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
The Flying Squirrel has landed. The San Diego Natural History Museum’s new café serves brewed-to-order espresso drinks, fresh juices, wine, craft beer, and California casual fare, including salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pastries, and more. Enjoy ample seating in air-conditioned comfort in the Museum’s four-story, sky-lit atrium.
Open during regular operating hours, 10 AM–5 PM daily, and open until 8 PM on Fridays in the summer. Café entrance is on the north side of the building by the giant fig tree. Glide in for a bite!
Founded in 1948, the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater is the longest continuous running puppet theater in the United States. Puppet performances are presented throughout the year by a variety of troupes. The theater presents approximately 45 shows a year, with different shows each week: 12 shows a week during the winter and 15 shows a week during the summer.
Founded in 1942, the Civic Dance Arts Program of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department has introduced hundreds of thousands of citizens to the art form of dance. High quality classes are offered at 22 city recreation centers and Balboa Park facilities at affordable prices (and in some instances with fees waived), enabling children and adults from all economic and cultural backgrounds full participation in the study of dance.
The real world: it sure can be real interesting. Explore the natural history of Southern California—from past to present—at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT). From rattlesnakes and flesh-eating beetles, to dinosaurs and fossils, to a pendulum that proves the earth is spinning, there’s something for everyone at theNAT. Visitors will be impressed by the unique, interactive exhibitions that span across five floors. The museum features a giant-screen theater with daily showings of 2D and 3D films, as well as rotating exhibitions that bring nature to life.
The classic 1905 Marston House was built for noted civic leader and merchant, George W. Marston, known as the “Father of Balboa Park,” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by renowned local architects William Hebbard and Irving Gill, it sits on five acres of landscaped English and California influenced gardens. Multiple walking tours of surrounding historic neighborhoods start from this location as well. Group tours are especially popular and it is one of the top wedding sites in the region.
At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet—and beyond—in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet hosts school field trips, science workshops and educational camps. For adults, we offer events like Fleet Night of Science and community events, such as Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar.
The History Center presents dynamic, engaging exhibitions highlighting what makes San Diego unique and the region’s emerging role in the 21st century. We serve as a lifelong learning center for all members of our community, providing outstanding educational programs for school children and popular programs for families and adults. The Research Library serves residents, scholars, students and researchers onsite and online. With its rich historical content, archived material and online photo gallery, our website is visited by more than 1,500 distinct visitors daily.
At 28,000 square feet, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is the world's largest operating model railroad museum. This unique museum contains four enormous scale and model layouts, built by separate clubs, which depict railroads of the Southwest in O, HO, and N scales. In addition, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum features a Toy Train Gallery with an interactive Lionel layout for children and state-of-the-art theater lighting.
Dedicated to ‘art of the people’ (mingei) from all eras and cultures of the world, Mingei International Museum shares arts of daily life through dynamic, changing exhibitions of historical and contemporary folk art, craft and design. Mingei’s superb collections and stunning exhibitions showcase the finest examples of creative expression from unknown craftsmen to renowned contemporary designers. Mingei celebrates the “every-day-ness” of art—the belief that everyday objects and materials that often serve a useful purpose can also be objects of great beauty.