Complete Your Holiday Shopping List at the Discoveries Gift Shop at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery!



Are you still searching for the perfect holiday gifts for your friends and family? The Discoveries Gift Shop at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery offers thousands of educational, fun, and unique items for everyone on your list! Whether you’re searching for hands-on science and robot kits, striking rock and fossil specimens, colorful plush pieces, or even a Star Wars™ Death Star™ serving platter, we’ve got you covered!

Diecast and backpacksOur knowledgeable, friendly Guest Services staff is always happy to help you choose the perfect gift. Visit us anytime the Museum is open (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday); you may shop anytime in the Discoveries Shop without paying general admission.

Just in time for the busy holiday shopping season, here are some of our most popular items and staff favorites, organized by price. Happy holidays!

Stocking stuffers under $5.00

We have a plethora of fun stocking stuffers at affordable prices. A perennial favorite is astronaut ice cream, in delicious flavors like mint chocolate chip and cinnamon apple wedgeIce Creams. Other bestsellers include bright Ty™ plush clips for accessorizing backpacks and jackets, sparkling crack-open geodes and amethyst and citrine specimens, earthy rock and mineral dig kits, slimy Mars mud and Pluto plasma,  and slippery water snakes—all priced at $4.99 or less!

Stocking stuffers under $10.00

You’ll find lots to of unique plush pieces in the Discoveries Shop, and we carry several smaller pieces, including super-soft otters, meerkats, and sloths. If you’ve got a little one who loves to play with diecast toys, we’ve got those, too, including trains, police cars, planes, and tractors. You can fill a branded drawstring bag with rocks or magnet stones to give to a young geologist, or you can gift a robot claw to a young explorer!

Gifts under $20.00

Ty plushWe carry a wide variety of DIY science kits for less than $20.00, so stock up for all of the budding astronomers, paleontologists, and scientists on your list! Just in time the holidays, new Ty Gear™ plush backpacks are available in a variety of styles. You’ll also find ant farms, large plastic dinosaurs, mermaid-and fairy-making kits, and backpacks full of themed diecast toys!

Gifts under $50.00

For less thanTy Gear backpacks purses $50.00, there are several truly unique options in the Discoveries Shop. The Inclocknito and Spy Science Money Safe kits allow kids to keep their treasures safe, while our brand-new Scientific Robot kit offers many experiments and learning opportunities in one convenient package. Dinosaur table lamps offer a cool way to light up the night, and impressive pizza and space station playsets will bring hours of imaginative play to the creative kids on your list. And don’t forget the large Ty™ Beanie Boos™ and Beanie Babies™, which promise hours of colorful cuddling fun!


AdultWhat do you buy for the guy or gal who has everything? A Bigfoot action figure or scarf, of course, or perhaps Star Wars™ salt-and-pepper shakers or that Death Star™ serving platter! Pass the time by completing a puzzle featuring the periodic table of the elements or beautiful gemstones; keep the time with a cool galaxy-print (or, yes, Star Wars™-themed) wall clock. Cozy socks in a variety of fun animal designs help keep cold winter feet warm; cold winter mornings are made a little more bearable when hot coffee or tea is sipped from a handwarmer animal mug. And office work always goes a little faster when you have a woodpecker stapler or otter tape dispenser by your side.

Visit the Discoveries Gift Shop today and let us help you choose the perfect holiday gifts!

Angela M. Shaffer is the Senior Manager, Guest Services and Database Management at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

The Perks of Preschool

Professional educators, academic organizations, even politicians agree that the importance of early childhood education is paramount to the success of future generations. Preschool is at the top of a lot of parent’s minds, but unfortunately fewer than half of little learners in the US are enrolled in preschool. Not only does preschool provide countless benefits to a student’s academic career, it also provides an opportunity for our youngest students to enter into Kindergarten prepared.

It is estimated that nearly one-in-three students aren’t prepared to enter Kindergarten and almost half of children (44%) enter into Kindergarten with risk factors (like poverty) based on their home environment. Children with associated risk factors tend to score much lower on the Kindergarten readiness tests–especially in the areas of reading and mathematics. Preschool is a wonderful way to meet the challenge of getting your child ready for Kindergarten, coupled with parent participation and active learning experiences outside the classroom.

Because April is all about Early Childhood Education in Ohio, we hope that you will join us in promoting not only Kindergarten registration, but preschool enrollment as well!

How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?

There are many wonderful organizations, both locally and across the country, that offer resources to help parents in making sure their children are meeting milestones and cultivating the skills they need in order to thrive in Kindergarten. Not sure if your little one is ready? Click here to visit 5 to Thrive’s website for a Kindergarten Readiness Check-Up.

Where is a good place to start?

Once you decide whether a charter school, private school, or local public school would be best for your child, visit their website or click here to learn more about the process of registering for Kindergarten.

I want my child to be prepared for Kindergarten, but I am still not sure about enrolling them in preschool.

Preschool is an investment in your child’s future and the dividends are limitless. Though it is a personal choice if/when you send your child to preschool, the benefits to starting your child’s educational journey as early as one year of age sets them up for a lifetime of achievement. Learn more about the Preschool at the Boonshoft Museum here.

To learn more about the perks of preschool view the infographic below or view this article from the experts at

  Preschool InfographicImage credit: