobe.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at https://shop.mcny.org.
All the gifts here are inspired by the artists featured in the museum, including Cubist design socks and an umbrella,
My personal favorite is a $12.95 reusable fold-up Kandisnsky tote bag. Just think of all the throwaway paper and plastic bags you won’t be throwing away if you have one of these. Frank Lloyd Wright would approve.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at https://www.guggenheimstore.org/holiday.
AMNH is famous for its dinosaurs, and there are plenty of dino-themed gifts for fans of all ages, including plush toys for the little fans and a T. Rex print stainless steel re-usable water bottle for bigger fans.
My personal favorite is a NASA themed backpack, perfect for my future travels – or yours.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at https://shop.amnh.org/
It’s only fitting that one of the best and largest museums in the world also has one of the largest gift shops.
There are faithful recreations of historic jewelry and sculptures like Rodin’s The Thinker, toasty warm scarves and face masks inspired by the artwork in the museum, a super cute baby’s onsie that says “I Arted”, a Met Monopoly game, where you trade artwork instead of real estate, and so much more.
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My personal favorite is a Monet gardens scarf. How can you be cold when you are wrapped in Monet’s magical flowers.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at https://store.metmuseum.org/
You’ll get good karma with anything from this museum of East Asian art, including meditation pillows, mandalas and candles.
Through Dec. 24, get 10% off all orders. Order online and opt for curbside pickup.
My personal favorite is the Himalayan Mystic Mask. Featuring a pattern of clouds, snow lions, and elephants, this face mask was designed by Pema Chodon, a Tibetan immigrant living in NYC, and handmade by women in a Himalayan community who lost their regular income due to COVID-19.
That’s a three-fer – great gift, supporting a museum, and supporting local immigrants struggling to pay the bills.
- There’s something for everyone on your list at https://shop.rubinmuseum.org
This museum’s gift shop is called the MOMA Design Store, because everything is perfectly designed, including ceramic cooking pans, Bodum glass coffeepots and teapots, colorful sneakers for kids and umbrellas for grownups.
My personal favorite is the Dusen Dusen tissue box, sure to cheer up anybody with the sniffles.
- There’s something for everybody on your list at https://store.moma.org/only-at-moma
And don’t forget NYC parks.
Central Park and the High Line have gift shops, too.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for following NYC on the Cheap.