Travel Wisconsin: Unique Holiday Shopping Ideas


Museum gift shops are an unexpected place to find one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.

  • The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art has an award-winning museum store that features contemporary American crafts, jewelry, art books and more.
    • Sales from the museum store support the designers and artists whose work is featured in the store.
    • Plan your visit for Nov. 17-18. The museum is hosting its art & gift fair, with nearly 100 booths of gourmet food, specialty gifts and works by artists from across the country.
  • No visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum is complete without a stop at the gift shop.
    • You can find everything from books to handcrafted items from nationally known artists. They sell children’s toys, wall clocks, scarves for women and ties for men, as well as Milwaukee-themed art work.


Hamilton Manufacturing (think Hamilton washers and dryers, cribs, medical office furniture) started out as a wood type manufacturing company in 1880. It was America’s largest wood type maker.

  • Today, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers has 1.5 million pieces of wood type, making it one of the greatest collections of its kind.
    • It’s a working museum, so you can tour the warehouse full of machines and wood types and historical posters, but there’s also space where people still print one-of-a-kind pieces.
    • The shop sells original posters and cards made at Hamilton print shop, reprints of historical posters, buttons, books about type, and even wood type blocks.
    • Tours and workshops are available. 
      • On December 1, they have a one-day, holiday-themed letterpress workshop where you can learn the basics of letterpress printing while using vintage holiday blocks to print your own holiday cards, gift tags or posters.


For all things Christmas, head to Tannenbaum Holiday Shop in Sister Bay.

  • Tannenbaum Holiday Shop is a gift and collectables store that specializes in ornaments and decorations for major holidays, like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July, as well as weddings and baby showers.
    • The store is located in an old church that was built in 1879 and still retains some of the original architecture, like the stained-glass windows, altar and the church choir loft.
  • They have a huge Christmas selection with themed ornaments, advent calendars, wreaths and garlands, nutcrackers, candles, snow globes – anything you need to decorate for the holiday season.
    • Many items are locally made in Wisconsin or the United States.
    • If you can’t make it to Sister Bay to visit Tannenbaum Holiday Shop, they have a large selection of merchandise that can be ordered on their online store.