Exploring Museum Gift Shops is Actually Fun. No intense salesperson or mall traffic. You don’t have to pay admission to the museum, but you can get a sneak peek into some of the exhibits on display. At the San Diego Natural History Museum, check out dinosaur replicas next to artisan jewelry and chocolate from their newest exhibition.
Membership offerings are boosted over the holiday season with special perks and giveaways. In December, the San Diego Zoo offers “Jungle Bells”, featuring a variety of holiday activities and entertainment, from December 14th, through January 6th, with black-out the night of December 24th.
Gift ideas abound! Here are a few examples of what consumers can find at San Diego area museum gift shops:
· Dr. Seuss ornaments, marine themed puppets, plush toys, puzzles, and eco-friendly tote bags and water bottles at Birch Aquarium.
· The gift of a special once-in-a-lifetime animal memory at the Living Coast Discovery Center. Take your family and friends behind the scenes for a meet-and-greet session with your favorite animal at the Discovery Center, a zoo/aquarium set against the scenic backdrop of San Diego Bay and the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Get up-close to the animals of your choice, pose for photos, feed the animals, ask questions, get bragging rights with all of your friends. Choose from: endangered sea turtles, sharks, rays, owls, hawks, tortoises and snakes. $45 – VIP Animal Encounter Gift Package (20-minute experience, includes up to six people. Does not include Discovery Center admission). Additional information is available at http://www.thelivingcoast.org/
· For the best dad or grandpa, a classic Compass, wooden or Brass is available for under $30 at the Coronado Historical Association. There’s a host of traditional favorites at this museum gift shop.
· Order tickets and a beautiful new exhibition catalogue for Behold, America!, a collaborative exhibition between MCASD, The San Diego Museum of Art, and the Timken Museum of Art featuring three centuries of American art. Admission to this exhibition includes access to all three museums for the run of the exhibition (through Feb. 10, 2013), making a gift membership to one of the three museums even more valuable.
· For kids and nature-lovers, head to the Tijuana River Natural Estuarine Research Reserve and pick up kids puzzle boxes with corresponding coloring books and the “Magic T-shirts” in bug/dragon fly/insect. The Magic Tees change colors in the sun!
San Diego Museum Council’s 40 member museums all have gift ideas and are in local neighborhoods from the Surf Museum in Oceanside, new children’s museum downtown, to the Tijuana Estuary near the boarder and the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido.
For a roster of San Diego area museums, visit www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/