Attraction Gift Shops with Unique Ideas

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Photo courtesy Tamara Aschenbrenner

Historically gift shops have gotten a bad rap, and many visitors either avoid them or just breeze through. But we’re here to tell you that, not only is that a bad idea, but you’ll actually be depriving yourself of some pretty cool stuff. There are some items that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the city! From niche specialties to exclusive lines, you’ll have to stop by before you leave.


Royal Alberta Museum | 9810–103a Ave. | shopram.ca

After spending the day enjoying incredible exhibits, pop into the RAM Shop to relive your favourite moments. Everything you learned about—dinosaurs, bugs, rocks, people–are there as toys, art, jewellery, books, and more.

Something that sets the Royal Alberta Museum apart is its mandate: at least 70% of the vendors have to be local and/or Indigenous. “Besides visiting the I. A. M. Collective at the farmers’ market or at Fort Edmonton, this is the most [in quantity] local and non-local Indigenous product you’d find,” shares Orissa Sabourin, the shop coordinator. Overall, the shop stocks over 300 vendors—with some all-new products and partnerships since April. “There are so many good ones,” hints Orissa. “There are three basically celebrity Indigenous artists that we have been dying to work with and [couldn’t] wait to have.” So even if you’ve already visited earlier this year, there’s a new selection to check out.

More niche products feature the Royal Alberta Museum’s two mascots: Moe the Mammoth and Bertie the Albertosaurus. You can find them as cuddly stuffies, lunch kits, socks, and even swirly-straw cups. Plus, Moe was actually designed by Edmonton artist Crystal Dreidger!

Other special collections include an extensive product line of Mother Earth Essentials, handmade mammoth necklaces from Smithstine Copper, Medalta pottery from the museum in Medicine Hat, and break-your-own geodes. “This is probably one of the best gift shops in Western Canada,” says Orissa.

Aviation Museum |  11410 Kingsway NW. | albertaaviationmuseum.com

Unsurprisingly, you can get great gift ideas here for aircraft enthusiasts of all ages. You can tour displays of vintage airplanes, learn cool history—and then browse through books, models, and clothing to keep the excitement going at home. They’ve got kits to build your own airplane replica, gliders and toys, accessories to dress like an up-and-coming aviator, and everything from books to videos to help you get a more in-depth insight of the world of aviation. In 2021, the museum published its own souvenir book to highlight many of the key business owners, aviators, innovators, and special aircrafts tied to Edmonton’s history—which is basically taking a piece of the museum home with you to share. This book in particular is available only on-site, so you’ll just have to stop by.

TELUS World of Science | 11211–142 St. | 780-452-9100 ext. 2254 | galaxygiftshop.ca

Not only is the science centre a neat place to learn and play, it’s also a great spot to shop for original gift ideas. It’s packed with cool kits for DIY science experiments, brainteasers, and outdoor exploration, as well as loads of fun gadgets, books, telescopes, stuffed animals, and even Astronaut Freeze Dried Ice Cream and the special Fisher Chrome Bullet Space Pen. Where else will you find a plushie of a depression microbe? Or a bamboo bug box, the world’s smallest Rubik’s Cube, and a Great Women of Science t-shirt?

Fort Edmonton Park | 7000–143 St. | fortedmontonpark.ca 

Between the Front Entry Gift Shop, McDougall’s General Store, and the Treasure Trove, you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy. There, Fort Edmonton Park stocks several local and handmade products like 11410 Kingsway NW. | albertaaviationmuseum.com
themed socks, soapstone carving kits, and various treats. The kiosk near the Gathering Place within the Indigenous Peoples Experience, however, is run by the Indigenous Artisans Market (I.A.M) Collective. You can visit them to browse their rotating supplies of crafted items from their impressive roster of local Indigenous creatives.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village | 195041 Highway 16 East, AB. | 780-662-3640 | ukrainianvillage.ca

The living history museum highlights the lives and culture of early Ukrainian immigrants, so it’s no surprise it would continue to be highlighted in the gift shop, too. One of the most recognizable Ukrainian artworks are pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs, and this is one of the only shops you can find all the speciality materials required to make your own. They also stock wooden pysanky from Ukraine, leather pyrohy (perogy) ornaments by artist Skylar Hoffos, and an exclusive line of artworks by artist Joseph Ulan, as well as various traditional clothing, home décor, and some exclusive books like UCHV guidebook and coffee table book.

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