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The ‘Art’ of Giving

Get creative this holiday season with artful, educational, and interesting gift ideas from one of San Diego's museum gift shops.

By Rachel Lutack

San Diego Zoo

Equipped with 11 different souvenir locations, including the ZAGAT-rated ZooStore, you can find animal-specific gifts for your loved ones, especially including (but not limited to) primates, pandas, reptiles, koalas, elephants, and polar bears.


The Museum of Photographic Arts provides photography enthusiasts with a wide variety of books and DVDs from their favorite artists as well as fun photography-themed apparel and accessories, including vintage Polaroid pillows.

Lux Art Institute

As well as displaying its own exclusive merchandise, the Lux store collaborates with local artists and artisans to provide unique treasures ranging from handmade to mass-produced, a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, all keeping within the spirit of the museum experience and local artistry.


The Museum of Contemporary Art’s X-Store features a great selection of books on a variety of contemporary artistic mediums and culture. Additionally the X-Store sells home and office supplies, children’s items, and MCASD accessories.

California Surf Museum

This Oceanside surf Mecca carries a variety of ocean art, vintage posters, and books, as well as surf apparel and accessories.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The North Star Science Store provides endless fun and educational gift ideas for both kids and adults. IMAX films, glow-in-the-dark trinkets, and astronaut ice cream are featured in the wide variety of science-related products and activities available at the store.

Birch Aquarium

The gift shop offers extended opportunities for sea life education and fun with a selection of books, jewelry, stuffed animals, and more, including their featured book What Color Would You Be to Hide in the Sea?

Library Shop

This quaint boutique inside the new Central Library downtown offers a bevy of cute gift ideas like stationery by Rifle Paper Co., arts and crafts projects for kids, baby onsies, calendars, and more.

The ‘Art’ of Giving

San Diego Central Library

copyright: John Durant

The California Surf Museum in Oceanside

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