October 2019 


Centro Cultural de la Raza

  • Images of Resistance in Mexico | Now through 10/25/2019

Fleet Science Center

  • Don’t Try This at Home | Now through 12/31/19
  • Pause|Play | Now through 01/05/2020
  • Pulseworks® VR Transporter | Now through 09/30/2019

Gallery 21 at Spanish Village Art Center

  • Kaleidoscope IX | Now through 10/14/2019
  • Becoming Mona, Frida, and Barbie | Opening 10/15/2019

Japanese Friendship Garden

  • Keshiki: Light, Air, Fluctuation | Now through 10/27/2019

Mingei International Museum

*Currently closed for renovation.

Museum of Photographic Arts

  • Hidden Worlds| Now through 1/12/2020
  • Talking With A Friend: Portraits by Bern Schwartz | Now through 1/19/2020
  • Dreamscapes: 14th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition | Now through 03/01/2020
  • The Stories They Tell: A Hundred Years of Photography | Now through 02/17/2020

San Diego Air and Space Museum

  • SPACE: Our Greatest Adventure | Ongoing

San Diego Art Institute

  • Forging Territories: Queer Afro and Latinx Contemporary Art | Now through 11/3/2019

San Diego Automotive Museum

  • Vision vs. Reality: From the Fires of Imagination to the Forge of Production | Now through 10/12/2019
  • Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow | Opening 10/18/2019

San Diego History Center

  • Welcome to the Mix: Each of Us Has a Story | Now through 1/19/2020
  • LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumph | Now through 1/2/2020
  • I’m Not Like You: Notes From The San Diego Underground – Now through 02/2020

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

  • Living the Impossible | Now through 11/16/2019

The San Diego Museum of Art

  • Jose-Maria Cano: Apostolate | Now through 11/11/2019
  • Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California | Now through 12/01/2019
  • Abstract Revolution | Now through 2/23/2020
  • American Still Life Moderns | Now through 02/16/2020

San Diego Museum of Man

  • Living with Animals | Ongoing
  • Monsters! | Ongoing
  • PostSecret | Ongoing
  • Cannibals: Myth & Reality | Now through 1/1/2020

For more exhibits on view click here.

San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

  • 50 Greatest Wildlife Photos | Now through 10/18/2019
  • The Cerutti Mastodon Discovery | Now through 12/31/2019
  • Hidden Gems | Ongoing
  • The Backyard | Ongoing
  • Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage | Ongoing
  • Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science  | Ongoing

For more exhibits on view click here.

Timken Museum of Art

  • Masterpieces of Italian Drawings from The British Museum | Now through 12/15/2019

The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

  • Veterans Who Became Presidents | Ongoing

WorldBeat Cultural Center

  • Afrofuturism | Ongoing


Museum of Photographic Arts

The Stories They Tell: A Hundred Years of Photography

Now through 02/17/2020

The Stories They Tell: A Hundred Years of Photography draws from MOPA’s extensive collection of almost 9000 photographs representing approximately 850 photographers. While the collection covers the entire span of photography and more, from the prehistory to contemporary work, this exhibition looks at 100 years of the medium from the 1920s to today.

Centro Cultural de la Raza

  • Aquí el Pueblo Manda! Images of Resistance in Mexico 2017-2019

Opening October 4th, 2019

Photography can tell us stories. The exhibition Aquí el Pueblo Manda! (Here the People Rule!) portrays faces and stories that the system denies, pretends to hide or disguise as “folklore.”

The photos-stories of this exhibition introduces us to people who refuse to be ignored or annihilated and instead keep resisting in one way or another. The images portray Indigenous communities building Zapatista autonomy; faces of Ayotzinapa parents and students protesting in Mexico City; and fists of women demanding no more femicides and claiming “respect our lives!”

San Diego Automotive Museum

Lowrider: The Art of Low and Slow

Opening October 18th, 2019

Elements of lowriders and the lowrider lifestyle have appealed to cultures worldwide. Universal traits such as the sense of community, the rebellion of the mainstream (nonconformity), the reverence of cars, artistic expression, and family appeal to the deep needs of belonging, social connection, and sense of identity.

San Diego History Center

The Path of the Mystic: Art and Theosophy at Lomaland

Opening on October 18th, 2019

This exhibit features a selection of artworks, objects, photographs and archival documents from the San Diego History Center’s collections that bring to light the remarkable legacy of art and cultural production at Lomaland, and how Tingley’s utopian experiment profoundly shaped San Diego’s cultural landscape.


San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

Family Days at the Nat 

September through May 2020

Come and enjoy monthly Family Days at The Nat as they celebrate the natural world and the Natural History Museum. Each month has been uniquely themed to allow visitors to explore nature’s wonders, participate in hands-on activities, and create crafts to take home. Family Days run from 11am to 3pm and free for Explorer Passholders! For upcoming dates, click here.

ASD Mornings

October 13, 2019

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community program is offered early mornings at 9 am once-a-month for adults and children on the autism spectrum and their families, friends, and caregivers. For upcoming dates, click here.

The Japanese Friendship Garden

Martial Arts Day


The Japanse Friendship Garden: Martial Arts Day returns for its fourth year in a row and will be held on October 20th, 2019!

Several local martial arts schools in San Diego will gather at the Japanese Friendship Garden to demonstrate their respective arts to the general public. First-timers and enthusiasts alike have an opportunity to experience and learn about a variety of martial art disciplines in a single venue. Demonstration content includes the history of each martial art, the common terminology, forms (kata), live demonstrations, and some audience participation.

This event is free with JFG admission and for Explorer Passholders.

For more details and event schedule click here.

San Diego Art Institute


11/15/2019 and  12/17/2019

Join the San Diego Art Institute for their annual C-NOTE Art Sale. For decades, this popular SDAI event boasted a cult-like following among budding collectors looking to test their eye and fill their walls. This year, the C-NOTE returns with a thoughtfully curated experience offering adventurous art collectors a unique opportunity to discover San Diego and Tijuana contemporary artists and to purchase their work for just $100, $200 and $300. Proceeds from each piece sold are shared between the artist and SDAI and will help us continue our mission to advance the region’s contemporary art and artists – supporting our year-round residencies, exhibitions, and education programs. Doors open at noon during each day of the sale and collectors are encouraged to arrive early to beat the crowd.

The C-NOTE Schedule:


  • Friday, November 15, 8 am to 3 pm
    Enjoy the Mingei Café and first look at the C-NOTE show



  • Saturday, November 16, 12-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 17, 12-5 pm


Fleet Science Center

IMAX* Films and Digital Shows

  • Turtle Odyssey | Daily| 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm through 1/6/2020
  • Superpower Dogs | Daily | 11 am, 1 pm, 5 pm through 8/31/2019
  • Volcanoes| Daily | 3 pm through 8/31/2019

*IMAX is available at a special price of $9.95.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

Zable Theater

Daily | 10 am – 4 pm

  • Legend of Apollo
  • Flying Around the World
  • Delta Zero

Films at the Zable Theater are included with paid admission and also with Explorer Passes.

San Diego History Center

  • Balboa Park: The Jewel of San Diego | Daily | 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, & 4 pm

The film is included with donation-based admission and also with Explorer Passes.

San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

Giant-Screen films:

  • Ocean Oasis 2D | Daily | 2:30 pm
  • Hidden Pacific 3D | Daily | 11 am, 1:45 pm and 4:15pm through 2/16/2020
  • Conquest of the Skies 3D| Daily | 1 pm and 3:30 pm through 1/6/2020

Films in the giant-screen theater are included with paid admission and also with Explorer Passes.

Please Note: Special exhibitions and film costs are determined by each individual museum. Before visiting a museum, please contact them or check the websites for information on hours, closures, additional events, special exhibitions, and film costs.

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Take the latest exhibits and events on the go! For a downloadable list click here!  

Take a peek below for the latest news, information, and tips for your next visit to San Diego’s cultural gem – straight from the Balboa Park Explorer Team.


Explorer Staff Picks: Best Places to Grab a Bite or a Drink in the Park! Take a look below at our staff picks on some of the best spots for coffee, meals, and small bites in Balboa Park: The Flying Squirrel at The Natural History Museum  This cafe offers everything... read more...

Balboa Park’s Most Beautiful Gardens

Balboa Park’s Most Beautiful Gardens The Botanical Building and Lily Pond, together, are one of the most captivating landmarks in Balboa Park. Located in the front of the Botanical Building, you will find the charming Lily Pond. Featuring beautiful fully-bloomed... read more...

Start Your Weekend at Balboa Park!

  August 23, 2019 (SAN DIEGO, CA) – Fridays are for Food Trucks! Friday evenings at 5 pm, a fleet of food trucks roll into Balboa Park’s El Prado walkway to provide a wide range of gastronomic options from appetizers to desserts to everything in... read more...


11t Annual Halloween Family Day

October 26th, 2019

11 am – 4 pm

Halloween Family Day is a FREE Park-wide event brimming with tricks and treats, hosted by the Balboa Park Conservancy! Stop by to explore a ton of eek-worthy activities including crafts, performances, and food trucks happening within and around Park museums. Take a peek at some of our activities!

  • Balboa Park Visitors Center: Kids in costume will receive a gift (while supplies last) if they stop by our Visitors Center!
  • Balboa Park Carousel: Rides on the carousel will be free for costumed kids 12 and under from 11 am to 5:30 pm!
  • House of Public Relations International Cottages: Bring your little ones to the International Cottages for trick or treating from noon to 5 pm!
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum: October Family Day will feature hands-on Halloween-themed crafts and activities in our Education Center, as well as a rooftop pumpkin drop in front of the Museum at 2:30 p.m! The museum will also have kid-friendly short films in the 3D/4D movie theater, and the Kid’s Aviation Action Hangar will be open all day (simulators not included). Don’t miss it!

  • San Diego Museum of Man: Listen to fun, monster-themed tales during story time in the Monsters! Clubhouse, 11 am-12 pm and 2-3 pm. After story time, enjoy hands-on activities while learning about monsters and mythical creatures from around the globe.

Read more about the above activities and see a full list here!

San Diego Museum of Art

SDMA + San Diego Shakespeare Society: Spooky Artstops

Friday, October 25

6 pm and 7 pm

Get in the Halloween spirit with a night of bone-chilling performances by the San Diego Shakespeare Society! Tour the Museum’s spookiest works of art accompanied by recitations from Macbeth, Hamlet, and works by Edgar Allan Poe. Tours meet at the Museum Rotunda at 6 pm and 7 pm.

Free after Museum admission and to Explorer Passholders. ($5 after 5:00 p.m. on Fridays.)

San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

Cayoneer Hikes

Now through June 2020

Explorer the region’s trails like no other alongside citizen scientists and volunteers trained by the Natural History Museum scientists and local experts!  Enjoy history, nature, wildlife and the making of new friends. Best of all, these guided nature hikes

Click here for details and upcoming hikes.

Senior Mondays
Upcoming: November 4th, 2019
10:30 am

The first Monday of every month, seniors 65 and better can enjoy the Science Center exhibits, a show in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater and a lecture on the quietest day of the month! Sharp Minds lectures begin at 10:30 am at the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Included with general admission for Explorer Passholders.

For more details and upcoming dates click here.

Comic-Con Museum

SAM: Storytelling Across Media


11 am – 6 pm (Programming)

6 pm – 9 pm (Reception)

Things to do at this free one-day symposium include panels from comics greats Jim Lee and Kevin Eastman, kid-friendly activities, and networking events for anyone interested in a career in storytelling.

This is a FREE event, but seating is limited. Advance online registration is encouraged.

Visit the Attending the Show page for more information.

Spanish Village Art Center

  • Art Glass Guild 2019 Fall Patio Show

    October 12 – 10:00 am – October 13 – 5:00 pm

  • San Diego Potters’ Guild 2019 Fall Show

    November 9 – 10 am – November 10 – 4 pm


The Old Globe

  • Almost Famous

Now through 10/27/2019

“The Globe is ready to rock with Almost Famous, a world premiere musical with book and lyrics by Academy Award winner and San Diego native Cameron Crowe, based on his iconic film about a young man finding his place in the world and the indelible characters he meets along the way.” For more details and ticket purchases, click here.

  • Noura

Now through 10/27/2019

“A riveting West Coast premiere loosely inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House from the acclaimed playwright (and Old Globe/USD Shiley M.F.A. Program graduate) Heather Raffo. Noura and her husband are Chaldean Christian refugees from Iraq, celebrating their first Christmas Eve as American citizens. But the long-anticipated visit of an orphan girl they once sponsored, now a promising college student, causes them to question who they’ve become and what they’ve left behind.” For more details and ticket purchases, click here.

Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater

  • Monsters Under the Bed

10/23/2019 – 10/27/2019

  • Dia de Los Muertos

10/30/2019 –  11/03/2019

For more details and ticket purchases, click here.

San Diego Junior Theatre
School of Rock

Upcoming Performances: 10/25/2019

Based on the hit movie, School of Rock is the story of wannabe rock star Dewey Finn, who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. When he discovers his students’ musical talents, he enlists them to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.

A Junior Theatre Premiere. Suitable for ALL audiences!

ASL-Interpreted performance, 2 pm, Saturday, November 2, 2019.

For more upcoming dates and tickets click here.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Sunday Concerts are held at 2pm (for one hour). All concerts are free and open to the public. Please note that seating is outdoors in the Organ Pavilion.

Music-loving pets are welcome, and so are picnics!

House of Public Relations

Saturday and Sunday Lawn programs

Now through December 2019

Each Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm to 3 pm, member houses of the House of Pacific Relations feature music, dance, arts, crafts, and ethnic foods. Check the Lawn Program calendar here.