I shared game shops in the East Valley of Arizona in a previous article. However, I felt one shop needed to be examined more closely. The Explorers’ Emporium (EE) had some exciting specialties that set it apart from the other shops. These included gaming, fossil casts, larping, crafting, spiritual, renaissance gear, workshops, school programs, and 3D printing. So, today, we will do a deep dive into the Explorers’ Emporium.

Explorers' Emporium
Source: WoodlandWaysMuseum’s Photo on Google Maps

The History of the Explorers’ Emporium

According to the EE website, it began as a museum. In 1990 the Castle Earth Children’s Museum in Simi Valley was born. They offered hands-on learning through science workshops and school programs. Come 1998, the Castle Earth Children’s Museum was ranked one of the best. From 2000 to 2014, they took to the road. Castle Earth Children’s Museum- Mobile was born, and children learned more about the world around them at school, community centers, and other museums. This brings us to 2018, when the Explorers’ Emporium was born in Apache Junction, Arizona. While the crew still helps with school programs, they also have crafting workshops and gaming events. Overall, it is safe to say that the EE truly cares about advancing the knowledge of those in their community.

Points of Interest on the EE Website

The EE does have a store on its website full of board games, tabletop RPG wares, clothing, and LARP gear. However, this does not even scratch the surface of what this site offers. In addition, viewers can find videos on leather craft tutorials, science workshops, their Kickstarters, and mini painting. Are you not really in a video mood? Have no fear; the EE has a radio site. Here they play Public Safe- BMI and ASCAP Licensed Music ranging from Renfaire bangers to adventure movies. If that was not enough to interest you, they also have community events every day the EE is open. From Magic the Gathering nights to mini painting, there is always fun to be had at the Explorers’ Emporium.


When I last walked into the EE, I met the proprietor Jerry. They seem to have a true passion for what they do. My spouse’s questions about 3D printing were answered honestly and kindly. The shop also has a vibe that sucks you in and makes you feel at home. Last I heard, the EE was looking for DMs. So, if you want to share an adventure with like-minded individuals, head down to Apache Junction. Ultimately, I adore the Explorers’ Emporium and look forward to my next journey there.