Balboa Park Visitors Center & Gift Shop

The best way to start your time in Balboa Park is with a stop at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the Visitors Center Information Desk is now located in the Plaza de Panama, right outside of the House of Hospitality. Volunteers are posted here, wearing masks and physically-distanced to provide a safe experience for all visitors. These trained team members have the most current and comprehensive information about the Park’s activities and attractions. Inside, the Visitors Center Gift Shop is open and provides guest amenities, as well as unique park and regional souvenirs, clothing and gifts. The Visitors Center and House of Hospitality is OPEN for all guests, following safe reopening guidelines. The Visitor's Center is open from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm daily, and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day.  The Visitors Center offers an ATM, postcards, stamps, 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.  

Have you lost your sweater or cell phone? They can help you with that, too.  Come in or call to inquire about lost and found items.

The Balboa Park Visitors Center is a program of the non-profit Balboa Park Conservancy (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. 

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 park-wide programs.  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.

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 am - 5:00 pm. Please email Radka Bartholomew for a volunteer application: [email protected]

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.


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Want to know how to plan your day?  Or how to find a location?  Or find the perfect souvenir from your visit?  The Visitors Center staff is there to help.