All things Museum of the Rockies (MOR) can be found within the Museum Store. From science kits to locally-crafted souvenirs, the merchandise is abundant, educational, thought-provoking, and fun. Visitors can find keepsakes from current exhibits, tools for deeper learning, tokens of a fun family outing, and gifts to share. In keeping with MOR’s high standards, each article in the store is carefully chosen and arranged, beginning with products designed to extend the experience of the museum’s latest feature exhibition. From there, guests can shop a perfectly laid-out array of books, videos, games, puzzles, food, geological specimens, and dinosaur paraphernalia.
What most shoppers may not know, as they browse through various hand-made and hand-selected items, is that the Museum Store plays an integral role in MOR funding. According to Kristi Mills, Director of Finance for the museum, “Every dollar that comes from the Museum Store goes back into supporting the museum.” Roughly 20% of all revenue is derived from store profits and is essential to continuing world-renowned research and collections, vital educational outreach programs, rich and varied exhibitions, and planetarium offerings. As a non-profit associated with Montana State University, Museum of the Rockies is sustained by community participation and generosity. The store helps to ensure diversification and stability of funding while providing an outstanding service to patrons.
The Museum Store further supports MOR’s mission through the products it stocks. Countless offerings expand upon the institution’s programs and enhance learning opportunities in archeology, anthropology, paleontology, astronomy, and more. Museum curators use the store as a vehicle through which to share their groundbreaking research with the public. A variety of goods directly related to the museum’s permanent displays are meant to enrich understanding. Providing a varied and unique assortment of locally made and MOR-based wares, along with an impressive array of regional history, culture, art, and science merchandise, helps fulfill the museum’s promise to bring the world to Montana and share Montana with the world.
Museum of the Rockies works hard to see that members and guests get more than they give, and the Museum Store successfully meets that challenge. “We strive to be sure the items offered in the store are quality—many times custom, as well as educational and fun. The store is purposefully designed to extend and enhance the visitor experience,” says John Olson, Museum Store Manager and Buyer. Patrons get the chance to own something that represents their time at the museum and in Montana, many of which are created especially for MOR by local artisans. The fact that all sales directly fund MOR programs and exhibits means that every bit goes right back into the mission, providing the added value of investing in future opportunities.
Now is a great time to see what the Museum Store has to offer. It is jam-packed with gift ideas, and shoppers can expect to see brand new merchandise along with the favorites they know and love. Some fun selections include: STEAM and STEM items such as mechanical hands, hovercraft, and kids’ coding kits; Bozeman-made La Chatelaine Chocolate eggs with baby dinosaurs inside; books featuring local authors, regional subjects, and children’s interests; the handiwork of local jewelry and pottery artisans; food items such as Tacosaurus Rex; products from the Living History Farm; and unique pieces, specially sourced for Museum of the Rockies. Mills says that store purchases are “gifts you feel good about giving because it helps the museum and it’s something people will truly enjoy.” There is literally something to satisfy every age and every person on the list.
For those who missed this year’s members-only sale and the 2nd Annual Museum Store Sunday, they will both be back next year. In the meantime, there will be a revolving clearance section to browse every weekend through the holiday season and $5 t-shirts while supplies last. Although the store is open to the public, and does not require admission, members benefit the most with a year-round 10% discount. To find out more about the Museum Store, please visit: https://museumoftherockies.org/store .
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