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Balboa Park Holiday Hours: What’s Open When?

Cosmos Blog, Balboa Park, Museum Holiday Hours 2011, California Tower, Alcazar Garden, Richard Benton photoWhen it comes to holiday hours, Balboa Park’s museums are like that cute little puppy some will welcome into their homes on Christmas morning: they each have a mind of their own.

Though it doesn’t look like the weather will be too frightful this holiday weekend, preventing my two-legged readers from enjoying Balboa Park’s many outdoor amenities, I know many will want to bring their guests to some of the Park’s indoor cultural attractions.

Though it’s best to check each museum’s page on this site before coming to the Park, here are the holiday hours in a nutshell for most (but not all) of the major attractions.

December 24 (Christmas Eve):

Only the Botanical Building will be completely closed all day. However, while some museums will stick to their regular hours, most will close early including: the Zoo (4:30pm), Museum of Man (3pm), Natural History (3pm), Fleet Science Center (6pm), History Center (3pm), MoPA (3pm), Automotive Museum (1:30pm), Air & Space Museum (2pm). Visitors Center closes at 3:30pm.

December 25 (Christmas Day)

Basically everything will be closed, including the Visitors Center, except the Zoo (open until 8pm) and the Fleet Science Center (11:30am-5pm). There will also be a free concert in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at 2pm.

December 26

Pretty much regular hours for everyone except the Museum of Art and Model Railroad Museum, which are normally closed on Mondays and will be open.

December 31 (New Year’s Eve)

Like December 24, the Botanical Building is closed all day while some museums are on a regular schedule and others will close early. Closing early are Natural History (3pm), History Center (3pm), MoPA (3pm), Automotive Museum (1:30pm), and Air & Space Museum (2pm).

January 1 (New Year’s Day)

Here is where it really gets tricky as some museums will be closed, others open, and still others will have different hours:

Closed: Botanical Building, Visitors Center, Mingei, Museum of Art, History Center, Air & Space Museum, Japanese Friendship Garden, and Timken Museum of Art.

Open (regular hours unless otherwise noted): Zoo (8pm), Museum of Man, Natural History, Fleet Science Center (7pm), MoPA (3pm), Automotive Museum.

If you are still having trouble keeping this all straight, just remember the dog parks remain open every day, regular hours, over the holidays.

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