News

In response to recommendations from government officials regarding COVID-19, Balboa Park Explorer participating venues are closed to the public through the end of March.

Click here to read the information on closures or modified operations. If there is a particular venue or event you would like additional information about, please refer to the website or social media accounts of that venue or event. We are also available to assist you in our LIVE CHAT.

WHAT’S NEW!

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.

 

ON VIEW

Fleet Science Center

  • Mindbender Mansion | Now through 04/19/2020
  • Brain: The World Inside Your Head | Now through 04/26/2020

Japanese Friendship Garden

  • Kimono着物 : A Living History | Now through 05/29/2020

Mingei International Museum

*Currently closed for renovation.

Museum of Photographic Arts

  • Illusion: The Magic of Motion | Now through 01/30/2021
  • 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 | Now through 05/03/2020

San Diego Automotive Museum

  • That ’70s Car Show | Now through 06/13/2020

San Diego History Center

  • LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumph | Re-Opening 02/10/2020
  • 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

The San Diego Museum of Art

  • American Still Life Moderns | Now through 02/16/2020
  • Bouguereau and America| Now through 03/15/2020
  • 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

  •  Captivating Women From the Dijkstra Collection | Now through 05/10/2020

The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

  • The Military in Balboa Park 1915 – 1988 | Ongoing

WorldBeat Cultural Center

  • Afrofuturism | Ongoing

 UPCOMING

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.

San Diego Air & Space Museum
Family Days
Monthly (See Upcoming Dates)
11 am – 2 pm

Each month, join the San Diego Air & Space Museum in the Education Center to build, test, and create a memorable Saturday with your friends and family. Family Days are FREE after general admission and to Explorer Passholders! For upcoming dates, click here.

Fleet Science Center

Mindbender Mansion

Now through April 26, 2020

Mindbender Mansion is an eclectic place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brainpower and problem-solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers.

Adults and children alike will enjoy exercising their minds as they try to master each of the 11 individual brain teasers and the three group activities, which encourage intergenerational play in this fun and unconventional new exhibition.

At the heart of the exhibition, visitors will find the essential scientific tasks of problem-solving and critical thinking, while group challenges require the use of communication, collaboration and teamwork skills.

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.

EXPLORER INSIDER

Best Places to Grab a Bite or a Drink in the Park

Take a look below at our Explorer 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 from espresso drinks from local roaster James Coffee Co., wine and... 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...

EVENTS

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory

Saturday Open Rehearsals
Casa del Prado Building (2nd Floor)
8:30 am to 7:15 pm

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!

More information about their Open Rehearsals here.

PERFORMING ARTS

Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater
Winter Showtimes
Wednesday – Friday | 10 and 11:30 am

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 11 am, 1 pm & 2:30 pm

The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, originally part of the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935, has long been a mecca for children and is located in beautiful historic Balboa Park!

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
Ongoing

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.

FILMS AT BALBOA PARK

Fleet Science Center – IMAX 

  • Turtle Odyssey
  • Superpower Dogs
  • CUBA: Journey to the Heart of the Caribbean 

Please Note: IMAX is available at a special price of $9.95 for Annual Explorer passholders.

San Diego Air and Space Museum – Zable Theater

  • 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)

  • Ocean Oasis 2D
  • Hidden Pacific 3D
  • Conquest of the Skies 3D 

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

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.