Stumped on where to find the perfect gift for the pint-sized aficionado in your life? If you have a kiddo who’s gaga for a certain theme: trains, planes, dinosaurs, outer space, art, etc. then you’ll find presents galore in Balboa Park’s free-to-enter museum gift shops––where a treasure trove of offerings reflect the beloved museum exhibits. From astronaut ice cream to fossil exploration kits, Blue Angel toy aircraft to costume butterfly wings, each shop boasts one-of-a-kind holiday picks. Read on to see where to score some wow-worthy gifts.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Pick up a gift for the tiny conductor in your life. Personalize a name train for a special little one’s room. For those who love dress-up, there are conductor’s caps, onesies, full suits, even a conductor teddy bear. Choose a variety of train cookie cutters to make an awesome holiday cookie display. You’ll find a few trains, tracks, puzzles and games here too of course. After shopping, be sure to stop in and check out the museum’s whimsical, elaborate holiday displays.


Where’s your favorite place to score unique gifts in Balboa Park? Share in the comments!

––Cherie Gough (photos too, except where noted; featured image courtesy of Balboa Park December Nights)