Philadelphia is home to some of the oldest and biggest museums in the country. It was also the home to our country’s founding fathers and is a major historical stop for tourists all around the world. If you’re visiting, you should stop at one of the many gift shops and pick up a memento to bring home. Or, if you are a Philly native and you want something in your home to show off your Philly pride, stop at one of our suggested museums to find the best memorabilia in the city.
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave,
Philadelphia, PA 19130
The Eastern State Penitentiary is the original solitary confinement prison and is located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. The Penitentiary is now a museum but was once home to major criminals such as Al Capone. The museum is best known for its yearly Halloween haunted house, “Terror Behind the Walls.” Thousands of brave individuals come every year to be led on a dark and spooky adventure through the notoriously macabre and definitely haunted museum. There are two gift shops at the Penitentiary, the daytime shop and the nighttime haunted house store. You can order from both shops online. The daytime shop offers clothing such as t-shirts, bandanas, baseball caps, sweatshirts and knit caps. The clothing is emblazoned with various graphics, such as Al Capone, Pep the dog (a one-time resident of the penitentiary) and the ESP logo. The Haunted House gift shop offers themed items such as The Teddy Scare series. Each year a new Teddy Bear is designed. The 2014 Teddy Scare is Edwin Morose, dressed in traditional black and white prison stripes. There is also the gargoyle plush. The plush is based on one of the two massive gargoyles that guard over the penitentiary during the Halloween season.
Related: Top Museums For Kids In Philadelphia
Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 S. 22nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Mütter Museum holds a well-preserved collection of anatomical specimens, models and medical instruments from the 19th century. The gift shop is probably one of the more bizarre museum gift shops you will find. It offers gifts that reflect some of the museum’s permanent pieces, such as the “Soap Lady” soap on a rope. The “Soap Lady” was exhumed from a cemetery in Philadelphia in the 1830s. She was named the “Soap Lady” because a fatty substance called adipocere covered her remains. The substance formation isn’t common in this situation but may form in alkaline, warm, airless environments similar to the one in which the “Soap Lady” was exhumed.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
118-128 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
The oldest museum and school has taught some of the most famous artists and faculty members in the world, including Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins and Bo Bartlett, to name a few. The museum store is an art connoisseur’s dream if they are on the hunt for knick knacks, gifts, prints and more. Everything from playing cards to t-shirts adorn the PAFA trademark and the artists whose work can be found throughout the city.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
The largest museum in the city offers seven shops including a pop-up shop that sells gifts and art from local Philadelphia artists. The museum sells everything from catalogs, postcards and knick knacks from exhibits that have passed through the museum doors, as well as clothes, knits, posters, prints, jewelry and much more at all seven sites including the shop in the Perelman building across the street. There is a holiday shop onsite which offers commissioned gifts.
Related: Top Art Museums In Philadelphia Area
Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.