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.

December 2019 


Centro Cultural de la Raza

  • Enero Zapatista 

Fleet Science Center

  • Brain: The World Inside Your Head | Opening 02/01/2020
  • Pulseworks® VR Transporter | Now through 09/30/2019
  • Mindbender Mansion | Now through 04/19/2020

Japanese Friendship Garden

  • Kimono着物 : A Living History | Opening 01/30/2020

Mingei International Museum

*Currently closed for renovation.

Museum of Photographic Arts

  • Illusion: The Magi of Motion | Opening 02/08/2020
  • The Stories They Tell: A Hundred Years of Photography | Now through 02/17/2020
  • Dreamscapes: 14th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition | Now through 03/01/2020

San Diego Air and Space Museum

  • SPACE: Our Greatest Adventure | Ongoing

San Diego Art Institute

  • Illumination: 21st Interactions with Art + Science + Technology | Opening 02/08/2020

San Diego Automotive Museum

  • Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow | Now through 02/01/2020
  • That ’70s Car Show | Opening  02/08/2020

San Diego History Center

  • LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumph | Re-Opening 02/03/2020
  • I’m Not Like You: Notes From The San Diego Underground – Now through 03/22//2020
  • The Path of the Mystic: Art and Theosophy at Lomaland – Now through 04/19/2020

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

  • The Cabrillo & Southwestern| Ongoing
  • The San Diego & Arizona Eastern| Ongoing
  • The Centennial Railway Garden| Ongoing
  • The Toy Train Gallery| Ongoing
  • Bringing Out the Brass | 02/24/2020

The San Diego Museum of Art

  • American Still Life Moderns | Now through 02/16/2020
  • Bouguereau and America| Now through 02/16/2020
  • Abstract Revolution | Now through 02/23/2020
  • Nick Roth: Fates | 03/01/2020

San Diego Museum of Man

  • Living with Animals | Ongoing
  • Monsters! | Ongoing
  • PostSecret | Ongoing
  • Cannibals: Myth & Reality | Ongoing

For more exhibits on view click here.

San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

  • 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
  • Insects to Face | Ongoing
  • Living Lab | Now through 09/01/2020

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


San Diego Art Institute
Illumination: 21st Interactions with Art + Science + Technology
February 8 through May 3, 2020
12-5 PM

Climate change, global health, and sustainability are some of the most pressing concerns of the 21st century, especially for future generations.

SDAI’s Illumination is positioned squarely at the intersection of art, science, and technology, and uses these interconnected fields to boost public understanding of contemporary issues and explore solutions, both real and imagined.

In creating this experiential show, 26 artists spin research into art through mediums that range from light, sound, and metal installations to soundscape, textiles, and even trees.

Sixteen local artists produced work after teaming up with scientists and technologists from seven major research institutions: La Jolla Institute of Immunology, Qualcomm Institute/CalIT2, Salk Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, The Scripps Research Institute, and UCSD.


San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

Family Days at the Nat 

Now 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

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.

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.

Marston House Museum

The Marston House Museum is open for tours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With first tour starting at 10 am and last tour at 4 pm. In addition, on the THIRD Sunday of each month, the Marston House Museum offers the following tours:

  • Bankers Hill Walking Tour · 10:30 am · 90 minutes

Meets at the corner of Walnut & Albatross Street, San Diego, CA 92103

  • Seventh Avenue Walking Tour –A Progressive Vision · 12:30 pm · 45 minutes

Meets at Carriage House

  • Marston House Garden Tour · 1:30 pm · 45 minutes

Meets at Carriage House

  • Marston House: Architectural Details of Master Architects Hebbard & Gill · 2:30 pm · 90 Minutes

Meets at Carriage House

Each Tour is $15 per person. Explorer Passholders receive a special discounted price of $10 per adult and $5 per children under 12 years old; please be prepared to show your current Explorer passes. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the Carriage House on the day of the tour.

Senior Mondays
First Monday of the month, 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.


Holiday Fun in Balboa Park!

This holiday season, share your love for Balboa Park with your family and friends or treat yourself to a visit all on your own. Don’t miss the chance to catch these events full of joy, see old favorite exhibits and discover new ones in Balboa Park.   Annual... read more...

‘Tis the Season of Giving!

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at Balboa Park! With art, aviation, culture, science, automobiles, locomotives, and history! We have something special for everyone on your list. And we mean everyone!   The San Diego Museum of Art Find your own... read more...

Your Guide for Thanksgiving Day at Balboa Park!

Thanksgiving is such a special holiday. This day is a chance for families to gather, to be thankful, enjoy being with one another and to create memories. There’s no place like home during the holidays but if you are looking to step outside before or after the... read more...


San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Saturday Open Rehearsals

Every weekend the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music. Visitors are invited to observe these rehearsals and share in the musical journey of their talented student musicians (ages 7-25). This is a wonderful treat to enhance any visit to Balboa Park. All Saturday rehearsals for the large ensembles are held on the second floor of the Casa del Prado Building, in Balboa Park from 8:30 am to 7:15 pm.

More information about their Open Rehearsals here.


San Diego Junior Theatre

Twelfth Night

1/10/2020 through 1/19/2020

Twelfth Night gives us one of Shakespeare’s most remarkable heroines, the quick-witted Viola, who assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion, and gender all threaten to come undone.

Recommended for ages 13 and older.

ASL-Interpreted performanceASL-Interpreted performance, 2 pm, Saturday, January 18, 2020.

Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater

Winter Showtimes
Wednesday – Friday | 10 and 11:30 am
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 11 am, 1 pm & 2:30 pm

Seniors/Military $4.00
Children Under Two Are Free

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 Pacific 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.


Fleet Science Center

IMAX* Films and Digital Shows

  • Turtle Odyssey | Daily | 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm
  • Superpower Dogs | Daily | 2 pm, 6 pm
  • CUBA: Journey to the Heart of the Caribbean | Daily | 12 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm

*IMAX is available at a special price of $9.95 for Annual Explorer passholders.

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 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 4:15 pm 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.

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.

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 of operation, closures, additional events, special exhibitions, and film costs.