With the arrival of another Christmas shopping season comes the noble efforts of people hoping to spread that spending love around their communities. Small Business Saturday is one such effort in an attempt to drive holiday shoppers and their dollars downtown to mom and pop businesses. A newer one is Museum Store Sunday, that encourages people to support their local museums by purchasing at least some of this year's gifts from the unique offerings of a local museum. While the official date for that is Dec. 1, why keep the joy to one day? And as Mt. Hood Territory has a storied history, we have a large selection of museums you can shop at this season, allowing you to give some truly unique gifts while also helping to keep those stories alive.
The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City is a popular stop for travelers as well as numerous 4th grade classes from around the state as they complete their study of the Oregon Trail. In addition to the multiple rooms chronicling the journey from Missouri to Oregon, they have a well-appointed gift shop with both historically-themed options to more modern choices. My favorite is the "You have died of Dysentary" t-shirt. To make it even more enticing, they're offering 10% off everything in the shop from Thanksgiving until Christmas.
The Museum of the Oregon Territory has a small gift shop with some great options for the real history lover on your gift list. Their selection of incredibly rare historic photos are sure to be conversation pieces wherever they are displayed.
For a little more recent history, head down to the World of Speed in Wilsonville. Not only does this huge motorsports museum have amazing displays of vintage to modern cars, they have a tremendous gift shop with enough options that you could likely cross the majority of names off your shopping list. From books telling the stories of famous racers to vintage-styled signs to racing toys for the kids, it's easy to spend almost as much time in the gift shop as it is taking in the displays.
The North American Bigfoot Center in Boring is the region's newest museum, the creation of "Finding Bigfoot's" Cliff Barackman. In addition to an impressive collection of bigfoot evidence and artifacts, they have a fun gift shop where you'll find all sorts of perfect gifts for the squatch fan in your life.
Head a few more miles up the road and you'll find the Sandy Historical Society museum located right in the middle of downtown. The museum itself tells the story of the city's founding fathers and how logging shaped the community. The gift store has some wonderful gifts to choose from, including a large selection of books from local and regional authors.
As one could imagine, snow sports play a large part in the history of Government Camp on Mt. Hood. The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum has impressive exhibits of historic skiing and other snow sports equipment, showing just how far that field as come. If you have a Mt. Hood lover in your family, and let's be honest, who isn't, then you'll find some perfect gift ideas in this museum.
Be sure to check out the websites of each of the museums for their hours of operation; that way you can plan the best shopping trip possible to take advantage of as many sites as you can, and find that perfect present for all of your friends and family.