Rules and Restrictions/FAQ
Effective Monday, March 16, museums in Balboa Park will be closed and new Explorer sales will be suspended until further notice. The Explorer office is continuing operations remotely and representatives are available 7 days a week, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. We appreciate your support during this time!
Rules and Restrictions
- One-Day, Multi-Day, Combo Pass Adult: Ages 13+
- One-Day, Multi-Day, Combo Pass Child: Ages 3 – 12
- Explorer Annual Pass
- Family: Up to any 2 adults and up to any 4 children, ages 3 – 17
- Adult: Ages 18+
- Senior: Ages 65+
- Student: College student w/ valid ID
All sales are final; non-refundable and non-transferable. Passes are not for resale. All passes have no blackout dates. Passes must be used within one (1) year of purchase date and are not valid for select events, special exhibitions, and programs. Before visiting, please contact the participating venues or check their websites for more information on hours, closures, additional events, special exhibitions, and film costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What venues are included in the Balboa Park Explorer Pass?
Your Balboa Park Explorer passes are valid at the following venues*:
- Centro Cultural de la Raza
- Japanese Friendship Garden
- Mingei International Museum**
- Museum of Photographic Arts
- Fleet Science Center
- San Diego Air and Space Museum
- San Diego Art Institute
- San Diego Automotive Museum
- San Diego History Center
- San Diego Model Railroad Museum
- The San Diego Museum of Art
- San Diego Museum of Man
- theNAT (San Diego Natural History Museum)
- Timken Museum of Art
- Veterans Museum and Memorial Center
- WorldBeat Center
*Limits apply depending on Pass type.
**Closed for renovations.
How do I use a One-Day or Multi-Day Pass?
A One-Day Pass provides you with one general admission of up to 5 participating venues, valid on the day of first use only. Guests will receive their tickets via email, which will be scanned at each venue’s front desk.
A Multi-Day Pass provides one general admission to each participating Balboa Park venue and is valid for 7 consecutive days, beginning with first use, but is not valid for re-entry across multiple days. Guests will receive their tickets via email which will be scanned at each venue’s front desk.
Check with the museum for same-day re-entry privileges.
Are there any additional costs when visiting the venues in Balboa Park?
Occasionally, a venue will feature a special exhibition that requires an additional admission fee. Often times, special exhibitions are discounted for Balboa Park Explorer Annual Passholders. Always contact the venue to verify their policy before visiting. Here are some special exhibitions and experiences requiring an additional admission fee:
- Climb the California Tower, San Diego Museum of Man*
- IMAX® and digital films, Fleet Science Center**
*The additional discounted cost of $10.00 is only applicable to Balboa Park Explorer Annual Passholders.
**The additional discounted cost of $9.95 is only applicable to Balboa Park Explorer Annual Passholders.
Are there blackout dates for the Balboa Park Explorer?
There are no blackout dates for the Balboa Park Explorer. The Pass will be accepted during all regular museum operating hours. Please note that some museums are closed on Mondays, The San Diego Museum of Art is closed on Wednesdays, and each venue has individual hours of operation. Be sure to visit each venue’s website for hours or closures.
What is the Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass?
The Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass provides general admission to 16 venues in Balboa Park, for 365 days, with no blackout days. As an Annual Passholder, you gain access to newsletters that include recommendations and announcements about happenings in the Park and exclusive invitations to monthly special events, providing a truly unique behind-the-scenes look into Balboa Park.
Are there different kinds of Balboa Park Explorer Annual Passes?
Yes. The Balboa Park Explorer program offers a multitude of Pass options to fit your needs. From the Balboa Park Explorer Annual Family Pass (accommodating up to any 2 adults and up to any four children), to the Adult, Student, and Senior Passes, we have a Pass for you!
Who qualifies for a Student Annual Pass?
The Student Annual Pass is for students attending college with a valid student ID. The Passholder must present their college student ID and Explorer Annual Pass when entering a venue.
When may I begin using my Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass?
Immediately! The Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. A temporary Pass is sent via email for digital orders, and issued in person for onsite orders. Physical Passcards will arrive in the mail within 3-7 business days of purchase. You can also request temporary Passes from the Balboa Park Visitors’ Center so you can start enjoying your Pass right away!
Is the Annual Pass a membership?
Are guest passes included in the Annual Pass?
Can I transfer an Annual Pass to another person?
All Balboa Park Explorer Annual Passes are non-transferable passes. If you renew your Balboa Park Annual Pass, you will have the option to swap or replace names.
What happens if I come to Balboa Park and I’ve forgotten my Balboa Park Explorer pass?
For the best visitor experience, we encourage you to ALWAYS keep your Balboa Park Explorer Pass with you! However, if you have forgotten your Pass, please stop by the Balboa Park Visitors Center, the Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, or the Natural History Museum to pick up a temporary pass.
What happens if I lose my Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass and need to replace it?
If you lose your Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass, there is a $5 reprint fee per pass. To replace your lost Balboa Park Explorer Annual Pass, you may email the Balboa Park Explorer office at [email protected] or call us at (619) 232-7502 x1204.
Are payment plans available?
Can I upgrade my One-Day or Multi-Day Pass to an Annual Explorer Pass?
No. All sales are final. The One-Day Pass is valid for one day only on the day of first use. The Multi-Day Pass is valid for seven consecutive days, beginning with the day of first use. Unused Passes are valid for one year from the order date.
Are there discounts on Explorer Passes?
The discount is already built into the price off all Explorer Pass options!
Can I get a refund on my Explorer Pass?
No. There are no refunds on any of our Passes.
Is the San Diego Zoo included with the Balboa Park Explorer?
Admission to the San Diego Zoo is not included with the Explorer One-Day, Multi-Day, or Annual Pass but we do offer a Multi-Day Combo Pass, which includes one day general admission to the Zoo. Please note: In order to redeem your ticket, a valid ID of the ticket purchaser and credit card used on the order must be presented when redeeming the Combo Pass.
Can I participate in San Diego Museum Month?
No. San Diego Museum Month is a program of the San Diego Museum Council and Balboa Park Explorer does not participate. Head to their website for more info.
Can I participate in The Big Exchange?
Can I participate in Kids Free in October?
No. The Explorer One-Day, Multi-Day, and Combo Passes are discounted tickets and do not count as full-priced admission to the venues. Head to San Diego Museum Council’s website for more info.