HB2U! Where To Shop In Encinitas For A Kid’s Birthday

Where To Find A Great Birthday Gift For a Child In Or Near Encinitas

gift shops in encinitas

Photo Credit: Thinker Things Facebook page

If you’re like many parents, the invitations to your kids’ friends’ birthday parties come in fast and furious. And, while shopping at Target is many moms’ favorite pastimes (especially if we get to go alone), showing up with a gift that three other people also brought can be unsatisfying. It can be challenging to find that one-of-a-kind find for a kid or a baby but certainly not impossible. And fortunately for those of us who live in North County San Diego, there are plenty of places to find a unique present for a child’s birthday. We’ve shared 5 of our faves below that even the pickiest of party people will love!

Bliss 101 – This is a somewhat hidden gem in the Pacific Station area of Encinitas, as it’s tucked away behind the Whole Foods. Those who do enter, however, will need to carve out some time just to oogle all the insanely unique and cute items here. From artwork and home goods to bath and body items and adorable clothes, this place definitely honors our seaside living with its beachy theme throughout. While it’s become a go-to place for many adults to get gifts for friends, Bliss 101 also has an adorable (albeit somewhat small) section for children’s gifts. With beach chairs and baby decorations along with beach-themed books and adorable clothing from LA line Babykakes, there is very little chance you will find anyone else with a gift as unique as yours. With its idyllic location in downtown Encinitas, this store should teach a class in Bliss 101.

Thinker Things – There’s no denying that Toys R Us has aisles and aisles of fun things for kids but, if you’re on the hunt for something truly unique for your next kid birthday party, this is a Solana Beach gem. With many wooden, hand-held toys that are even – gasp! – battery-free, parents will appreciate seeing their kids play these “old school” items. Don’t worry, though, as TT also plenty of things kids love right now, like Playmobil toys, Legos, and super furry stuffed animals. Having been started in 1973 in Escondido by a woman with a primary education background who then moved it to the Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar for 30 years, this a Mom ‘n’ Pop shop to the core. Now located in the Von’s shopping plaza off Lomas Santa Fe, this toy store still offers plenty of convenient places for post-toy store fun and/or errands.

Hansen’s – While this is a surfer’s paradise and haven for casual, adult clothing, this Encinitas haunt is also a great option for a unique gift for that budding waverider. Gear might be a bit on the pricey side for a birthday gift but they have tons of cute clothes for boys and girls, adorable towels, tiny trucker hats, and one-of-a-kind books. Don’t forget to upstairs to the sale rack, as they often have great goods for a steal on the second floor!

Geppetto’s – While Encinitas doesn’t have one of these (yet!), the one in the Forum Mall in Carlsbad is only a hop, skip, and a jump from our fave beach town. It’s worth the trip, too, as this toy store is just oodles of fun. They often times have toys out for shopping kids to sample but – be forewarned – it may be hard to get them to leave. It’s not a big store by any means but what it lacks in size it makes up for in originality. From toys that will appeal to future scientists and mathematicians to unique gifts like kid-friendly archery sets and retro Fisher Price toys, Geppetto’s has it all. There is also a huge arts and crafts section for our wee Martha Stewarts in the making. With Panera, Which Wich, Casa de Bandini, Buca di Beppo, and a koi pond nearby, the Forum Mall is great for an all-day outing.  

Daisy B. – When kids are about 4 and up, they really, really want toys for their birthday but, if you’ve got a baby or toddler on your hands, you can go for the gusto with kids clothing. Is there anything more fun than shopping for itty bitty clothes? We think not, and that’s why we especially love this adorable children’s boutique in Encinitas. High-quality and often organic clothes are sold at this Highway 101 store for kids ages 0-4. Trendy tees, darling dresses, and super unique baby clothes abound and, with lines from England, France, Australia, and the U.S., you just know your present is going to stand out like a daisy among dandelions. 

 >> CLICK HERE to check out Gift Shops in Encinitas


Marnie is a freelance writer and mom to two boys – Finn, 6, and Declan, 4. She started out as a Copywriter for FOX’s americanidol.com and has since written for sites like LivingSocial, Red Tricycle, and Wetpaint. Marnie has also been published twice in San Diego Magazine’s “best of” segments. Her writing on parenting has been featured several times on the popular Scary Mommy blog and on Disney’s parenting website, Babble. This busy North County resident also hosts a mommy blog called LoveButBlog, which takes a rather irreverent look at the trials of motherhood and marriage. On top of raising two nutty boys, she wrangles two portly pugs named Olive and Fred. When she’s not writing or wiping noses and buns, she’s working out, indulging in her trashy TV addiction with her equally addicted husband, cracking a bottle of Malbec, or fantasizing about her dream trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

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