PHILADELPHIA, PA—Unique for December 2012, the Museum Shop at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia features a collection of gift items that play off the supposed Maya prediction for the end of the world, using the theme "I'm going to Party Like It's 126.96.36.199.0!" The slogan corresponds to the current exhibition MAYA 2012: Lords of Time. The number 188.8.131.52.0 is the Maya date of a supposedly world-transforming apocalypse, corresponding to December 23, 2012.
The Party collection is just one of hundreds of unique gifts from around the modern and ancient worlds available at the Museum Shop. The Pyramid Shop for children boasts a wide range of fun and educational toys, games, stuffed animals, and books.
Shoppers can save at the Annual Holiday Sale from Wednesday, December 5 through Sunday, December 9. Both the Museum Shop and the Pyramid Shop offer all shoppers 10% off all purchases; 15% for Penn, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania staff and students (with PennCard or employee ID); and 20% for Penn Museum members (with membership card).
The Museum Shop
The "Party Like It's 184.108.40.206.0." gift collection includes T-shirts at $19.99, coffee mugs at $9.99, pint glasses at $9.99, and shot glasses at $6.99. They are available at the Penn Museum throughout the holiday season.
Other Maya-inspired gifts include the popular, tiny Worry Dolls from Guatemala (as little as $3.99) and an array of colorful scarves and bags ($2.99 to $29.99). For food lovers, the Museum Shop features ground chocolate ($9.99 for a tin, $1.49 for individual packets), ceramic tableware and glassware imported from Mexico ($14.99 to $39.99), and Mayan cookbooks ($15.95 to $34.95). As a perk, shoppers who bring a same-day receipt from the Pepper Mill Café to the Museum Shop receive 10% off select cookbooks.
Shoppers can also purchase beautiful, one-of-a-kind ceramic pottery pieces made by native Nicaraguan artists and imported by Chaka, a fair-trade company. Each item includes a tag with a photo of the artist who created it. Prices range from $60 to $129.99.
In addition to Maya-inspired items, the Museum Shop offers a wide range of fascinating and unique gifts from around the modern and ancient worlds. These include Chinese zodiac figurines and silk purses ($4.99), African masks ($4.97 to 16.99), handmade baskets from Senegal (different sizes, $24.99 to 119.99), and a figurine of a King Tut sarcophagus, complete with mummy ($12.99).
The Pyramid Shop
The Penn Museum children's gift shop, the Pyramid Shop, provides exciting and educational toys and games for the younger set. The Master Builder Set offers a 3-D architectural puzzle to builders ages 5 and up. These wooden sets, available in Mayan temple, Egyptian temple, and Pyramid, offer children the chance to build as the ancients did, or perhaps create their own designs ($59.99).
Excavating History kits offer a fun and educational experience at a low cost. Each kit provides a plaster block with an artifact hidden within, and tools and instructions so children 8 and up can excavate the object themselves. The kits come in Egyptian Mummy, Maya Statue, Greek Athlete, and Chinese Warrior (7.99).
Shoppers can find additional toys, games, stuffed animals, jewelry, and a treasure trove of children's books about ancient civilizations and modern world cultures at the Pyramid Shop. The items appeal to a wide range of ages and are offered at a range of prices.
Visitors coming exclusively to the shops can come in for free. The Museum Shop is open during regular Museum hours: Tuesday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Wednesday, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; and Thursday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed Mondays and major holidays). The Pyramid Shop is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information, call 215.898.4040. A selection of items are available at the Museum's website (www.penn.museum and click on "SHOP").
Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum admission donation is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 and above); $10 for U.S. Military; $8 for children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, children 5 and younger, and people only visiting the shops; "pay-what-you-want" the last half hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.
Photos, Top: In the Museum Shop, close up of End of the World merchandise, photo: Penn Museum. Center: In the Museum Shop 2012, photo: Jim Graham for the Penn Museum; Bottom: Worry dolls and other gift items for the 2012 holiday season in the Pyramid Shop at the Penn Museum. Photo: Jim Graham for the Penn Museum.