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Diggin' for Deals: Cosmos’ Holiday Shopping Guide

If you’re like me and dread Black Friday mall madness, then consider shopping the most beautiful mall in San Diego this holiday season: Balboa Park. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Park’s historic buildings and gorgeous gardens while browsing through a wide diversity of specialty gift stores, each carrying one-of-a-kind items you won’t find at the Best-mart.


A complete list of stores can be found on Balboa Park’s Web site, but to give you an idea of the scope: the Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, World Beat Center, United Nations Building, and Museum of Man feature exotic decorative items from many world cultures. The San Diego Museum of Art and Museum of Photographic Arts offer framed prints and glossy books, while the Spanish Village Art Studios and San Diego Art Institute sell original artworks. Plane, train, and automobile aficionados will find plenty to choose from at the Air & Space, Model Railroad, and Automotive Museums. Lastly, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and Natural History Museum have great gift ideas for science and nature lovers.


Museum-goers will love the Balboa Park Passport, which admits holders into 13 different museums for one low price. Memberships to individual museums also make great holiday gifts that an entire family can enjoy year-round, and current members enjoy discounts on most museum store purchases. So take it from me, ditch the malls this season and shop the Park!

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