Current weather

San Diego, CA
Few clouds
57.2 °F

Park-Wide Science Family Day

Feb 08, 2011
Public Information: 

Media Contact:

Debbie Petruzzelli
For Immediate Release:
Kick-off to San Diego Science Festival 2011

San Diego—Learning science is rarely as much fun as when over 20 Balboa Park institutions put their heads together to present a Science Family Day. Taking place on Saturday, March 19, the park-wide Family Day kicks off the weeklong San Diego Science Festival 2011, as various museums and cultural institutions feature science-related hands-on activities and special programs for kids of all ages.

Children 17 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult admission at participating museums. In addition, a free drawing at the Balboa Park Visitors Center will give away, among other items, a Family 4-Park of Balboa Park Passports, tickets to Frog & Toad and Hairspray at the San Diego Junior Theatre, Old Town Trolley/Seal Tour tickets, and a Kill-a-Watt unit from SDG&E, who will be on hand with energy-efficiency tips and information about their smart meter installation efforts.

From March 19 to 26, San Diego Science Festival 2011 will present programs throughout the county, culminating in the free Science Expo at PETCO Park on March 26,which will feature more than 135 hands-on exhibits and 12 stage performances. The event will take place from 10:00am until 5:00pm. For a complete schedule, visit

All  Balboa Park Science Family Day activities take place on March 19 from 11:00am to 3:00pm unless otherwise noted in the schedule below. For updates, visit

Balboa Park Family Day Activities/Offers:

Children 17 and under are free with paid adult all day unless otherwise noted.

Japanese Friendship Garden—Celebrate the onset of spring at the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Diego’s largest cherry tree grove. Enjoy delicious Japanese food, arts and crafts, children’s activities, entertainment, and cultural demonstrations. Activities and free admission for children offered all day.

Mingei—Learn the art of paper-making.  

Museum of Man—As part of a “Bones and Culture” Family Day, make a calavera (Spanish for skull) mask; see and handle a variety of real bones; learn how bones can reveal an individual’s age, sex, and health; and discover how various cultures modify the bones of living humans.

Museum of Photographic Arts—Walk into an oversized (9 x 7 foot) camera obscura, a device that led to the invention of photography, in front of the museum.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center—Visit the Fleet’s newest exhibition Cellular Journey and participate in hands-on cell explorations. In addition, see the newly released IMAX® film Tornado Alley and win prizes in the “Tornado Trivia” contest. Preschoolers can also enjoy activities in the newly remodeled Kid City exhibition. Free gallery admission for all ages and $8.50 IMAX admission for all ages all day.

San Diego Air & Space Museum—As part of the Paper Airplane Festival, fold many different types of space-themed paper airplanes and then enter them in competitions. Children 17 and under are free with paid adult; adult discount coupons available on website, does not include admission to SPACE: A Journey to Our Future. Discounted opportunities for children and adults to see SPACE will be available that day to festival attendees. Please ask at the admissions desk for more information.

San Diego Automotive Museum—Build cars using LEGOs® and tiny motors.

San Diego Floral Association—A special “Butterflies in the Zoro Garden” event includes butterfly crafts for younger kids, butterfly face painting, and a butterfly release at 1:00pm. Free admission for everyone all day.

San Diego Hall of ChampionsFree admission for everyone all day.

San Diego Historical Society—A mock archaeological dig will show visitors how historians learn about the past.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum—Learn how a steam engine functions and make a paper-based steam engine.

San Diego Museum of Art—Special science-themed activities in the IMAGE Gallery include making your own optical illusion with art materials (11am–1pm) and exploring how colors interact and blend as you make your own colorful sculpture (1pm–3pm). 

San Diego Natural History Museum—Delve into the lives of the diverse creatures known as squamates in the exhibition Lizards & Snakes: Alive! Experience the energy it takes to shed your own skin and catch food with a 12-inch tongue, talk to the experts, get up close and personal with a live squamate, and make a craft to take home. Admission includes entry to the 3-D theater films.

San Diego Youth Symphony—Listen to free open rehearsals (classical favorites) from 8:30am to 6:45pm in Room 207 of the Casa del Prado.

Spanish Village—Spanish Village artists will demonstrate how science is used to alter or enhance different art forms. Some hands-on experiences will be available to children.

Free admission for everyone all day.

Timken Museum of Art—Storytelling at 11am by Harlynne Geisler, titled “Fairy Tales, Science Experiments and Painting. It’s All about Flowers!" will show children (ages 5 and up) how to identify the blooms in a particular French painting and let them take home some very special gardening gloves. Admission is free for everyone all day. No reservations required.

UNA International Gift Shop—Choose one free flag from a wide variety of countries (while supplies last).

Booths outside the Visitors Center:

Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC)—Information on Balboa Park’s new iPhone app and the Giskin Anomaly cell phone game.

Metropolitan Transit Systems (MTS)—Punch out cardboard buses and trolleys, Lorax (Dr. Seuss) bookmarks while supplies last, EPA workbook/coloring books and other fun items for kids. Also, MTS route and schedule information.

Port of San Diego—Information on Hornblower Cruises and the Midway and Maritime Museums.

San Diego Junior Theatre—Information on programs and upcoming performances

San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra—Information on programs and upcoming performances.

San Diego Zoo—Highlighting San Diego’s native biodiversity, kids will have the opportunity to decorate a pot, plant a seed from a plant native to San Diego, and learn how to transplant it in their own yards. The Zoo will not be offering discounted admission.

SDG&E—Smart Meter display and demonstration of how to use Google PowerMeter to monitor hourly energy usage and tips on reducing energy consumption. Also, fill out a card to have a free Energy Kit mailed to your home (one per family).

XEWT Channel 12, Club Infantil and El Trompo, Museo Interactivo Tijuana—station mascots, Tebeo and Trompobot, will present cool experiments for kids young and old.