Need to buy a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for someone this year? The Science Gallery Shop by Designist and our friends at MAKESHOP have you covered –– from books and gadgets to DIY maker and coding kits and the best of Irish design, there’s a range of options to suit every budget. We’ve got all the weird and wonderful gifts one could ask for –– along with a special selection of apocalyptic books and survivalist kits inspired by our latest free exhibition, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, here’s a few of our staff favourites that are perfect for all ages, from cool kids to geeky grown-ups. Shop in-store at MAKESHOP on Lincoln Place or both online and in-gallery at the Science Gallery shop.
- Phone lense kit (€10, pictured above, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): This handy kit turns almost any mobile phone into the ultimate mobile photography studio, with wide-angle, macro and 180° fisheye lenses that screw onto an adjustable clip for your phone.
- Self-heating all day breakfast kit (€10, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): The perfect gift for your fry-up obsessed friend, this self-heating kit contains everything you need to have a proper brekkie — whether you’re camping on a mountain range or at a festival.
- Sprout pencils (€3.50, pictured above, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): The world’s first sustainable writing implement — when the pencil gets too short to write with, you simply pop it into a flower pot and to see it grow into a plant.
- Swedish FireSteel 2.0 (€12.50, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): Originally developed for the Swedish Department of Defense, this fire starter makes it easy to build a fire in any weather and at any altitude.
- Sugru Rebel Tech Kit (€15, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): The perennial bestseller now comes in a handy kit format, featuring four sachets of the easy-to-use mouldable rubber, a storage tin, a remover tool and a booklet of tech hacks using Sugru to get you started.
- Mad Mattr (from €15, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): This sculptural sand is proving popular with creative kids of all ages — and because it never dries out, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your options for making.
- The Survival Handbook (€16, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): This book, a real field guide for whatever life throws at you, comes packed in a mess tin so you're already prepped to cook and serve dinner in the wilderness.
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (€22.50, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): One of our favourite children's books (and just as good for boys), Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is filled with a hundred stories about extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by sixty brilliant female artists from all over the world.
- Pocket Operators (€60––€100, pictured above, available at the Science Gallery Dublin shop): These tiny, portable drum synthesisers were particularly popular during Science Gallery Dublin’s summer exhibition SOUND CHECK, and they’re an ideal year-round gift for keen musicians looking for a new way to make tracks on the move.
- Hydraulic Gearbot (€24, available at MAKESHOP): Canadian company Pathfinders specialise in wooden science kits, and the Hydraulic Gearbot is one of their most popular creations. It’s easy to put together and you’ll be launching marshmallows or popcorn vast distances with it in minutes.
- Remote-Controlled Animals (€69, pictured above, available at MAKESHOP): Can’t make it to Dublin Zoo? Build your own with this kit by Thames & Kosmos. The animals all move using different mechanisms, each one mimicking the movement of the real animal it represents. You can even mix up the pieces to create your own brand-new animal.
- Code Gamer (€160, available at MAKESHOP): The perfect mix of gaming and coding –– this kit teaches users the basics of the Arduino programming language, and even lets you design and develop your own games. Perfect for those aged 10+.
- Pimoroni Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit (€100, pictued above, available at MAKESHOP): Everything you need to build your first tiny computer –– learn the basics of Python with the easy-to-read getting started guide, and you’ll be creating your own animations in no time.
- Micro:bit (€65, available at MAKESHOP): Another great kit for beginners interested in spending the Christmas break developing all sorts of cool creations, from robots to musical instruments. Developed with the BBC to help young coders get to grips with writing software, this tiny credit-card-sized computer comes with dozens of online resources and step-by-step instructional videos.
- Workshop Voucher (from €10, available at MAKESHOP): Prefer to give something experiential this year? MAKESHOP’s walk-in workshops last from 45 minutes to around two hours –– perfect for some after-school electronics or an office day out with a difference. Make yourself a wall clock or radio, learn to solder or build your own doodling robot to take home.
Still not sure what to choose? Our team at the gallery shop and at MAKESHOP are always on-hand to answer technical queries and help you pick out the perfect gift.
And if you’re looking for something unique, come along to MAKESHOP’s DIY Christmas gift workshop on Thursday, 14th December to design your own present –– make a clock, a DoodleBot electronic head massager or even table tennis ball model versions of your friends or family.
The Science Gallery Dublin shop will close on Thursday 21st December at 8pm, and the gallery will reopen with current show IN CASE OF EMERGENCY on Wednesday, 3rd January.
MAKESHOP will close for the Christmas break on Saturday, 23rd December at 6pm, and the shop will reopen at noon on Wednesday, 3rd January.