Some of the best places to find good home decorations, gorgeous scarves, exotic objects, fine jewelry, fun toys and even interesting gadgets are at places that can be overlooked when shopping for holiday gifts. They are the stores found at science, art and other popular destination museums. In the Chicago area, the following five museum shops stand out because of their size and range of selection. They are accessible without having to pay admission.
Art Institute Of Chicago (Credit, Jodie Jacobs)

Art Institute Of Chicago (Credit, Jodie Jacobs)

Art Institute Of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600 (General)
(312) 443-3583 (Museum Shop)

Wreathed lions set the holiday mood on either side of the Art Institute of Chicago’s front entrance. Once inside, turn right to look for exceptional glass objects, imported jewelry, art books, artistic ties, scarves and other unusual gifts in the museum’s large, main shop. Click here for an idea of some of the store’s objects and their cost. A smaller, but excellent contemporary gift shop is just inside the Modern Wind entrance on Monroe Drive.

Field Museum gift shop (Credit, Jodie Jacobs)

Field Museum gift shop (Credit, Jodie Jacobs)

Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-9410

The Field has such a large collection of incredible gifts from all parts of the world that they are divided by interest in four stores. However, samples of them can be found in the Main Store inside the south entrance to the right side of the ticket booth. An impressive 6,000-square-foot space of mosaic floor tiles and vaulted ceilings, the Main Store is partitioned off according to continent, science and age appeal. Look for exotic pottery, textiles, art objects or toys. If the shopping excursion is combined with a museum exhibit, go upstairs to the Sue Store on the balcony above the famous T.Rex. Or stay on the main floor for the Field Trip Store which features items related to museum exhibits. Downstairs on the ground level is the Rock-ology Store with minerals, jewelry and books. Click here for the Field Museum stores and here for examples of their items.

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 022-7827 (General)
(312) 588-0272 (Store)

The Adler Planetarium is the place to find galactic items for the budding astronomer and astronaut. Sitting on the east end of Museum Campus peninsula, the Adler has a wide selection of scientific devices, toys and books ranging from Space Shuttle play kits and child-sized astronaut helmets to telescopes and 50-year calendars. Click here for the store and here for a sample of items.

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Museum of Science And Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

When looking for interesting experiments, books and games for the young scientist on the list, check out the Museum of Science and Industry store in the the huge entry hall. The store also carries books on some of its most popular exhibits including Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, the Zephyr and U505 Sub. Click here for some store items and here for the main store site.

Tienda Tzintzuntzan
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. Nineteenth St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 738-1503 (General)
(312) 738-3920 (Gift Shop)

Step into the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Tienda Tzintzuntzan, translated as Place of the Hummingbird. It is a Mexican marketplace filled with hand-crafted jewelry, pottery and other artwork. Items come from Mexico City, Oaxaca, Taxco, Jalisco, Puebla and other regions of the United States’ southern neighbor. Click here to see some gift shop items.

Related: Best Places For Handmade Accessories In Chicago

Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on