The United Nations Building houses the United Nations Association of San Diego (UNA-SD), the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Classroom, and the International Gift Shop. In 1956, Eleanor Roosevelt requested that the San Diego City Council grant the newly formed UNA-SD the permanent use of the Park's U.N. Building for educational and administrative purposes.
Discover San Diego’s coveted secret for art lovers at Spanish Village Art Center. Located between the Zoo and theNAT these quaint buildings and colorful courtyard were originally built in 1935. They depicted a charming old village in Spain for the second California Pacific International Exposition. In 1937, the Village reopened as an art destination by a group of dedicated artists. During World War II the U.S. Army used the village for temporary barracks, and in 1947 it was reclaimed and restored by the artists.
The Photographic Arts Building is home to the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs and has a lecture hall, studios and galleries for members to work and display their work. The galleries are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the summer and Sunday afternoons the rest of the year. Photography clubs are open to photographers of any skill level for a nominal annual membership fee and provide a wide range of venues from sharing images to workshops and juried competition.
Housed in historic 1935 Exposition cottages, 34 groups promote multicultural goodwill and understanding through educational and cultural programs. Open Houses: noon-5:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, showcase the national traditions from many lands.
The Balboa Park Miniature Train is operated by the San Diego Zoo. The train pulls out of the station for 3-minute rides around a portion of Balboa Park. The train station is located outside the Zoo’s exit.
Located in Gold Gulch Canyon, many of the plants in the Australian Garden were a gift to the City of San Diego by the country of Australian for the United States Bicentennial in 1976.
Australian native plants grow well in San Diego because our climates have similar wet and dry seasons. Plants include Grevellia, Acacia, Callistemon, Banksia, Hakea, Stenocarpus, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, and Eucalyptus.
Currently largely undeveloped, future plans include improved trails, an interpretive kiosk, and brochure.
The 1910 Balboa Park Carousel, adjacent to the San Diego Zoo, is a menagerie of animals and all but two pairs are original with hand-carved European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride.
The San Diego Floral Association was founded 1907 and is the oldest garden club in Southern California. A founding member of the SDFA, was the world-famous botanist and local legend Kate Sessions.
Since 1962 the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation has been a gardening leadership organization and a home for member floral and garden groups in Balboa Park. Its members host floral exhibitions, classes, and educational programs free to the public. The Memorial Botanical Library is open to the public for research.
Modeled after Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, the Old Globe Theatre was built in 1935 for the presentation of abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays as part of the California Pacific International Exposition. At the conclusion of the exposition in 1937, a non-profit producing corporation, the San Diego Community Theatre, leased the theatre and adjacent buildings from the City of San Diego (an arrangement that continues today) and renovated the theatre for ongoing use.