BALBOA PARK
BALBOA PARK MAP
AND ZOO MAP.
CLICK TO ENLARGE...
ADMISSION:

Mingei
International
Museum
Adult: (13+) $6.00
Child: $3.00

Reuben H. Fleet
Science Center
Adult: (13+) $7.00
Child: $6.25
(OPTIONAL):
+$4.00 for simulator,
+$4 per IMAX film

San Diego Air &
Space Museum
Adult: (13+) $10.00
Child: $5.00

Museum of Man
Adult: (13+) $8.00
Child: $6.00

Museum of Art
Adult: (13+) $10.00
Child: $4.00

Automotive
Museum
Adult: (13+) $10.00
Child: $4.00

San Diego Hall of
Champions Sports
Museum
Adult: (13+) $6.00
Child: $3.00

Model Railroad
Museum
Adult: (13+) $6.00
Child: $3.00

Hours:
9:30AM to 4:30PM
Initially called City Park when it was first established in 1868.  In 1874 the San Diego Natural
History Museum was started on the park property though little else was built on it until 1892.   In
1892 Kate Sessions offered to plant trees there in exchange for commercial property for a
nursery. Kate was one of the initial landscapers for the park, responsible for the many varieties
of plants were transplanted there over time, especially for the 1935 California Pacific
International Exposition.  The first museum was opened in

The name of the park was changed to Balboa Park in 1910 after a city wide naming contest was
won by Mrs. Harriet Phillips. She named the park after the Spanish Explorer Vasco Nunez de
Balboa, whom was the first European to view the Pacific Ocean in Panama in 1513.  In 1915 San
Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition to commemorate the opening of the Panama
Canal.  Much of the architecture seen today at Balboa Park was the result of the designs from
the 1915 Exposition.  Some examples of the structures that were built at that time include the
California Tower and dome, which houses the San Diego Museum of Man, the 1500 ft Cabrillo
Bridge, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (which is an outdoor pipe organ, and one of the world's
largest such organs apparently) and the initial Casa de Balboa building (housing the Museum of
Photographic Arts and Museum of San Diego History).  The San Diego Zoo would be founded in
1916 during the final year of the Exposition.

After the first Exposition several more museums were developed at Balboa Park.  The San Diego
Museum of Art was established in 1926, the Museum of San Diego History was founded in 1928
and the San Diego Natural History Museum was founded in 1933.  In 1935 the current buildings
housing the Aerospace Museum, Automotive Museum and the San Diego Hall of Champions
Sports Museum were all constructed.  Also in 1935 the Old Globe Theater was constructed as a
venue for theater and arts events.

In 1935-36 San Diego hosted the California Pacific International Exposition.  Another theatrical
and musical venue was created for the second Exposition to visit San Diego.  The Starlight Bowl
was built as an outdoor venue in 1936, which today entertains arts patrons with a variety of plays
and musical events.  The latest Exposition held in San Diego Balboa Park was the Expo 2000 held
as a part of San Diego's millennium celebration activities.  

Today Balboa Park has 18 museums and interactive centers for visitors to tour.  Walking around
Balboa Park is free, but each museum charges varying admission rates for adults and children.  
Park passes could be purchased to tour multiple museums.   Some of the more popular
museums and their individual admission rates are listed in the Admission Column to the right.

Balboa Park is also host to a 2 day special Christmas festival held each year for San Diego
residents.  The festival was once called "Christmas on the Prado", but has since changed to the
more Politically Correct "December Nights" since 2004.  The musuems are open free of charge to
the public on Friday and Saturday evenings at this event.  A Christmas tree is decorated on the
grounds and a variety of plays and seasonal music are played at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
over the weekend.  A lighted model of a Santa sleigh with reindeer is propped up in the middle
of the park and mini international houses sell food and snacks from their prospective countries.  

Balboa Park is located Northeast from downtown San Diego at 1549 El Prado, San Diego,
California, 92101.  Just take the I-163 freeway to the Park Blvd exit. Park Blvd wraps around
Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. Internet:
www.balboapark.org
ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOPS
BETWEEN BALBOA PARK AND THE
SAN DIEGO ZOO.  HAS MANY GLASS,
JEWELRY AND SEWN CRAFTS FROM
VARIOUS SOUTH AND CENTRAL
AMERICAN ARTISTS.
FRONT FACADE OF THE MUSEUM
OF ART WITH ONE OF TWO WATER
FOUNTAINS FOUND AT BALBOA
PARK.
INSIDE THE DOME OF THE
AEROSPACE MUSEUM
WALKWAY BETWEEN MUSEUMS IN
BALBOA PARK. DESIGNED FOR THE
PANAMA-CALIFORNIA EXPOSITION IN
1915.
INSIDE THE AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM
The bell tower at the Museum of
Man