Holiday shopping — and giving — made easy with the UC Berkeley gift guide

With the holidays already here and your gift list getting longer, UC Berkeley has you covered. Peruse pop-up shops for local handmade goods or swing by the Lawrence Hall of Science to choose from an array of science-y finds. Give the gift of wellness with a membership to the Greater Good Science Center or find a new book on politics or culture by our faculty. And don’t forget to stop by the Cal Student Store for your favorite Cal swag.

Local handmade goods

a person looking at art for sale

Art studio pop-up shop

Art studio pop-up shop: Looking for holiday gifts with a personal touch? Stop by the Berkeley Art Studio’s holiday pop-up shop to check out a selection of artist-made ceramics, drawings, paintings, prints, photographs and jewelry. The shop is open through Sunday, Dec. 9, from noon to 10 p.m. during the week and noon to 5 p.m. on the weekend.

Berkeley Art Studio is in the ASUC Student Union under the Golden Bear Café,, (510) 642-6161

garden in a glass

Succulent gardens can be found at the UC Botanical Garden pop-up shop.

Garden pop-up shop: Holiday shoppers looking for nature-infused gifts can visit the UC Botanical Garden’s Julia Morgan Hall to choose from a curated selection of goods by local vendors and the garden, from jars of jam and syrup to succulent gardens to illustrated guides to local plants and animals. All proceeds benefit the garden. The shop is open Dec. 6 to 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members can get a preview of the shop on Dec. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. and can register and attend for a chance to win a $100 gift card at the garden’s gift shop.

UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley; members can register for the pop-up shop preview online or by phone at (510) 664-9841 or email at

three ceramic bowls on a table

The empty bowls fundraiser will donate proceeds to helping feed hungry residents in Alameda County.

Empty bowls fundraiser: Help feed hungry residents of Alameda County this holiday season at the empty bowls fundraiser on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. For $50, event-goers get an artist-made bowl, homemade soup, bread and wine. All proceeds benefit the Alameda County Food Bank, which helps feed one in five people in Alameda County. Buy tickets in advance.

2495 Bancroft Way, Bear’s Lair Tavern, ASUC Student Union



The UC Botanical Garden offers two wreath-making workshops this holiday season.

Wreath-making workshops: The UC Botanical Garden will hold two wreath-making workshops on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon. Greens from the garden’s global plant collection and other natural adornments are included. Crafters should bring their own pruners and gloves. Cost is $55 for members and $50 for non-members. Registration is required.

Family nature crafts: Families are invited to the UC Botanical Garden on Saturday, Dec. 8, to create gifts and decorations inspired by nature and the garden’s collection, from mini evergreen wreaths to greeting cards from pressed botanicals. The morning session runs from 10 a.m. to noon and the afternoon session is from 1 to 3 p.m. Cost is $18 for members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited and registration is recommended.

UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley; register for workshops online or by phone at (510) 664-9841 or email at


UCPD captain Alex Yao looks at donated toys and smiles

Alex Yao, the UCPD captain, checks toys and school supplies bound for Butte County fire victims.

UCPD gift drive: Support young victims of the Butte County Camp Fire by donating toys to the UCPD’s holiday gift drive. For the drive, which will run through Dec. 17, the UCPD is collecting toys and other items for kids of all ages, from board books to matchbox cars to art supplies. Only new and unwrapped items will be accepted. See our story for how to donate, a list of guidelines and suggested donations. Those who donate can enter a drawing for a prize.

If your office doesn’t have a donation bin, you can bring your donation to the UCPD at 1 Sproul Hall, (510) 642-6760,

thrift store

ReUSE campus thrift store

ReUSE: Drop by ReUSE, the campus’s student-run nonprofit thrift store, through Saturday, Dec. 8, to donate your warm clothing — sweaters, scarves, jackets, hats and gloves — which the store is donating to the homeless this winter. And anyone who wants to go thrifting for gifts can pick up a variety of items, from clothing to electronics, for $3 or less. Books, readers and office supplies are free. Proceeds will be donated to help with relief efforts of the recent fires.

The ReUSE store is on the lower level of the MLK Student Union. See schedule. Several other stations, where people can donate and pick up reusable items, can be found throughout the campus.

Cal Nourish: Give the gift of food by donating to Cal Nourish, a campus initiative that helps feed Berkeley students who struggle to make ends meet during the winter break. Donations will be distributed to undergraduate and graduate students in programs across campus, including the Student Parent Center and the Undocumented Student Program.

Health and Wellness

girl sitting on her dad's shoulders

A one-year membership to the Greater Good Science Center unlocks a treasure trove of resources.

Greater Good Science Center membership: Unlock a treasure trove of resources on happiness, parenting and mindfulness with a membership to the Berkeley-based well-being institute, the Greater Good Science Center. A one-year membership gives access to research-based articles, videos, podcasts, books and courses that aims to help users achieve a more meaningful existence., (510) 642-2490

Rec Sports membership: A membership opens access to the campus’s Recreational Sports Facility and its programs and services, including two fitness centers, four pools, over 130 free drop-in group exercise classes and discounted rates on instructional fitness and personal training services. A 30-day free trial is available to staff and faculty newcomers.

2301 Bancroft Way, Berkeley,, (510) 642-7796

kids playing with balls on a field

Cal Youth Programs offer a wide spectrum of summer camps and year-round programming for all ages.

Cal Youth Programs: Cal Youth Programs offer a wide spectrum of summer camps and year-round programming for all ages. Your child can explore the solar system in the Lawrence Hall of Science planetarium, land their first kickflip in a nationally recognized skateboarding camp or cultivate social skills with specialized programming, among many other offerings. Affordable and flexible camps are open to all. Registration opens Jan. 30 and gift certificates are available, (510) 643-2267

Cal gear and merchandise

male and female students wearing cal sweatshirts smiling

The Cal Student Store on campus sells an abundance of Cal-related gear.

Cal Student Store: The Cal Student Store has Cal-themed swag for everyone in the family, from Cal coolers and BBQ sets to sweatshirts, pillows and earbuds. For soon-to-be graduates or alumni, shoppers can pick out a diploma frame or “Cal Alumni” license plate cover. All sales help support student organizations and programs. Staff receive 20 percent off of an entire purchase on Thursday, Dec. 6.

2495 Bancroft, MLK Jr. Building, ASUC Student Union, (510) 229-4703,

Museums and performances

small gifts to buy at BAMPFA store

Items for sale at the BAMPFA store

BAMPFA store and membership: Inspire the imagination with art, film and unique gifts from the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Shop the BAMPFA store for a curated selection of items, such as Rigel Stuhmiller’s illustrated calendar, a custom BAMPFA water bottle and feminist posters by Kate Schatz.

For cinephiles and art lovers, give BAMPFA memberships for year-round access to exhibitions, discounted film tickets, members’ opening celebrations and deals at Bay Area stores, restaurants and cultural institutions. Even sweeter, take home a complimentary four-piece box of Socola chocolates with any gift membership purchased on site at BAMPFA (while supplies last).

2155 Center Street, Berkeley, (510) 642-0808,

Natural history merchandise: The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, which houses more than 750,000 bird, amphibian and reptile specimens used for research at Berkeley and across the world, has an array of natural history swag for the whole family. T-shirts, color-changing mugs and animal buttons are just some of the fun gifts on sale. All proceeds support the museum’s collections, education and research.

3101 Valley Life Sciences Building, (510) 642-3567

actors on stage with light projected on them

TDPS’s “Bone Worrier” by Katie Faulkner (Photo by Natalia Perez)

Theater, Dance and Performance Studies: Pieces presented by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies span powerful dances that explore social issues to musicals on notable moments in history, and aim to “teach performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression and public engagement.” Gift certificates can be purchased online and redeemed at any time.

15 Dwinelle, Berkeley, 510.642.1677,

woman acting on stage with a concerned look on her face

Cal Performances presents Big Dance Theater on Dec. 13-16 at the Zellerbach Playhouse. (Photo by Johanna Austin)

Cal Performances: The largest performing arts presenter in Northern California, Cal Performances presents an expansive year-round lineup, from a cello performance by Yo-Yo Ma to a two-woman show about womanhood. Cal Performances offers gift certificates, which start at $10 and never expire. Buyers can specify an amount or browse the events to choose an amount corresponding to a particular performance, and should make their purchases by Dec. 21 for the holidays (Cal Performances will be closed Dec. 22 and will reopen Jan. 2).

101 Zellerbach Hall, #4800, (510) 642-9988,

sunprint kit

The Sunprint Kit was developed by educators at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Lawrence Hall of Science store: To choose from a selection of science-themed gifts, stop by the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Discovery  Corner Toy and Bookstore, where there’s something for all ages, including science kits, like a sunprint kit, developed by educators at the Lawrence Hall of Science, and a wide array of brainy books. Check out the Hall of Science’s gift guide.

Visit the Lawrence Hall of Science at 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, (510) 642-1016 or order online.


sleeping baby

The Cocoon Cam baby monitor was developed with support by UC Berkeley startup accelerator, SkyDeck.

Smart baby monitor: Give peace of mind to parents with a Cocoon Cam — the only baby monitor with HD video, real-time breathing monitoring and instant alerts without any wearables. Developed by a team with support from the UC Berkeley startup accelerator SkyDeck, the camera will be on sale for $30 off until Dec. 25.

Meditation app: Give the gift of serenity with Aura, a free app that provides free 3-minute guided meditations, personalized to a user’s moods and goals. It launched in 2017 by founder Steve Lee, who has a master’s degree in translational medicine and bioengineering from UC Berkeley.

Personal smart vibrator: Take your relationship to the next level with Lioness, a smart vibrator that uses embedded sensors to monitor arousal states, sending data — contractions, temperature, movement — to your smartphone. With Lioness, which was developed with support from UC Berkeley startup accelerators CITRIS Foundry and SkyDeck, women can begin to see patterns in their sex drive, and how it might relate to certain time of day, mood, stress levels or menstrual cycles.


Season sports tickets: Support Cal Athletics by ordering season tickets to cheer on your favorite sports team. Tickets are available for every team, from football and women’s basketball to water polo and gymnastics.

Buy tickets online or by phone (800) 462-3277


In How to Change Your Mind: What the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression and transcendence (2018), journalism professor Michael Pollan documents the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs — and the story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences.

cover of the book, the common goodPublic policy professor Robert Reich argues in his new book, The Common Good (2019), that the common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation and that America has been trapped in a cycle that has been undermining it — something that the U.S. can and must reverse.

In Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management (2018), assistant professor of history Caitlin Rosenthal details how plantation owners used advanced accounting and management techniques to increase the productivity and profitability of the people they enslaved.

cover of book, american prisonFor American Prison: A reporter’s undercover journey into the business of punishment (2018), Berkeley alumnus Shane Bauer takes a hard look into the link between prison and profit in America.

The Matter of Photography in the Americas (2018), by Natalia Brizuela, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and film and media at Berkeley, and Jodi Roberts, art curator at Stanford, presents the work of more than 80 artists working in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Latinx communities in the U.S. who have played major roles in transforming photography.