The Garden Shop at the Chicago Botanic Garden features mini rooms with table displays.
Gift giving is a work of art at Chicago's best museum stores.
The Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing Shop
When the Modern Wing opened in 2009, the museum added an exclusive new shop at the Millennium Park entrance catering to a more mod crowd. Browse exclusive design books and pieces developed in tandem with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 111 S. Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago's architectural legacy has been celebrated since the mid-'60s by the CAF, and its retail shop is a must for decorators and design aficionados. Favorite finds include Miller House graphic plates, Frank Lloyd Wright clocks, and a stunning selection of coffee table books that document Chicago architecture, history, and design. 224 S. Michigan Ave., 312-922-3432
The Art Institute of Chicago gift shop features exclusive design books.
Chicago History Museum Shop
Many a school trip to the CHM ends in the store, where a teen board weighs in on the shop's selection of hip wares. From vintage travel posters to Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan collectibles, the small but well-stocked shop is nicely edited. 1601 N. Clark St., 312-642-4600
The DuSable Museum of African American History Store
The assortment here includes African American-designed jewelry and exotic home décor, a treasure trove of well-edited CDs, and a recently expanded DVD collection, including a new program on the Tuskegee Airmen. 740 E. 56th Pl., 773-947-0600
The Garden Shop
The shop at the Chicago Botanic Garden features mini "rooms" with oak planting-table displays that speak to the gardening vibe. Foodies flock here for South Bend chocolates and Bron's Bee Company honey, while the shop's inventory, which consists of fair-trade clothing, toys, garden tools, and a selection of houseplants and seeds, changes monthly. 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440
Kerstin Andersson Museum Store
The Swedish American Museum, an Andersonville gem, is best known for the holiday picks at the annual Julmarknad. But the shop is stocked year-round with imported Scandinavian handicrafts and folk art. We like the Swedish flags for framing, brightly painted ceramic tiles, and Änders lavender soap. 5211 N. Clark St., 773-728-8111
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Store
The ever-changing collection here is inspired by the MCA's exhibitions, featuring local and emerging artists in more than 3,500 square feet on two levels. Favorites include tabletop items from Jia, jewelry from Chicago's Rebeca Mojica, and flatware by famed architect Zaha Hadid. 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660
Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
The award-winning Spertus building features state-of-the-art exhibit and library space dedicated to Jewish studies. Highly ornate Judaica dot the gift shop, including a Michael Aram olive-branch Sabbath platter in stainless steel, and mezuzot and menorahs in both modern and traditional incarnations. 610 S. Michigan Ave., 312-322-1700
The National Museum of Mexican Art's gift gallery is like an exhibition unto itself. Beautifully crafted artwork, jewelry, textiles, books, and toys by Mexican artisans are featured. Charming Day of the Dead figures, sterling and coral necklaces, and black clay pottery are a few standouts. 1852 W. 19th St., 312-738-1503