Where Santa Shops – St. Louis’ Non-profit Gift Shops

Wednesday December 9, 2015

By Mark

Santa doesn’t always depend on big box stores or catalog websites to fill his sleigh. Santa knows some of the best places to find gifts are at St. Louis’ many non-for-profit gift shops housed at historic, art and cultural attractions. Locations whose merchandise and seasonal gifts reflects the sites they support. Items such as Sky Hooks, a popular Victorian era toy imported from Germany found at the Campbell House Museum gift shop.

“ Victorian Sky Hooks are one of our more unique things we have for kids,” said Campbell House Executive Director Andy Hahn, explaining how important gift shops are to non-profits. “Our gift shop is our biggest ongoing fundraiser. It features lots of one of a kind gifts you don’t find other places. Gifts like lithophanes (etched translucent porcelain that revels a picture when back lit with light) along with an assortment of books on history and culture as well as tableware, jewelry, stationary and seasonal décor.”

Missouri Botanical’s Garden Gate Shop is especially bustling with shoppers searching for that perfect gift during its annual Garden Glow.

“We focus on things made local, things produced in the U.S. and where the Garden does research,” said Amy Miller, shop manager who noted all money raised by the shop goes back into the Garden to support its various missions. “ We have Christmas cactus, poinsettias and orchids along with herbs, foliage and flower plants. We also have a plant specialist that can answer your questions about the plants your want to buy.”

Fair trade products such as South American and African Blessing Baskets are among the Gardens more unique gifts. The Garden is committed to the fare trade concept, which insures artisans and producers are paid a fair wage for their products.

The Garden’s second off-site shop, The Little Shop Around the Corner (4474 Castleman Ave) is a classy second-hand shop featuring antiques and collectables from vintage merchandise donated to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Proceeds from the shop’s sales support the Garden’s research and educational objectives to preserve plant life, conserve resources, and slow the efforts of global climate change.

One of Santa’s favorite stops to satisfy art lovers is The Museum Shop at the St. Louis Art Museum. The Museum’s merchandise is as varied as the art Museum’s collections. It’s shelves and display cases are filled with an eclectic array of art-inspired gifts, including art glass, jewelry, books, posters, clothing and toys.

Other shops on Santa’s list include The St. Louis Science Center’s ExploreStore, the place to find gifts for both budding scientists and casual science enthusiasts while The AKC Museum of the Dog is a must shop place for canine lovers. Counted among Santa’s personal favorites is the Sugar Plum Gift Shop housed within the Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum, which specializes in reproduction windup toys from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Besides finding one of a kind gift items, St. Louis’ non-profit shops provide added benefit. Each site features special events, exhibits and or holiday events designed to make the season merry. And that’s holiday gift everyone can enjoy.

Here few places to where you might find Santa shopping.

Guest Blogger Suzanne Corbett contributed to this blog.