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Park Information

Welcome to Balboa Park: the nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction.

The best way to start your time in Balboa Park is with a stop at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Located across from The Prado Restaurant in the House of Hospitality, the Visitors Center has the most current and comprehensive information about the Park’s activities and attractions. Open from 9:30am-4:30pm daily, the Visitors Center offers brochures, maps, audio tours, free guided tours of the Park, transportation information, dining advice, and more.

Need to know prices, hours, where to go with your kids? Ask the friendly staff and volunteers at the Visitors Center.

Lose your sweater or cell phone? They can help you with that, too.

Hours: The Balboa Park grounds are open 24 hours a day, the Visitors Center is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, and museum hours vary by institution.

Phone: (619) 239-0512

Address: 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, 92101

The Balboa Park Visitors Center is a program of the non-profit Balboa Park Central (a public benefit 501(c)3 corporation).

Gift Shop

Inside the Visitors Center, find a charming gift shop with a variety of gifts, handmade creations by Park artists, Balboa Park logo-ware, books, videos, CDs, and more. The Visitors Center also runs the BalboaPark.org gift shop carrying books, maps and guides to help you prepare for your upcoming visit, as well as souvenirs to remember a recent trip.

Balboa Park Conservancy 

The nonprofit Balboa Park Conservancy operates the Visitors Center. In addition to the Visitors Center, this nonprofit promotes Balboa Park through its parkwide programs: Balboa Park Marketing, and the website, BalboaPark.org. Balboa Park Conservancy is also responsible for the National Historic Landmark House of Hospitality building that houses the Balboa Park Visitors Center, a police storefront, offices of cultural and educational organizations, and The Prado Restaurant at Balboa Park.

Admissions Information

Most of the cultural attractions in Balboa Park are independently managed non-profit organizations. The admission prices vary by institution-with museum and performing arts memberships offering a chance to support these San Diego cultural treasures as well as gain special admission to them. Admittance to the Park itself is free, as is the Botanical Building and most of the gardens.

Residents Free Tuesday

As a public service, Park organizations offer free admission on a rotating basis on the first four Tuesdays of the month to San Diego City & County residents, active military & their families.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Visitors Center is looking for volunteers who have lived in San Diego for several years and love Balboa Park. Must be able to volunteer during the center’s operating hours, 9:30-4:30pm. Email Susy for a volunteer application: visitor@balboapark.org.

Employment Opportunities

At cultural organizations: Each cultural attraction is a separate organization with its own hiring policies and position openings. Please go to individual cultural attractions' websites for information about job and volunteer openings. Job announcements are also posted on the Balboa Park Beat blog.

With the City of San Diego: As a City park, Balboa Park hires through the City of San Diego's Personnel Department. Job listings and applications are available at the City of San Diego Employment Information Center, located on the first floor of the City Administration Building, 202 C Street, San Diego, CA 92101. City of San Diego Job Line (619) 682-1011.