Whether you are looking for interesting items from around the globe or gifts that are uniquely San Diego, Balboa Park is a shopper’s paradise.
With its rich history and diverse offerings, it should be no surprise that the shopping options at Balboa Park are equally rewarding. Unique gifts from around the globe and San Diego abound.
Looking for arty and innovative items with a San Diego slant? The Bibliotique at The San Diego Museum of Art offers all that and more with gifts that celebrate the local culture. Think arts, design, surf, skate and, of course, craft beer.
For gifts that inspire a love of learning, look no further than the North Star Science store. It hosts an eye-popping array of toys, books, clothing, science kits and space memorabilia designed to engage and educate – no matter the age.
The play might be the thing but it’s always nice to have some theater-inspired gifts to make the memories last. Located on the Globe’s Copley Plaza, the Helen Edison Gift Shop offers a menagerie of unique and unusual gifts including books, scripts and apparel. The shop is open on weeknight performance days one hour prior to showtime through intermission and on weekends from noon through evening intermission.
There two gift stores for your shopping pleasure – one at the Front Gate and a second in the Special Exhibition pavilion – and each has items with a Japanese flair from jewelry to art to apparel. The Special Exhibition gift shop also features items related to the current exhibition.
San Diego's shopping destination for lovers of historic architecture, gardens and historic preservation is the Museum Shop at the Marston House Museum & Gardens in Balboa Park. Located in the home’s original carriage house, the shop offers visitors a distinctive mix of attractive gift items from Arts & Crafts furnishings to decorative arts and books. Admission to the shop is free.
For gifts that look at things through a different lens, check out the store at MOPA. Filled with one-of-kind items with an artistic bent, there is everything from specialty cameras to handcrafted jewelry to interactive educational gifts. There’s also an extensive collection of photographic art books.
Want a gift that will make an aeronautical aficionado’s heart soar? Then navigate your way to the gift shop at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. There you will find hundreds of gift ideas from airplane models to apparel to robotics kits to space food and more.
Filled with unique gifts for any auto enthusiast, the San Diego Automotive Museum store offers a wide array of books, clothing and accessories.
If you are looking for that only-in-San Diego gift, then make sure to stop by the San Diego History Center Museum Store, which has wide selection of local fair from books to vintage gifts to jewelry and other handmade items by artisans. There is also Dr. Seuss books and Dr. Seuss merchandise for kids of all ages.
Train your sights on all things trains at the San Diego Model Train Museum Gift Shop. From games to books to apparel, you are sure to find a train-themed treasure to delight the train fanatic in your life.
For distinct gifts that explore the human experience, check out the gift shop at the Museum of Man. There is a whole raft of merchandise that highlight the museum’s many exhibits from monsters to beer to cannibals. Yes, cannibals.
From dinosaurs to jewelry, theNAT’s gift shop is filled with a comprehensive assortment of items that celebrate the natural world while supporting a sustainable message. There you will find murals from Fossil Mysteries, the A.R. Valentien Signature Collection of botanical art products, and a host of other gift items and souvenirs.
Contemporary art with a bi-national focus is the mission of the San Diego Art Institute so it should be no surprise that its boutique gift shop is filled with unique items that reflect the culture of Southern California and the Baja Norte region. Space 1439 features apparel, accessories, apothecary items and home goods, music, books, prints and original artwork, and gift items through an ever-changing array of fun and alternative products.
Discover San Diego’s coveted secret for art lovers at Spanish Village Art Center. Located between the Zoo and theNAT, these quaint buildings and colorful courtyard are home to more than 200 local artisans. Independently juried local painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, jewelry designers, clay artists, gourd artists, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists, basket makers, mixed-media artists, glass artists, enamel artists and many more await you. Watch daily demonstrations in studios, on the colorful courtyard and visit the onsite glass blowing facility. Come watch, learn and shop all in one location daily. Admission is free but the experience is priceless.
The Collectors’ Gallery embodies the Mingei's mission to celebrate human creativity and the belief that useful objects can also be works of beauty. The Collectors’ Gallery honors this mission with an exceptional selection of ethically made items from both local and international artists. These offer fresh and vibrant items are sure to liven up your home and wardrobe. The store also holds special events, including trunk shows and demonstrations highlighting craft and design from all cultures of the world.
Find your own work of art to take home from The Museum Store. Items include everything from Frida Kahlo rag dolls to Lumio fabric book lights to an inflatable version of the Scream. There’s also a wide selection of books designed to delight any art lover covering topics from master works of Indian painting to that of Bartholomeus Spranger.
From the “jewel box” of Balboa Park comes a gem of a gift shop. Stop by the Timken Museum’s shop for a curated selection of books and catalogs, stationery, silk and cashmere scarves and elegant jewelry that is inspired by the Timken’s permanent collection as well as its mid-century modern architecture.
For gifts with a global reach and the aim of peace, you’ll want to visit the International Gift Shop at the United Nations Building. There you will find items such as jewelry, clothing and books from around the world including Africa, Latin America and more.
Gifts that cover the gamut from patriotic to educational to just fun can be found at the Veterans Museum. There is also no shortage of items for veterans and veterans' family and friends looking for that perfect memento to commemorate time in service to their nation.
The Balboa Park Visitors Center is good for more than planning your visit. It’s also a great place to find mementos that will keep the memories alive once you leave. With everything from handmade creations by Park artists, Balboa Park logo-ware, books and more, You'll find plenty of gifts that will keep on giving.
As an international fair trade import store, the WorldBeat Center OneWorld Gifts sells everything from drums to skateboards to art from various product lines including an Andinkra, Reggae, Jazz, Egyptian and Liberation line.
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