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Balboa Park Resorts
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* Overview to Balboa Park California *

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    [ Overview * Museums * Festivals * Theatres * Science Center * Art Galleries *
    Gardens * H.O.P.R. * S.V.A.C. * Sports * Camping * Dining * Lodging * Zoo * History ]

    Balboa Park San Diego Balboa Park San Diego
    One of the largest urban cultural centers in the USA, Balboa Park is home to over 85 Performing Arts and International Culture Organizations, 15 Museums, the World-Famous San Diego Zoo, Gardens, Hiking and Biking Trails, Theater, Recreational Facilities and Restaurants.

    Balboa Park was established 1868 when the population of San Diego was only a mere 2,000 souls. It consists of 1400 acres of beautiful gardens, grassy picnic area and groves of exotic palm and eucalyptus trees. The original groundswork was done by famed horticulturalist Kate Sessions.

    Two major "World's Fairs" have added substantially to Balboa Park. First, in 1915 the park hosted the Pan-American Exposition. Then, in 1935 the park hosted the California Pacific Exposition. Most of the facilities and museum buildings date back to these grand events.

    The park is also home to the largest zoo in the world The San Diego Zoo.

    A central feature of the park is El Prado a pedestrian walkway with buildings that housed the 1915 World Expo and today features several very impressive museums. The area is also rich in natural vegetation.

    Balboa Park Visitors Center
    2125 Park Blvd, San Diego CA 92101; 619-239-0512;

    Reuben Fleet Space Center
    A very popular destination for families, young children and school groups, this science center is home to San Diego's IMAX theater, astronomy and science exhibits and planetarium displays.

    Balboa Park Theater
    Balboa Park is home of some of San Diego's most famous theater venues including Shakespeare plays at the Old Globe, and Broadway hits at the outdoor Starlight Bowl. Also home to the IMAX and Spreckles Organ Pavilion.

    Balboa Park Art Galleries
    Prominent artistic collections in Balboa Park include the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Mingei International Museum, Photographic Arts, Museum of the Living Artist, and the Japanese Friendship Garden.

    Balboa Park Gardens
    The park is famous for is scenic gardens and landmarks, many of which make great venues for weddings and other special events. Or it can be a serene location for a peaceful picnic.

    Balboa Park Sports & Recreation
    Balboa Park has multiple clubs, playgrounds and recreation groups for both children and adults. Explore activities such as camping, badminton, lawn bowling, chess, horseshoes, bridge and more. Balboa Park also has an extensive trail system for joggers, walkers, bicyclists and equestrians. Exciting sports venues include archery, velodromes, tennis courts, municipal pool, stadium and gymnasium.

    Balboa Park Dining & Weddings
    There are a number of fine dining locations about this area. Many of these place offer a unique opportunity to host that special event in your life such as a wedding or anniversary celebration.

    The San Diego Zoo
    Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the 100-acre World-Famous San Diego Zoo cares for more than 4,000 individual animals representing 800 different species. Its collection, as well as its collection of over 6,500 species of plants, is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world.
    Current special feature - Giant Pandas from China.

    San Diego Adventure Tours
    Explore America's Finest City - (Keyword: San Diego)

Hawaiian Island Getaway
One of the most popular tourism destinations in the world is the Hawaiian Islands. Local attractions include touring royal palaces, miles of beautiful beaches and polynesian cultural entertainment venues.

Balboa Park Resources:
Visitor Center - Get discount combo tickets to park museums.
Balboa Park Cultural Partnership - a collaboration of 26 arts, science, and cultural institutions in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
City Parks Weblink - San Diego City Parks Info
San Diego Historical Society - The History of Balboa Park
ETHZ Detail Map Online - Park Map
History Page - 1915 Panama California Exposition.

* Balboa Park Museums *

NEW! GoCard USA - Attraction Discount Pass

    Many of California's Best Museums are Found Right Here in Balboa Park!


    Balboa Park Sports Museum San Diego Hall of Champions
    Federal Bldg, 2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, CA 92101;
    619-234-2544; Museum Website;

    Open: Daily 10AM-5PM (Exc: Thnksgvng, Dec 25, Jan 1);
    Fourth Tuesday of every month is Free.

    The nation's largest multi-sports museum located in the heart of beautiful San Diego's Balboa Park. More than 42 sports are represented in in a big activity and events exhibits venue, which tells uplifting stories of San Diego athletes and teams, ranging from high school level to professional sport legends. A fascinating collection of memorabilia, cinema, and interactive media center.

    Special ehibits cover the wold of baseball, football, fishing, Surfing Legends, Action Sport, Challenged Athletes and many more.


      Prep Athletes Awards Gala [JUN] - Recognizes local high school athletic accomplishments.
      Hall of Champions List - List of HOC Inductees History.
      Champions Sports Academy (CSA) - This is the youth educational sports training program developed by the San Diego Hall of Champions to provide a diverse curriculum of life and leadership skills to the San Diego community. CSA targets the continuously emerging young athletes, their coaches and parents or guardians.

    Balboa Park Model Railroad Museum San Diego Model Railroad Museum [SDMRM]
    Casa de Balboa; 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1621;
    619-696-0199; Museum Website;
    Open: Tues-Fri 11-4 / Sat-Sun 11-5;
    Children under 15 are free with Adult;
    Free Admission on 1st Tuesday of each month;

    Worlds largest operating model railroad museum including the largest HO and N scale model displays. Besides four enormous scale model railroad layouts, there are many other exhibits and interactive displays. All maintained by a 320-member volunteer staff. Other exhibits include Toy Train Gallery, working semaphore, and interactive Lionel layout for children. Great for train fans.


    Natural History Museum
    1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101;
    619-232-3821; Museum Website;
    Open Daily 9:30-5:30;
    Free Admission on 1st Tuesday of each month;

    Photos and text provide great education for kids and adults. Located at east end of Balboa Park. Exhibits on plants, animals and geology of So. Calif.


    San Diego Childrens Museum
    New Facility Opening - May 2008

    Museum Website

    Since 1981 the museum has offered an assortment of dynamic, arts-based education programs and exhibits that cultivate creativity, originality and individuality, the Museum seeks to uncover hidden talents, raise new questions, and encourage creative thinking. Frequented by elementary schools and family visitors, the Museum is designed to engage all ages — including toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents.


    Museum of Unnatural History
    530 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101; Museum Website;

    The Museum of Unnatural History features a variety of cursed and mysterious artifacts from around the world. These treasures help to unfold stories of the past—from Europe’s oldest documented literature to the unknown origin of crystal skulls that some say predict the end of mankind to well-known Egyptian curses.


    Museum of San Diego History
    San Diego Historical Society

    1649 El Prada, Casa de Balboa, San Diego, CA 92101;
    619-232-6203; Museum Website;

    Open Thur-Sat : 10AM-4PM; Free Admission on 2nd Tues of month.

    Permanent and changing exhibitions on the colorful and diverse history of the region. Public lectures, workshops and educational programs are presented in the museum's 100-seat Thornton Theatre.


    Museum of Man
    El Prada, 619-239-2001; Museum Website;
    Open: Daily 10-4:30 (exc: holidays);
    Third Tuesday of every month is Free;

    Explore the mystery, beauty, and excitement of San Diego's only anthropological museum. One of the nation's best collections of artifacts, folk art, and archaeological finds that tell the heritage of mankind and ancient cultures. Museum is located in the California Building (1915).
    GigaPixel - Museum of Man Photo Gallery - Building Architecture


    San Diego Automotive Museum San Diego Automotive Museum
    2080 Pan American Plaza #12, Balboa Park, CA 92101;
    619-231-2886; Museum Website;
    Open: Daily 10AM-5PM (Exc: Thanksgiving, Dec 25, Jan 1);

    Located at south end of park, this museum is a showcase for over 80 classic and historically significant vehicles. Exhibits range from horse carriages to 50's favorites, muscle cars and motorcycles. Several futuristic inovactive designs also on display. Email about upcoming special exhibits.


    San Diego Aerospace Museum San Diego Aerospace Museum
    2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, CA 92101;
    619-234-8291; Museum Website;
    Open Daily: 10AM-5:30PM (Exc: Thanksgiving, Dec 25, Jan 1);
    Ask about special Behind The Scenes Restoration Tours;

    The museum brings to life aviation's rich heritage through dazzling collection of over 65 U.S. and foreign aircraft and spacecraft. Exhibits range from the down of powered flight thru both world wars and into the modern jet age.

    • Aerospace Expo [MAY] -
    • AeroSummer - Summertime Youth Camps - build and launch model rockets
    • Model Expo - build and swap model kit collectables.

Balboa Park Model Railroads

Six Flags Theme Parks - Buy Tickets Online Now!

Mission Bay Catamaran Resort
313 guestroom California Vacation Resort Waterfront Tower located on the shores of Mission Bay Park. There are many resort amenities for both inside and outside the resort. Water sport rentals, inline skates, bicycles, paddleboats, kayaks, powerboats, boogie boards, rafts, and jet skis. Enjoy Californian cuisine, indoor/outdoor seating, champagne brunches on Sundays, seasonal Friday luaus, and live entertainment.

* Balboa Park Festivals *

    Many park venues host their own festival events. Listed here are major park sponsored events.

    Special Events at Balboa Park
    Organ Pavillion Concerts - Ongoing concert series - summer evenings at the Spreckles Pavilion
    Theater and Concerts - Check listings.
    Celebrate Dance Festival [Late Aug] - Eveoke Dance Theater sponsors this three day event (free to public) featuring over 50 major dance groups.
    House of Pacific Relations - groups from over 30 different countries host a number of ethnically themed events during the year.
    St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival - Celebrate the wearing of the green with a Balboa Park parade and Irish Festival.


    San Diego Tet Festival [FEB]
    Vietnamese Lunar New Year Celebration

    Festival Website;
    Very popular traditional celebration of Vietnam for thousands of years. Featuring Miss Vietnam of San Diego Pageant, Lion Dance, Singing Competitions, Childrens Festival and more. It is an occasion to celebrate the cultural heritage, pay homage to ancestors, and pray for peace, health, happiness, and prosperity. Sponsored by the Vietnamese American Youth Alliance (VAYA).


    Balboa Park Science Festival The Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair
    Spring Break

    Festival Website; Started in 1955;

    Enjoy dozens of science and engineering events designed to educate and inspire future generations of scientists and engineers. The Fesitval is a true celebration of both the achievements and promise of San Diego's world-class science and engineering community.

    A legion of hundreds of qualified volunteer judges from the professional and technical community to evaluate up to 1,000 student projects in competition for awards and recognition at the regional fair for San Diego and Imperial County schools.


    Ethnic Food Fair [MAY]
    House of Pacific Relations

    Sample food, crafts and live entertainment from over 30 different cultures.


    Japanese Friendship Garden Wedding Festival of the August Moon [AUG] Japanese Friendship Gardens
    This moon-viewing event, a tradition in Japan, is usually celebrated during the full moon of the 8th lunar month on an evening when the moonrise is closest to the setting sun. As often happens, an ancient Chinese folktale inspired many of the customs that are part of “moon-viewing”.


    December Nights - 1st Weekend in December
    Balboa Park Winter Festival; Festival Website;
    Annual event since 1978, celebrate the holidays with sparkling lights, color, food, music and fun. The event features traditional celebrations, cultural attractions and theatrical and musical entertainment throughout the Park. Many musuems have extended evening free admission hours during this event.

San Diego Science Festival

* Gardens & Landmarks *


Mormon Battalion
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    1400 acres of beautiful green landscaping, gardens and landmarks.

    Balboa Park consists of 1400 acres of beautiful gardens, grassy picnic area and groves of exotic palm and eucalyptus trees. The original groundswork was done by famed horticulturalist Kate Sessions.


    Japanese Friendship Garden Wedding Japanese Friendship Gardens
    2125 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101;
    619-232-2721; Gardens Website;

    20 acres or ornate oriental gardens with walking trails and viewing pavilion, a waterfall and lily pond, a traditional Tea House and a contemporary Tea House, each with its own garden, a cherry tree grove and an outdoor amphitheater. Popular wedding event destination.


    Chapel of St. Francis
    1350 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101;
    619-239-2001; Chapel Website;

    Located across from the Museum of Man is this unconsecrated chapel with beautifully ornate altar. The Saint Francis Chapel is one of San Diego's favorite choices for wedding ceremonies. The Chapel is non-denominational, welcoming ministers of all faiths to perform services in this dignified sanctuary.


    Balboa Park Landmarks
    Prominent architectural features of the park:

    • Cabrillo Bridge - Where El Prado crosses over SR-163. Above the entry gate look for crest showing Balboa's ship entering Panama Canal. For a full view of this gorgeous bridge drive SR-163, a most scenic and tranquil stretch of highway in San Diego.
    • El Prado - Many of the museums along the Park’s celebrated El Prado walkway are housed in magnificent Spanish Colonial buildings, originally built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition.
    • Persion Water Rug - Locally made tilework located between the House of Hospitality and Casa de Balboa.
    • Balboa Park Club and Gardens - Pueblo style building with mural, lobby fountain and cactus garden.
    • Kate Sessions Statue - Tribute to the famous horticulturist of Balboa Park.
    • Sefton Plaza - Park Founders Statues.

    Balboa Park Gardens

    • Trees for Health Garden - public appreciation of local and global conservation and includes plants like Ginko, Cinnamon, Mulberry, and more, found on West Mesa of the Park.
    • Botanical Building - 500 species of plant housed inside reassembled Santa Fe Railroad Depot (Fri-Wed 10AM-4PM Exc: Holidays)
    • Lily Pond - Probably the most photographed site in the park. Located adjacent to the Botanical Bldg - See its collection of goldfish, turtles and water-lilies.
    • Moreton Bay fig tree - Over 40 foot tall and 100 foot wide located just north of natural history museum.
    • Agathis Tree - Rare New Zealand native grows on the southeast side of the House of Charm.
    • Old Cactus Garden - Historic 1935 garden has some of the largest and most succulent cactus specimens in San Diego.

    Casa del Prado - Exhibit and Theater Halls
    Finely ornate buildings built originally for the 1915 world fairs and home for many of the museums and theaters of the park. Keep an eye open for the following:


      San Diego Floral Association - The oldest garden club in Southern California with displays open to public every weekend.
      San Diego Civic Youth Ballet - Over 60 years of dance instruction for youth. Check for performances.
      California Tower - 198 foot bell tower located atop the Museum of Man and can be heard throughout the park.

    Marston House Museum & Gardens
    3525 7th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
    619-298-3142; Museum Website;

    Tucked in the Northwest corner of Balboa Park (Near 7th Ave and Upas St) lies one of California's finest examples of the Arts and Crafts movement. Built in 1905 by the Marstons and surrounded by five acres of rolling lawns, manicured formal gardens, and rustic canyon gardens, this 8,500 square-foot home became a house museum in 1987.


    Miniture Railroad
    Open : 11-4:30 Sat/Sun/School Holidays - Summer Open Daily; Located Near Zoo Entrance;
    1/5 size scale model train ride runs on a half-mile outdoor circuit.


    Carousel
    Summer Open Daily 11AM-5PM; Located Near Zoo Entrance;
    1910 Herschell-Spillman Carousel with animal menagerie

FunTicket – 2 Free Games

Hotel Circle Crowne Plaza
417 finely decorated and spacious guestrooms with balconies overlooking the RiverWalk Golf Course. Located near Balboa Park and other major San Diego attractions. Islands Restaurant and Hawaiian Sushi located onsite.

* House of Pacific Relations *

    Balboa Park House of Pacific Relations San Diego House of Pacific Relations

    Over 30 different national groups coordinate family fun cultural events. Sundays 12:30-4:30PM. Argentina, Austria, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine.

    Members of each house conduct classes in native cooking, baking, crafts, dances, music, folklore, and language skills. Many of these groups hold specially themed cultural events during the year.

    Do you wish you had more opportunities to teach your children or grandchildren more about their heritage? Do you wish they could learn to better read and speak your native toungue? Well, your wishes are about to come true in one or more of the many cottages at the House of Pacific Relations.


    Sunday Lawn Programs

    Sunday Afternoons : 2PM-3PM

    Programs run from March through early November. Member houses of the House of Pacific Relations feature music, dance, traditional costumes, arts, crafts, and ethnic foods.


    HPR Ethnic Food Fair [MAY]

    Last Sunday in May : 10AM-5PM;

    Each cottage will be serving ethnic food. Live entertainment, native costumes and more.


    HPR International Christmas Festival [DEC]

    First weekend in Dec

    Each cottage will be serving ethnic food. Live entertainment and Christmas stories from around the world.

House of Pacific Relations
Balboa Park Member Groups:

  • House of Argentina
  • House of Austria
  • House of China
  • House of Colombia
  • House of Czech and Slovak Republics
  • House of Denmark
  • House of England
  • House of Finland
  • Alliance Francaise
  • House of Germany
  • House of Hungary
  • House of India
  • House of Iran
  • House of Ireland
  • House of Israel
  • House of Italy
  • House of Lebanon
  • House of Lithuania
  • House of Mexico
  • House of Norway
  • House of Palestine
  • House of Panama
  • House of Peru
  • House of The Philippines
  • House of Poland
  • House of Puerto Rico
  • House of Scotland
  • Casa De Espana
  • House of Sweden
  • House of Turkey
  • House of Ukraine
  • * Spanish Village Art Center *

    mission basilica capistrano
    Mission Basilica
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    mission bells
    Mission Bells
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      San Diego's Largest Collection of Studio Artists


      Spanish Village Arts Center
      1770 Village Place, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101;
      619-233-9050; Center Website;
      Open Daily : 11AM-4PM; Free Admission;

      Balboa Park Spanish Village Balboa Park is home to this group of nearly forty individual artist work studios where artisans demonstrate their talents in various mediums. A great place to shop for unique gift ideas. Specialties include enamal, wood-working, art-glass, gems and minerals, pottery and sculpture.

      Find over three dozen working artist studios, many are open to the public daily (except holidays). Each artist will show demonstrate the process of creativity for his or her craft speciality.

      Spanish Village was built in 1935 for the California-Pacific International Expo with building depicting and an old village in Spain. The courtyard and surrounding buildings vibrantly display numerous art forms.


      Southwest Artists Association
      Studio 23, Spanish Village Arts Center; Guild Website

      Gallery 23 maintains an ever-evolving exhibit of original fine art paintings every month from our juried membership of over 50 local artists, many are SVAC members.


      Spanish Village Art Glass Guilde
      Studio 25, Spanish Village Arts Center; Guild Website

      35 members that make, display and sell, blown glass, fused and slumped glass, torchwork beads and jewelry, mosaic art, sandblasted and etched glass, stained glass, cast and wire wrapped glass, and 3 dimensional glass. We have everything from individual glass beads, bracelets, and necklaces, to weathervanes, stepping stones, layered wall art, flat glass, etched wine glasses, blown glass bowls, vases, witch balls, fused light switch covers, knobs, hanging light pendants, wall sconces and paperweights.


      San Diego Potters Guild
      Studio 29, Spanish Village Arts Center; Guild Website

      Potters demonstrate throwing pots on the wheel.


      San Diego Sculptors Guild
      Studio 36, Spanish Village Arts Center; Guild Website

      On a daily basis, visitors can see sculpture artwork in progress at the hand of the expert craftsmen. Many sculptures are in public display in the SVAC courtyards.


      San Diego Woodcarvers Guild
      Studio 38, Spanish Village Arts Center; Guild Website
      Open Daily: 11AM-4PM / 619-236-9575;

      A number of member artisans that carve or turn wood forms from many wood sources, including San Diego's own very unique avocado woods.

    Spanish Village Arts Center
    Balboa Park Member Groups:

  • San Diego Mineral & Gem Society
  • San Diego Potters Guild
  • Jewelry Design by Mershid
  • Kevin Baker Art Glass
  • Ally Benbrook Watercolors
  • Etsy Flameworked Glass
  • Barry Campbell - Radio Voice Actor
  • Cyndy Campbell - photography
  • Studio 1227 - artist
  • Photography by Dallas
  • Torched Art - Micromosaics
  • Patrick Cowan Photography
  • Photo ARt by Cunningham
  • Fine Art Copper
  • Vicky Delong - Ceramics
  • Gebrelu Paintings
  • Ferrone Fine Art
  • Deborah Francis - Clay sculpture & jewelry
  • Miriam Jewels
  • Beadazzled By Mindy - custom bridal party jewelry
  • Art Sizzles - art glass
  • Ellie Hitchcock - polymer clay art
  • Venetia Jaeger - handmade jewelry
  • Sue Kamin - natural baskets
  • Mary Ella - mixed media
  • Gypsy Dutch Arts
  • Maureen King - silversmith
  • On Wings of Birds - handpainted feathers
  • Made By Merle - clay arts
  • Lebl Photo
  • Ludwig's Collection - bodacious baubles
  • AKM Digital Art
  • Al Nashashibi Fine Art
  • One Blue Marble
  • Maic Fine Art - paintings
  • Dot Renshaw - environmental artist
  • Rippee Photography
  • Susan Ronan - art jewelry
  • Handcrafted by Kathy - precious metal clay
  • * Rueben H Fleet Science Center *


    Del Mar California
    - - - - -

      Space Theater / Technology Museum / Science Center


      Rueben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center
      1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, CA 92101; 619-238-1233; Center Website;
      Open: Daily 9:30AM - 6PM (extended in summer);
      Free Admission on 1st Tuesday of each month;

      Balboa Park Science Center With more than 100 interactive science exhibits in five galleries, as well as major traveling exhibitions, the Science Center is an exciting place to visit with children. Explore colored shadows, sand pendulum, and a variety of intriguing scientific phenomena.

      The Virtual Zone is perfect for adventurous and inquisitive visitors alike. Do-Undo makes visitors the main attraction, recording and instantly replaying your every move forward (as executed) and backwards (in time reversal), faster and faster.

      Note: The best time to visit is on weekdays after 1PM when the school groups have left for the day. March, April and May see particularily high traffic in this regard.

      • The IMAX Dome - World's first OmniMax Theater (1973) with 180 degree domed ceiling screen with multimedia planetarium and two continuous shows. Call for current times and prices.
      • Exhibit Galleries - Natural phenomena learning centers with many "hands-on" interactive stations. Topics cover weather, planet earth, light, motion, human body, and illusions.
      • Planetarium Show - Professional astronomy indoor astronomy display on first wednesday of each month 7PM.
      • Summer Camps - Weekly half-day science summer camps

    San Diego Handlery Resort Hotel
    Find a restful vacation paradise at the Handlery Hotel & Resort with an atmosphere that's both friendly and gracious. The Handlery family owns and operations this facility that boasts lovely accommodations, state-of-the-art health and fitness facilities and award-winning dining. Located in the center of San Diego, only minutes away from all major attractions including Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Downtown, Historic Old Town and SeaWorld.

    * Balboa Park Theater *

    NEW! Concert / Theater / Sports Calendar

      Theater and Live Entertainment Venues


      Balboa Park Old Globe Old Globe Theatre
      PO Box 122171, San Diego CA 92112;
      619-239-2255;Theater Website;

      Part of the Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts. 581-seat outdoor bard-playhouse style theatre modeled after Shakespeare Globe Theater inLondon. Originally built in 1935 and rebuilt in 1982 after being destroyed by fire. Features 14 shows each year, a variety of drama, comedies andmusicals. Located north of the Museum of Man, facilities also include the following:
      Cassius Carter Centre Stage - "Theater in the Round" where all seats are within 10 feet of the stage.
      Lowell Davies Festival Theater - 625 seat outdoor theater.
      Master of Fine Arts Education Program - Special Training in Classical Theater
      PlaywrightsProject -


      Balboa Park Organ Pavillion Spreckles Organ Pavillion
      Spreckles Organ Society; 1549 El Prado, Suite 10, San Diego, CA 92101-1661;
      619-226-0819; Society Website;

      Open air theatre with the largest pipe organ in San Diego housed in a magnificent landmark structure. The centerpiece is a 1915 Austin Organ.
      Summer evening outdoor concert series.
      Free concerts at 2PM on Sun.


      Starlite Musical Theatre
      San Diego's Original Theater Under the Stars

      2005 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101;
      619-544-7800; Theatre Website;

      Large outdoor theatre founded in 1945. Beginning in 1992 Starlight became a year-round producer of quality theatre both at the Starlight Bowl and at indoor venues including the Civic Theatre and the Spreckels Theatre.


      Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater

      For fifty years this 234-seat theater has entertained young families in the Palisades section on the south side of Balboa Park.
      Balboa Park Puppet Guide - Schedule of puppet troupes touring this theater.

    Local Theater Groups
    Check these listings for upcoming performances:

  • San Diego Civic Youth Ballet -
  • San Diego Junior Theatre -
  • * Balboa Park Art Galleries *

      Major Artistic Collections in Balboa Park

      Balboa Park Art Galleries
      include the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Mingei International Museum, Photographic Arts, Museum of the Living Artist, and the Japanese Friendship Garden.


      Timken Museum of Art
      1500 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101;
      619-239-5548; Gallery Website;
      Admission is Free;
      Open : Tue-Sat : 10AM-4:30PM / Sun : 1:30-4:30PM; (Exc: Holidays);

      Displays American, Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian, and Spanish paintings, plus Russian icons. Frequent visiting exhibits. The world-class Putnam Foundation Collection is on permanent display featuring 600 years of European old master paintings, Russian icons and American art.


      San Diego Museum of Art
      1450 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
      619-232-7931; Gallery Website;
      Open : Tue-Sat : 10AM-5PM / Sun : Noon-5PM;

      The region’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum, provides a rich and diverse cultural experience for almost 250,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s nationally renowned permanent collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures.


      Mingei International Museum
      1439 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
      619-230-0003; Gallery Website;
      Open : Tue-Sun : 10AM-4PM

      This Museum has six spacious galleries featuring dynamic, changing exhibitions of folk art, craft and design. The Museum also houses a multi-media education center, a theater, visitor kiosks for collection overview, an Art Reference Library and The Collectors' Gallery, Mingei International's popular museum store.


      Museum of Photographic Arts
      1649 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
      619-238-7559; Gallery Website;
      Open : Tue-Sun : 10AM-4PM

      MoPA is one of three museums in the US dedicated exclusively to the collection and preservation of photography. Their mission to inspire, educate and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography, film and video. It expanded its gallery space in 2000 to include a classroom, a theater, a print viewing room and a 20,000-volume library.


      Balboa Park Spanish Village Spanish Village Art Glass Guilde

      Balboa Park is home to this group of nearly forty individual artist work studios where artisans demonstrate their talents in various mediums. A great place to shop for unique gift ideas. Specialties include enamal, wood-working, art-glass, gems and minerals, pottery and sculpture.

    * Balboa Park Sports Facilities *

    Play More - Pay Less

    Bass Pro Shops

      Morley Field was named after John Morley who served as a park superintendent in Balboa Park from 1911 to 1939.


      Morley Field Velodrome Morley Field Sports Complex
      2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, CA 92104;
      619-692-4919; City Park Website;

      Facilities include twelve tennis courts, a swimming pool, a senior center, a tiny tots play area, group picnic areas, an archery range, a multi purpose ball field, a velodrome (bicycle track), boccie courts, a disc golf course, a fitness parcourse, petanque courts, Balboa Park’s Municipal Golf Course, native trails located in Florida Canyon, Golden Hill Recreation Center and Golden Hill Park. Youth sprots include tennis, swimming, hiking, biking, seasonal youth sports such as flag football, baseball, softball and soccer.


      Balboa Park Golfing Balboa Park Municipal Golf Club
      Downtown San Diego Golf Course

      2600 Golf Course Drive, San Diego, CA 92101;
      619-239-1660; Course Website;
      18-hole Course - Par 72 : Championship Tees - 6,281 yds
      18-hole Course - Par 72 : Regular Tees - 5,835 yds
      18-hole Course - Par 72 : Red Tees - 5,368 yds
      9-hole Course - Par 32 : Regular Tees - 2,175 yds
      9-hole Course - Par 35 : Red Tees - 2,135 yds

      With beautiful views of the San Diego skyline and the Pacific Ocean, Balboa Park Golf Course is great golf venue for tourists and locals alike.

      Facilities include an 18-hole golf course and a 9-hole executive golf course, driving range, practice putting greens, coffee shop and half-way house. The Pro Shop offers golf merchandise for sale and the rental of clubs, hand and power golf carts. The Professional Golf instruction staff offers group and individual golf lessons.


      Morley Field Disc Golf Course
      3090 Pershing Drive, San Diego, CA 92104;
      619-692-3607; Course Website;
      Open Daily : Sunrise to Sunset;
      Course Fees : $3 Weekday / $4 Weekends;

      Morley Field was established by Snapper Pierson (course pro and Disc Golf Hall of Fame member) in 1978 making one of the original disc golf courses in the world. One of the famous course landmarks is the giant shoe tree.


        Western Regional SoCal Am Championship - Apr - Amateur Tournament
        The Southwestern Team Disc Golf Invitational - Dec - Amateur Tournament Course is open to the public for the remainder of the year.

      Balboa Park Activity Center Balboa Park Activity Center
      2145 Park Blvd., San Diego CA 92101;
      858-581-7100; Park Center Website;

      This multi-purpose gymnasium wasbuilt to accommodate badminton, table tennis, volleyball and other events, including regional, state and national tournaments. A variety of tournaments for people with disabilities are also held at the Balboa Park Activity Center. Also available are knitting & crochet classes, and fitness for fun programs.


      Municipal Gymnasium
      2111 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101; (619) 525-8262; Park Gym Website;
      Built for the 1935 Exposition as the "Palace of Electricity" and Varied Industries" the architecture reflects a close relationship between ancient Maya and 20th Century ornamentation and its progression. Today it hosts regular youth basketball and cheerleading programs and summer youth sports camps and open play adult basketball, leagues and tournaments.


      Balboa Stadium Sports Arena
      Location: Eastside of San Diego High School / Southwest corner of Balboa Park.

      The orginal stadium was built in Balboa Park in 1915, but leveled in 1979 because it did not meet earthquake standards. For many years it hosted the San Diego Chargers. Today's rebuilt stadium hosts high school and other community sports events.


      Bud Kearns Municipal Pool
      2229 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, CA 92101;
      619-692-4920; Pool Website;
      Location: Northeast Balboa Park / Upas St & Morley Field Dr;
      Main Pool: 22 yards long x 40 meters wide, 14 lanes;

      Large aquatics center open for public swimming, learn-to-swim, youth swim team, youth water polo, aquatic fitness programs.


      Balboa Tennis Club
      2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, CA 92104;
      619-295-4242; Club Website;
      Location: Northeast Section of Balboa Park near Upas St & Morley Field Dr;

      Possibly America's finest public tennis facility, the Balboa Tennis Club boasts 25 hard courts located in Balboa Park. Evening night lights, lessons, league and tournament play available.


      Redwood Bridge Club
      San Diego Bridge Academy

      3111 6th Avenue, San Diego CA 92103;
      619-298-5756; Club Website;

      We offer four duplicate games every week along with expert instruction. Enjoy electronic scoring using Bridgemates. For each board, not only are results for each pair recorded but also the deal, contracts and opening leads.


      San Diego Lawn Bowling Club
      Balboa Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
      619-238-5457; Club Website;

      Outdoor bowling games featuring opposing teams of 2,3 or 4 players. The game can get quite tricky because those "bowls" are not perfectly spherical.


      Nate's Point Dog Park
      2500 Balboa Drive, San Diego, CA 92103;
      619-325-5620; Club Website;

      Outdoor leash free park for humans and their canine friends. This place is very busy in the evenings and weekends. Located just west of the Cabrillo Bridge.


      Recreation Clubs:


        San Diego Chess Club - Sixth Ave
        San Diego Horseshoe Club

      Balboa Park Club Building
      2144 Pan American Road West San Diego, CA 92101
      619-235-1169;

      Located near Automotive Museum and Puppet Theater this facility hosts club activities:


      Children's Playgrounds:

      • Westside - Sixth Ave and Quince St
      • Fleet Center - Park Ave, just south of Rueben H Fleet Space Theater

      Trail System:
      Balboa Park has many miles of well marked trails for ease of use by walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and equestrians. The Bridle Trail runs along the west side of the freeway for most of the length of the park and is well shaded. The trail system crosses over the freeway at several points. Trail maps are found at either end of El Prado and elsewhere in the park.

      Leash Free Dog Park:
      A very well used dog exercise park and training ground is at the west of El Prado near Sixth Avenue.



        San Diego Hall of Champions - Sports and Recreation Museum.

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    BSA Outdoors Fieldbook

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    * Balboa Park Youth Camps *

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    Borrego Springs
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    Mormon Battalion
    - - - - -

      Currently Three Reputable Groups Operate Youth Camp Facilities at Balboa Park


      Boy Scouts of America
      BSA Camp Balboa

      1207 Upas Street, San Diego, CA 92103; 619-294-3807; Camp Website;

      The Headquarters of the San Diego-Imperial BSA Council is located on the northern edge of Balboa Park. They have facilities there for youth group camping, archery and bb-gun range, swimming pool, scout shop and crafts buildings.


      Girl Scouts of America
      GSA Camp Balboa

      1231 Upas St, San Diego CA 92103, 619-298-8391; Council Headquarters;

      The Balboa Campus and headquarters building has many craft facilities, archery range and adventure game zone.


      Camp CaHiTo
      Camp Fire USA San Diego

      3101 Balboa Drive San Diego, CA 92103;
      619-291-8985; Camp Website;

      Discover a 7.5 acre reserve in Balboa Park where campers enjoy activities ranging from archery, low ropes challenge courses, outdoor living skills, fire safety and building, nature crafts and much more.

      Camp CaHiTo has Traditional Day Camps running throughout the year for children ages 3 and up; with Spring Break Camp, Summer Camp, Thanksgiving Camp, and Winter Camp Programs.



      USS Midway CV-41 -
      San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum

      Located closeby to Balboa Park down at the Embarcadero is this famous ship which frequently hosts overnight youth group camping events. This museum features over 28 exhibits and access to many important areas of this great warship.

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    An outstanding resource for the local nature lover or tourist. It is an agreeable overview of animals and plants casual hikers and campers are likely to encounter.


    * Balboa Park Restaurants *

    Save on all the things you love to do!


      Prado Restaurant - House of Hospitality - located in the heart of Balboa Park amidst outdoor gardens and fine architecture - 619-239-0512 .
      Subway Sandwiches - Inside San Diego Naval Hospital - 619-696-0005.

      Japanese Friendship Garden Wedding Special Event Services


      Services and Special Event Sites inside Balboa Park

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    * Balboa Park History *

      Two major "World's Fairs" have added substantially to Balboa Park. First, in 1915 the park hosted the Pan-American Exposition. Then, in 1935 the park hosted the California Pacific Exposition. Most of the facilities and museum buildings date back to these grand events.

    Balboa Park San Diego California

    The ocean is a mighty harmonist. - William Wordsworth

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