Stumped For A Gift? Visit a Museum

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are one or two months away and if you are lucky enough to still have your mother and/or father around now is as good a time as any to think about what to get them. Rather than just picking up something at the last minute from the local drugstore you might want to try to find something a little more creative and relevant for your loved ones. I am reminded of this after visiting the Gift Shop at Leu Gardens last weekend.  The place is jammed packed (literally – it’s hard to move around too quickly in there) with all kinds of “gifty” things for your favorite gardener. From accessories to books the variety of items on offer was quite diverse and the store offers gift certificates if you can’t make a decision.

Of course, I bring this up because I love museum stores and I’ve recently visited a few interesting ones. Sometimes the merchandise can be pretty pricey but many have a wide range of items that are truly unique to the region or focused on a particular interest. I’ve purchased coasters from the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, a decorative ceramic tile from the Museum of Fine Arts store in Boston and jewelry from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In New Orleans, we visited the Museum Store at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and I was sorely tempted to buy a new scarf. I decided against it because I already have quite a collection of scarves. However, my friend did find some beautiful garden tags to label her herb garden. The brightly lit store has a significant children’s section with books, games and toys.

Many of these stores offer discounts to members which can be a reason to join if you love the merchandise enough to buy a significant amount of items over time. And, in some cases you don’t have to go into the Museum itself (either via the online store or via a separate entrance to the store on site) to visit the store, thus eliminating the admission to some places. 

So what follows is a list of some of my favorite museum stores.

The Dali Museum, St Petersburg, Florida. Huge store with Dali prints and Dali images reconstituted into all kinds of merchandise.

The Harry P. Leu Garden and Museum Store, Orlando, Florida. Small store crammed with decorative garden items and books.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Unique jewelry items. Art prints including limited editions, books, toys, clothing and accessories.

The Morse Museum, Winter Park, Florida. Tiffany Lamp reproductions and stained glass items. Stationery, apparel and accessories.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Beautiful prints and books. Unique jewelry items as well.

The Smithsonian, all the museums of this institution have a store but these, located in Washington DC stand out in my opinion.

World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Georgia. Okay this place is a living commercial for Coca-Cola products but I’m a Diet Coke fiend so if you love Coke memorabilia this is the place to go crazy.

Shanghai Museum of Art.  You won’t necessarily find any bargains here but what you find is genuine merchandise without the typical haggling and harassment you will find as a tourist in Shanghai.  A peaceful place to shop for quality items.

This is just a small sampling of what’s out there. Do you have a favorite Museum Store?

Priscilla Emery, one half of the Travel2some

Winter Park a delight all year round

Winter Park Florida is a must see when traveling to Central Florida.  You can arrive by car but can also arrive via Amtrak as the train stops right in the middle of town. Smack in the center of town is a lovely park with wonderful local shrubbery, plants and trees. Stroll down its Park Ave  lined with  fantastic restaurants, bars, wine bars, al fresco dining  and eclectic shops. At the bottom of Park Ave is the famous Rollins College campus and located there  you’ll find the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.  Photo exhibits and art exhibits change throughout the year.  Admission is only five dollars and is open Tuesday through Friday 10am -4pm and Saturday and Sunday 12pm -5pm.

Art ( one half of the Travel2some)

 

 

Answering the Call to Post Our Travel Experiences

Welcome to Travel2some.  We are a pair of boomers that travel when we can for both business and pleasure.   Our adventures can sometimes be referred to as “unique” and we have been asked on many occasions to tell others about both what we’ve experienced and how we have put some of our trips together.

We are planners but we’re not into the large group tour experience (though sometimes a one day excursion to a special place, like the Great Wall of China, makes sense).  We watch what we spend but we will not skimp on safety or sanitation.  Being comfortable is good too but we’ve sacrificed that on occasion to get a true local experience.

This blog will provide articles about some of our trips, advice on how to get the most out of particular locations, some photos and links to videos where possible.

For example,  living in central Florida near Orlando, many people think the only attractions here are Disney, Universal and SeaWorld.  These are all great places and we’ve enjoyed them too.  But if you’ve outgrown the rides or want to expand your horizons beyond amusement parks there are plenty of other places to visit in the area – And they won’t break the bank.

You can head over to the City of Winter Park, Florida, just north of downtown Orlando and take in this upscale, yet accessible part of central Florida.  Home to many beautiful neighborhoods and spacious homes, Winter Park hosts several events that are free to the public and lots of fun to attend.  On October 8 and 9th, 2011 it will host its 38th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival in downtown Winter Park.   This is actually smaller than the Spring Art Festival because it only includes Florida artists but it is still a major event with unique art for sale and something for everyone to enjoy.

Just down the block from the area where the festival takes place you can visit the Morse Museum of American Art.  If you love Tiffany glass lamps and windows then this place will really impress.  The new Tiffany Wing was opened recently and just visiting the museum store is worth the stop.  The admission for adults is $5.00 and is free for children younger than 12.  And if you are in the area from November through April, admission free 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m on Fridays only.  The museum is closed on Mondays.  It generally takes about 90 minutes to go through the whole museum but you may be tempted to linger longer when you feast your eyes on the Tiffany Chapel that was created for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

We hope to help you find more of these gems both within Florida and throughout the world in the following weeks and months.

Priscilla (one half of the Travel2some)