Looking for a gift that encourages a child's love of science? Something to delight your picky Aunt Rita? Or maybe you want to treat yourself? You may not think of Balboa Park as a shopping destination, but with more than 20 stores offering a wide variety of goods, you can start thinking of it as one. Get ready for some retail therapy!
Start your shopping safari at the San Diego Zoo. With multiple stores on its 100 acres, you can find gourmet foods, clothing, jewelry, books, and toys perfect for any animal lover.
Down the pathway from the Zoo, the Spanish Village Art Center houses thirty-seven working artist studios and galleries. Over two hundred local artists sell paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photographs, baskets, glass art, and more in this colorful plaza.
Need some fuel for the rest of your shopping adventure? Stop by Daniel's Coffee Cart in the Spanish Village to power up with some caffeine and a snack.
Head over to the San Diego Natural History Museum Gift Store to unearth gifts for nature-lovers of all ages. Check out the unique A. R. Valentien Signature Series, a collection of beautiful placemats, prints, notecards and more featuring the work of the celebrated nature artist.
Across the way, the Fleet Science Center's North Star Store is filled with goods intended to inspire life-long learning, understanding, and enjoyment of science and technology. From brainteasers and 3-D puzzles to dinosaur action figures, you'll find fun items for science learners of all ages.
Got a history buff in the family? Stop by the San Diego History Center Gift Store! Their locally focused items include books, vintage gifts and accessories, historic photographs, and collectibles that reflect the city's rich and storied past.
All aboard to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum Gift Store! The range of railroad-themed toys, books, clothing, jewelry, and other collectibles will amaze locomotive-lovers.
Whether you're a professional photographer or an Instagram enthusiast, the Museum of Photographic Arts Store boasts an assortment of products sure to inspire, including specialty cameras, handcrafted jewelry, and interactive educational gifts.
Over on Park Boulevard, the World Beat Center OneWorld Gifts offers fair trade items from around the globe. The international selection includes textiles, accessories, and seasonal gifts such as Kwanzaa kits. Purchases help pay artisans all over the world a living wage.
Go up, up, and away at the San Diego Air and Space Museum Gift Shop! Whether your interests lie with Amelia Earhart, Alan Shepard, or both, you'll discover books, models, apparel, souvenirs, and art that will excite and inspire.
If cars are more your thing, pay a visit to the San Diego Automotive Museum Gift Shop. Car-lovers from the stroller-bound to the seasoned gear head can select from a range of automotive books, clothing, gifts, and toys.
Next, get ready for a shopping trip around the world at the UN Building and Gift Shop. Find hand-crafted sculptures, jewelry, dolls, and more from four continents.
Continue your world shopping tour at the Japanese Friendship Garden Gift Shop. Discover beautiful imported bento boxes, sake sets, chopsticks, and Lucky Cats. Inspired to start your own garden or learn origami? The store's book selection can help you with that as well!
Wander on over to The Collectors' Gallery Gift Shop at the Mingei International Museum. Mingei means "art of the people" and the textiles, jewelry, glass art, and other beautifully-crafted gift items here live up to that title.
Lunchtime already?! Get off your feet for a while with a meal at The Prado at Balboa Park, an award-winning, full-service restaurant right here in the Park.
If you're enjoying your day, consider commemorating it with a souvenir from the Balboa Park Visitors Center Gift Shop. Find hats, shirts, key chains, and mugs that show off your love of the Park.
The newest shopping locale on the Balboa Park scene is the Timken Museum Shop. You can come home with books about your favorite artworks and gifts and jewelry that are art pieces themselves.
Art-lovers also shouldn't miss The San Diego Museum of Art Gift Shop. Visit here for art books, home furnishing accents, and creative gifts for kids. Be sure to cross over to their satellite store by the sculpture garden, Bibliotique. Bibliotique puts a unique emphasis on elements of San Diego culture, like skateboarding, surfing, and beer.
Find more great art gifts at San Diego Art Institute's Space 1439. The shop features unique items handcrafted by local artists, including pottery, blown glass, greeting cards, and prints portraying iconic San Diego scenes and landscapes.
What to get your favorite thespian? The Helen Edison Gift Shop at The Old Globe features a wide selection of theatrical books, scripts, games, and apparel.
End your whirlwind shopping trip with a stop at the San Diego Museum of Man Gift Store for a selection as diverse as the Museum itself. Find fine Egyptian jewelry, Dia de los Muertos merchandise, illustrated children's books portraying Native American legends, and much more.
We hope you enjoyed your Balboa Park shopping spree and that you found all you were looking for. The next time you need a good book, a nice gift, or a new accent piece for your home, remember to stop by!
Check individual websites for hours and pricing. Get more out of your visits with an Explorer Pass