museums&MORE Fall 2016
Celebrate National Park Service centennial with these gifts By Sam Ujvary

As avid travelers, we here at Museums & More often have a chance to see the beauty in nature that lies outside of gift shop walls at America's national parks.

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.” These words written by famed author Edward Abbey in “Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness” can often be found deep within a traveler’s soul. With the centennial celebration of National Park Service this year, the call of the wild is more prevalent than ever. As avid travelers, we here at Museums & More often have a chance to see the beauty in nature that lies outside of gift shop walls. While photos won’t do it justice, it’s nice to have a throwback to hang from our house walls, as well as a sentimental token from said shops.

The traveler’s bible, National Geographic, posted an article featuring the top 10 most visited national parks in the United States. With The Great Smoky Mountains topping the list, the article reports an astonishing 307.2 million visitors came to these parks in 2015, many of who are on the hunt for a memento of their experience or gifts to share with loved ones. That’s an incredibly opportunity for each of its respective gift shops. From plush items and toys for small children to apparel, décor pieces and giftables, there are countless examples of distributor and gift shop coming together to provide these unique items.

Aurora World has a product lineup that entails considerably every theme imaginable. Its bear collection alone would work in nearly every state and national park gift shop in the country. For others, barnyard, zoo and aquatic plush toys are aplenty.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Arcadia Publishing has a library of history books sure to sell. Its Images of America series is available in thousands of various parks, counties and surrounding areas suitable for any location, including — but not limited to — each of the top-ten national parks listed in this article.

From the leather and bison-themed journals featured from In Blue Handmade and Mina Lee Studio respectively, and accent pieces from EarthView Inc. and The Meridian Line, variety in a traveler’s personal taste is the proverbial spice of life.

If you find yourself traveling to, working for or dreaming of one of these (or any number of other photo-worthy parks in the country), or if you just want to evoke the wanderlust feeling in your customers, this curated list of products is ideal.



Acadia: Lil Ry the baby black bear from Aurora is ideal for any park gift shop; especially one where black bears can be spotted on the regular.




earthview-bearGlacier: A beautiful memory deserves a beautiful token. The ironwood Moose Body Bookends from Earth View are handmade. The company also offers a number of animal bookend options.



Grand Teton: Wood Prints by The Meridian Line like this one shows the mountain range of Jackson/Teton. It’s printed on Maple Wood Veneer and measures 17-by-22 inches.




Rocky Mountain: Arcadia Publishing offers thousands of books, many of which are photographic histories of national and state parks.




Yellowstone: A great souvenir, this Vintage Buffalo Notebook from Mina Lee Studio is a twin-loop wire bound notebook with lined pages.





Yosemite: Writers who double as travelers will enjoy this World Map Leather Journal from In Blue Handmade. Each is handprinted with a leather strap that wraps safely around to close.

Sam Ujvary

Sam is the managing editor of Gift Shop Pets, Museums & More and Party & Halloween Retailer, and is a contributing editor for Gift Shop Magazine. She has a copywriting background and has been in publishing for six years.

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