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.
John D. and Adolph Spreckels donated the Spreckels Organ, to the City of San Diego in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. This unique organ contains more than 5,000 pipes ranging in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet and is the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world. The Spreckels Organ is housed in an ornate vaulted structure with highly embellished gables. Since 1917, San Diego has had a civic organist, who performs free weekly Sunday concerts.
The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) is the 6th oldest continuously operating youth symphony in the United States, and serves over 600 students annually in ten ensembles from its home in Balboa Park. Skill levels range from beginner to pre-professional, with participating students ages 8 to 25.
Established in 1948, San Diego Junior Theatre is the oldest youth theatre program in the United States. It boasts high-quality productions throughout the year and offers numerous educational and community programs, including classes in drama, voice, dance, and theatre production for children age three to eighteen.
Junior Theatre offers a memorable theatrical experience for audiences of all ages by providing engaging, innovative and high-quality theatre education and productions to enhance the lives of children of all ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities and levels of interest
Located in the Federal Building, (formerly the San Diego Hall of Champions), the Home Plate Sports Café offers a wide variety of choices, including deli sandwiches, freshly grilled burgers, grilled panini, delicious salads and wraps. Beer, wine, and specialty coffee drinks are available to sip, while watching the latest games and sports stories on one of the large screen televisions, and then finish your meal with a scrumptious bowl of gelato,.
Open daily, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Founded in 1945, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet has been the resident classical ballet school in Balboa Park for over 70 years - offering affordable, year-round, high-quality classes and productions for dancers ages 4 to adult in the beautiful Casa del Prado. Due to SDCYB’s thriving Outreach Program, ballet classes are available to over 600 students in San Diego area public schools as well. The mission of SDCYB is to provide the youth of San Diego with an opportunity to study, understand and appreciate, through education and participation, the art of ballet, and to enrich the cultural life