A San Diego Summer Favorite- Resident Free Days at Balboa Park

One of the best ways to pass a Tuesday afternoon in the summer is to hit up Balboa Park. Each week there are several museums that offer free admission to residents of the City and County of San Diego, and to active military personnel and their dependents. Please be prepared to present a photo ID with your address.

Here is the schedule:

First Tuesday

Second Tuesday

Third Tuesday

Fourth Tuesday

Fifth Tuesdays

  • Regular admission prices are in effect

The Following Tuesdays: July 26th, 23rd, September 27th, October 25th,  November 22nd, and  December 27th:

  • The Comic-Con Museum (Not valid for “Beyond Amazing: Spider-Man – The Exhibition.” This special exhibit is an extra charge)

As a lifelong San Diego County resident, I’d pass on the automotive museum, it’s kinda meh (I’m not a gear head). And unless your kids are super into airplanes or outer space/NASA, I’d skip the Air and Space Museum. We paid full price a few years ago, and the kids hated it (ok, mostly Bitty hated it). The Mingei Museum is full of all kinds of stuff (folk arts, useful goods like pottery, clothing, quilts- it’s not super kid-friendly), but it’s pretty interesting.

Take a picnic, and enjoy eating in any one of the gardens/open spaces.  Another free activity in Balboa Park is the Botanical Garden and Lily Pond. Right next door is the Spanish Art Village, which is fun to explore as well.

Talk Back: What is your favorite part of Balboa Park?


9/21/19- Free Museum Day!

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Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 21, 2019, for two people.

For those of us in San Diego County, there are 37 choices, ranging from The New Children’s Museum downtown to the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad.  You can find a list of museums near you here.

Now, if you can’t make it out to free museum day, there are museums all over San Diego County that are FREE EVERY DAY!

Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum 4203 Anderson Ave, San Diego, CA 92145

Barona Cultural Center & Museum 1095 Barona Road, Lakeside, CA 92040

Bonita Museum and Cultural Center 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA 91902

Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum 3190 Lionshead Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92009

The Water Conservation Garden isn’t a museum, but it is free daily and super fun to explore. They also hold cool free events for kids and adults.

The Timken in Balboa Park is free every day. And there are select museums free every Tuesday in Balboa Park.  While you are in Balboa Park, stop by The City’s Botanical Building. It is open every day except Thursday. Admission is always free.

Make it a frugal afternoon by packing your lunch and snacks (don’t forget water- it’s going to be a hot one here in San Diego and most of the southwest next weekend)! I raid our snack cupboard and pack lots of different choices, that way everyone is satisfied.

Talk Back: Which museum in your area are you excited about checking out on 9/21/19?