Museum Shops

You can find holiday gifts for everyone on your list at one of these cultural institutions. Long lines and crying babies not included.

Mill City Museum

It’s only fitting that the site of a former flour mill (which, at its peak, produced 10,000 barrels a day) pays homage to its past with a shop full of baking accoutrements. Spatulas, sifters, measuring spoons, retro-style aprons, cake-decorating books, and classic Nordic Ware bundt pans round out a small but thoughtful selection. There are even sections dedicated to Betty Crocker and Pillsbury doughboy memorabilia. For those less skilled in the kitchen, Mill City has whipped up its own line of pancake, muffin, and bread mixes.

704 S. Second St., Minneapolis, 612-341-7555

 

David J. Turner

The Museum of Russian Art

While the museum offers a rare glimpse into a captivating culture, the shop inside this beautifully renovated Spanish Colonial Revival building offers a sizeable selection of Eastern European goods. The works of Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy line the shelves, interspersed with Russian history volumes. The musical offerings—from Dvorák symphonies to Russian Orthodox hymns—are varied and exotic. Glass ornaments, nesting dolls, and hand-painted wooden Santas make unexpected holiday gifts.

5500 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-821-9045

 

David J. Turner

Science Museum of Minnesota

Science, nature, and understanding the world around us are the focus of the museum’s Explore Store. The shop’s themed collections of kid-friendly games, kits, and toys provide an educational and entertaining look at such topics as the life cycle of frogs, earthquakes and volcanoes, and human anatomy. For grown-ups, there are beautiful National Audubon Society field guides to trees, gardening, and bird watching. An annual membership to the museum is a terrific gift for the whole family.

120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-221-9444

 

David J. Turner

Walker Art Center

It’s completely possible to accomplish all of your holiday shopping under the Walker’s roof. This gem of a shop is consistently satisfying in its vast assortment of books, gifts, jewelry, art supplies, and home décor. There’s an emphasis on artisans whose work reflects the museum’s different genres of art. Even the Walker-branded products, like BT McElrath’s chocolate bars, are artful. While a visit to the shop is a must for anyone who appreciates beautiful and functional things, the online store, shop.walkerart.org, is a worthy alternative.

1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7633

 

David J. Turner

Weisman Art Museum

At Frank Gehry’s stainless-steel landmark, the museum shop’s merchandise has a fittingly modern edge. Industrial jewelry, cheeky greeting cards, and political gag gifts, are among the highlights of this small but thoughtfully curated store. While messenger bags, melamine plates, and retro T-shirts are a nod to the co-eds who frequently shop here, university students and employees can also participate in the Weisman’s Art Rental Program, which loans pieces from the museum’s collection for display in homes or offices.

333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis, 612-625-9494

 

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