Long Beach Museum Gift Guide

For holiday gifts that celebrate Long Beach arts and culture, why not try our local museum gift stores? Delight friends and loved ones with gifts from the Aquarium of the Pacific, historic Ranchos, world-class art museums, and the Queen Mary. We have selected a few of our favorite things from these shops to help you artfully check off your gift-giving list.

AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC

The Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way) stocks ocean-inspired toys, books, clothing, housewares, artwork, holiday ornaments, and a large collection of plush animals in its gift store, Pacific Collections. You can give the gift of snuggles with plush recreations of the Aquarium's popular Pacific Pals characters, Elsie Otter and Axl the Axolotl. These YouTube stars, whose videos can be found on the Aquarium’s channel, have been transformed into highly cuddly and affordable toys, ringing up for $5.99 and $9.99, respectively.

RANCHO LOS ALAMITOS

Rancho Los Alamitos (6400 E Bixby Hill Rd) puts a special focus on stocking its gift store for the holidays. This year, the shop is celebrating a cardinal theme, with many decorative and holiday items sporting the seasonally appropriate red birds. The Rancho is also offering one-of-a-kind hand sculpted pottery by local Long Beach artisan Barbara Hass. Her totem sculptures feature whimsical representations of birds and sea life and can stand in your garden or hang from a patio cover or tree.

RANCHO LOS CERRITOS

Shopping the Rancho Los Cerritos (4600 Virginia Rd) gift store is incredibly convenient–you can do it from home by making an order online and opting to pick the item up at the store later. The shop includes items made by the RLC Garden Crafters, like wooden spreading knives, bowls, and pens made from fallen tree branches at the Rancho. Pair a spreader with a jar of Rancho jam made with ingredients harvested in the Rancho’s orchard for a delicious and hyperlocal gift.

LONG BEACH MUSEUM OF ART

This holiday season, the store at the Long Beach Museum of Art (2300 E Ocean Blvd) is offering ceramics glazed with tan and pale blue ombre hues created by People’s Pottery Project. This organization’s mission is to employ and empower formerly incarcerated women, trans and non-binary individuals through paid job training, access to a healing community, and meaningful employment in its collective non-profit ceramic business. So these are gifts you can feel extra good about giving.

QUEEN MARY

Take a journey into the past with a shopping trip on the historic Queen Mary (1126 Queens Hwy). Its shops are located in the Main Hall on the Promenade Deck and stock a variety of souvenirs, apparel, toys, books, and other items for Anglophiles, history lovers, and maritime enthusiasts. This holiday season, Queen Mary vintage chocolate tins are available with a choice of gourmet milk or dark chocolate or chocolate truffle almonds. Making the perfect stocking stuffer, the tins can be found in the ship’s new vintage candy shop Piccadilly Delights.

Museum of Latin American Art

For a selection of jewelry, artwork, books, housewares, and toys inspired by the Museum of Latin American Art (628 Alamitos Ave) and its collections and exhibitions, visit La Tienda, its gift store located just off the main lobby. Many of the store’s items use the popular imagery of Día de los Muertos, like the Glam Day of the Dead Ornament. This glass skull-shaped bauble is ornately shellacked with jewels, sequins, and glitter, and will add some extra sparkle to your recipient’s Christmas tree.

About the Author
Claire Atkinson
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