At the midpoint of the summer season, I’m already hearing many of my bipedal friends have crossed everything off their staycation “To Do” list. How is that even possible? Don’t they read my blog?
In the interests of resuscitating everyone’s summer, here’s my short list of things to do on a limited budget:
1. Visit 5 museums of your choice with a Stay-for-the-Day Pass ($35).
2. Take your best four-legged friend(s) to one of three dog parks (free).
3. Explore the Park’s historic grounds at your own pace with an equally dog-friendly Walking Audio Tour ($5).
4. Discover the wonders of trees—glorious trees!—during a Saturday morning Offshoot Tour (free).
5. Pack your pack and a picnic basket and dine al fido in one of the Park’s many picnic areas (free).
6. Bask in sunny outdoor organ concerts every Sunday afternoon (free).
7. Or, hear talents from around the world at the International Summer Organ Festival each Monday evening through August 29 (free).
8. Take your pooch on another guided tour—this one of the Park’s architectural wonders (free).
9. Visit a selection of your favorite museums each Tuesday for free (county residents only).
10. Get within sniffing distance of everything from spectacular orchids to carnivorous plants in the Botanical Building.
11. Take your children off-leash in one of the many playground areas (free).
12. Rock out to everything from Rockabilly to Rachmaninoff at a Twilight in the Park concert, through August 25 (free).
13. Find out what’s fishy at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre ($5/$3).
14. Eat your way through 32 different cultures at the International Cottages’ Sunday Lawn Programs (free/nominal charge for food).
15. Blaze new trails as part of the Park’s recently designed marked trail system (free).
16. Rediscover your inner puppy by riding the Balboa Park Carousel and Miniature Railroad (prices vary).
17. See the stars under the stars at the Screen on the Green outdoor film fest (free).
18. Cool off while practicing your dog paddling technique at the Bud Kearns Memorial Swimming Pool ($4/$2).
19. Stop and smell the roses in the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden (free).
20. Experience a garden of otherworldly delights in the Desert Garden (free).