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 Museum of Art

Got a serious artist in the family? Find them a gift just as unique as they are at The Museum of Art’s gift shop.  You’ll find kits for all ages: from coloring and watercolors to stained glass to a 3Doodler and beautiful origami papers. Love art history? Books on great artists and masterpieces abound. Enjoy the museum’s new Frida and Me exhibit? Dolls, stationary and accessories that celebrate Kahlo’s art make great stocking stuffers. Future architects will love fiddling with Mag Blocks, the Magic L Cube and Snake Blocks that offer endless design possibilities.


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)