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.
- Chicano Art Exhibit | Now through 12/18/19
- 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
- Winter ParadIce| Now through 01/26/2020
- Washi: Maki Ishiwata| Now through 01/26/2020
*Currently closed for renovation.
- 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
- Illusion: The Magi of Motion | Opening 01/18/2020
- SPACE: Our Greatest Adventure | Ongoing
- Wonderspces VR Showcase | Now through 12/30/2019
- Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow | Now through 02/01/202020
- 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 03/22//2020
- The Path of the Mystic: Art and Theosophy at Lomaland – Now through 04/19/2020
- Living the Impossible | Now through 11/16/2019
- The Cabrillo & Southwestern| Ongoing
- The San Diego & Arizona Eastern| Ongoing
- The Centennial Railway Garden| Ongoing
- The Toy Train Gallery| Ongoing
Nick Roth: Fates | Opening November 30th, 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
- Bouguereau and America| Now through 02/16/2020
- Living with Animals | Ongoing
- Monsters! | Ongoing
- PostSecret | Ongoing
- Cannibals: Myth & Reality | Ongoing
For more exhibits on view click here.
- 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 | Opening 11/09/2019
- Living Lab | Opening 11/23/2019
For more exhibits on view click here
- Masterpieces of Italian Drawings from The British Museum | Now through 12/15/2019
- Veterans Who Became Presidents | Ongoing
- Afrofuturism | Ongoing
Wonderspaces VR Showcase
Now through December 30th
Mon.-Fri. 4 pm-10 pm | Sat.-Sun. 10 am-10 pm
Wonderspaces VR Showcase offers visitors a one of a kind opportunity to experience four extraordinary virtual reality short films – previously seen at festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW – during the course of a one-hour visit.
December 15th | 6 pm – 7 pm
Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez joins singers from the San Diego Opera and members of the Navy Band Southwest Wind Ensemble in a Holiday Program sponsored by the Spreckels Organ Society.
Trade-in your flip-flops for lace-up skates and take a glide session on our new synthetic ice rink (you know, because it’s science). When you’re done skating, continue the fun by jumping in the ball pit or sliding down a 31-foot slide in the Fleet’s adult-sized playground exhibition, Pause|Play. Get crafty with ornament making in Studio X, create your own ice cream flavor in the cafe and immerse yourself in our interactive galleries.
Gather your family and friends, as you don’t want to miss out on this festive adventure.
Please note: Explorer Passholders can add skating and one film showing for only $9.95.
Late Nights at the Fleet
The Fleet will be open late on select Saturdays and Sundays, beginning November 23 through December 29, with discounted pricing from 5–9 p.m., so you can celebrate with evening skate sessions, sip cocktails rink side and let your imagination run wild in our interactive exhibitions. Please note: The ice rink will not be open December 6 & 7, during December Nights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take the latest exhibits and events on the go!
For a downloadable guide click here!
Friday, December 6th, 2019
3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
Noon to 11 p.m.
Are You Ready? The countdown has begun for the City of San Diego’s 42nd annual free holiday festival. December Nights will kick off the holiday season this Dec. 6 and 7, 2019, and feature light displays; inspirational choirs, bands, and dancers; amazing food and fun-filled attractions. For more details on transportation/parking, entertainment, museums, food and more click here!
December Nights Advisory: Many museums in the Park will have limited daytime hours on Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7, in preparation for December Nights. Click here for December Nights hours.
Dr.Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
Now through December 29, 2019
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based on the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 22nd incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “This Time of Year,” “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Fah Who Doraze,” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.
Take an extraordinary journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Witness an epic battle between toy soldiers and mice before being whisked away to an enchanting land of falling snow, waltzing flowers, and the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy!
Directed by Artistic Director Danika Pramik-Holdaway and set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, this classic holiday production is a beloved San Diego family tradition presented at the iconic Casa del Prado Theater.
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 performance, 2 pm, Saturday, January 18, 2020.
Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater
Wednesday – Friday | 10 and 11:30 am
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 11 am, 1 pm & 2:30 pm
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!
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.
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.
FILMS AT BALBOA PARK
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.