One-of-a-Kind Finds

Throughout Michigan, a diversity of museum gift shops offer unique ideas for the holidays and beyond.
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DIA Museum Shop
DIA Museum Shop. Photography courtesy Detroit Institute of Arts

A PARADE OF past and present American innovations are personified at The Henry Ford Museum Store and its 2014 Holiday Online Gift Guide, which is tailored to make picking the perfect present for every age easy (giftshop.thehenryford.org). Distinctive pieces of pottery, glass and tin can be perused on-site and in mid-creation, too, at Greenfield Village’s Liberty Craftworks on Holiday Nights (Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 18-23 and 26-27 from 6:30-10 p.m.), including:

• Collectible Glass-Blown Candy Cane, $25, and elegant Candy Cane Bowl, $125, both limited editions spiraled in sapphire blue for 2014;

Civil War Soldier’s Tin Cup, $20, replicated true down to historic detail;

• Nostalgic 1913 Hershel Spilman Carousel Ornament, $17 and Retro-inspired After Five Martini Glasses, $35 each, skillfully hand-blown by Liberty Craftworks artisans.

Cranbrook Science Shop
Cranbrook Science Shop. Photography courtesy Thinkstock

Situated in Bloomfield Hills, the Science Shop in the Cranbrook Institute of Science (science.cranbrook.edu) offers illumination through such picks as “The Geology of Michigan: An Expedition Through Deep Time,” $30, an intriguing 60-minute presentation expressing the Great Lakes’ evolution, and offers pathways to fine-tune personal prowess in everything from astronomy to physics through mind-igniting kits:

• Create your own crystals, Crystal Growing Box Kit, $13;

• Decipher hieroglyphics, Archeology: Pyramid Dig, $27;

• Learn how solar cells convert energy, Solar Car Kit, $25;

• Build a seismograph, Volcanoes & Earthquakes Kit, $37.

On Woodward Avenue, the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Shop (diashop.org) offers an array of apparel, prints and other items tied to DIA collections and exhibits (i.e., Diego Rivera Detroit Industry Murals Umbrella, $30), along with unique products made across the globe — as well as right around the corner.

Greenfield Village Liberty Craftworks
Greenfield Village Liberty Craftworks. Photography courtesy The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village

• Discover vibrant bits of graffiti from the Motor City repurposed in Sterling Silver Cuff Links made by Rebel Nell, $128, a local enterprise that employs and empowers disadvantaged women;

• Choose a Ghanaian Balaphon Xylophone, $85, made by Christopher Doozie of Dagarti Arts in Ghana, who also handcrafted instruments for “The Lion King” on Broadway;

• Pick classic wooden Alphabet Factory Blocks crafted at Uncle Goose in Grand Rapids, $70.

The Gift Shop at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (meijergardens.org), also in Grand Rapids, offers a unique mix of artisan-crafted goods, jewelry, gifts and books for art and garden lovers.

Frederik Meijer Gardens Gift Shop
Frederik Meijer Gardens Gift Shop. Photography courtesy Campbell Studios Inc. (left), Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (right)

• Uncover the vibrant, glazed, spectacularly patterned Flambeaux Art Pottery by Bill Campbell of Campbell Studios Inc., a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made finalist (pictured: Snowdrop Vase, $104) or

• Journey through “America’s Garden of Art,” a hardcover coffee table book that showcases the Meijer Gardens story though expressive, full-color photography, $50.

Peruse other Michigan museum gift stores online to find other unique picks for the holidays and year-round. For inspiration, turn to page 49 in this edition of BLUE.

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