Some of my favorite places to do holiday shopping are museum gift shops.  Here in the Finger Lakes Region, we have some unique museums to choose from and many have online stores.   Here, are some of my favorites:

Delight someone with an ornament from Corning Glass Museum

Delight a friend with an ornament from Corning Museum of Glass

 Corning Museum of Glass – The Glassmarket at the Corning Museum of Glass has a stunning selection of glass gifts ranging from moderately-priced items to designer studio works at collector prices.  They offer a nice online selection, starting with gifts in the $10 range and up.  If you visit, you can create your own ornament, paperweight or other glass gift item.  Corning Museum of Glass is located at One Museum Way, Corning.  To read more about this museum, see “Hot Stuff at Corning Museum of Glass.”

Genesee Country Village & Museum – This 19th Century Living History Museum has an extraordinary gift shop that rivals those in Williamsburg.  You’ll find everything from locally thrown salt-glazed pottery and redware replicas to reproductions of vintage toys, linens, jewelry, ties and ornaments.  You can also order from their modest online selection by calling 585-538-6822, ext. 226 or by emailing rlott@gcv.org. Genesee Country Village & Museum is located at 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford.

George Eastman House – The Gift Shop of this museum is located next to the cafe, between the photo galleries and the George Eastman House.  Here, you’ll find a great selection of photography-oriented and very contemporary gifts.  Some of my favorite finds have included photography books (of course!), chic photo handbags that are great conversation starters, a photo mobile and tickets to shows at the Dryden Theater.  It’s a great gift shop to visit in person, but you can also order some items online. The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Video is located at 900 East Avenue, Rochester

Memorial Art Gallery – This museum shop rivals the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s shop in NYC for variety in selection and includes everything from regional crafts and art books to jewelry and original artwork.  Last year, I bought my Vegan niece the most exquisite bracelet made of vegetable over metal, now one of her favorite pieces of jewelry.  The Gallery has a modest display online and you can order by calling 585.276.9010 or email maggallerystore@mag.rochester.edu.  The Memorial Art Gallery is located at 500 University Avenue, Rochester

To read about one of this museum’s current exhibits for which they have items in their gift shop, visit Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons at Memorial Art Gallery.  This exhibit runs through January 4, 2009.

National Soaring Museum – If you have anyone, big or little, on your list who loves flying/soaring, check out the Windrider Gift Shop.  You are able to place your order for DVDs, books, clothing and toys with a soaring theme through their online shopping cart.  The National Soaring Museum is located on Harris Hill, 51 Soaring Hill Drive in Elmira. 

Rockwell Museum of Western Art – The Rockwell Museum’s Trading Post has something Western for everyone from handcrafted Native American Jewelry to Children’s toys and from artwork by Remington and Russell to Stetson Hats.  There’s a very modest collection online, so you might consider shopping in person when you visit the museum located at 11 Cedar Street in Corning.

Strong National Museum of Play – This museum doesn’t have an online gift shop, but their unique offerings make children’s eyes light up with delight.  You can find everything from costume items and stuffed animals to educational toys.  Stong National Museum of Play is located at One Manhattan Square, Rochester.

If you know of other great museum gift shops in the Finger Lakes region, won’t you please share them with Finger Lakes Travel Maven Readers?

Photo courtesy Corning Museum of Glass

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