The Art of Summer in Balboa Park

The perfect summer is creative, fun, and full of wonder. With blooming flowers, extended museum hours, evening concerts, summer camps, food trucks, and more, summer sizzles in Balboa Park.  Now through September 2, discover exhibitions, events, and activities happening across the Park that will have you coming back all summer long.

Don’t miss Friday nights in Balboa Park! Food Trucks take over El Prado and many of your favorite museums are open late - including the Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and The San Diego Museum of Art - for a night of games, hands-on creative projects, live entertainment, and of course a rotating assortment of food truck cuisine!


Buy a Balboa Park Explorer Pass if you intend to visit multiple museums. Not only will you save money over individual admission costs, your purchase directly supports the museums you visit.

Use the Balboa Park Calendar to discover more exhibitions, events, and activities during your visit.

Art of Summer Calendar Button


There is a surprising variety of food and drink available in Balboa Park, from meals by acclaimed chefs at The Prado to a quick espresso at the Café Mingei.


Craveology, Fleet Science Center

The Flying Squirrel Café, San Diego Natural History Museum

World Beat Café, World Beat Center (Vegan/vegetarian only)

Café in the Park, Casa de Balboa

Panama 66 The San Diego Museum of Art

Lady Carolyn’s Pub, Old Globe Theatre

Tea Pavilion, Japanese Friendship Garden

Flight Path Grill, San Diego Air & Space Museum (Sat and Sun only)

San Diego Zoo, various food stands

House of Pacific Relations, only during some international lawn programs (see Schedule)

Food Truck Fridays, along El Prado (Friday evenings only)


The Prado, House of Hospitality

Panama 66, , The San Diego Museum of Art

Albert’s Restaurant, San Diego Zoo

Tobey’s 19th Hole Café, Balboa Park Golf Course


Café Mingei, San Diego Art Institute

Daniel's Coffee Cart, Spanish Village Arts Center

Prado Perk, House of Hospitality

Balboa Park Visitors Center, House of Hospitality


Take home a piece of Balboa Park! Many of the museums and attractions offer incredible one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs. Locations with shopping include the following:

Balboa Park Visitors Center

United Nations Building Gift Shop, International Cottages

North Star Science Store Fleet Science Center

Balboa Park Visitors Center

Museum of Photographic Arts

San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Art Institute

Balboa Park Visitors Center

San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego History Center

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Zoo

Spanish Village Art Center


Go green! Balboa Park is located just north of downtown San Diego and is accessible by public transportation as well as by walking and biking from many of the nearby historic neighborhoods. You can also take the Old Town Trolley from various locations around San Diego and hop off at Balboa Park for the day. With on-and-off privileges, the trolley makes a convenient option if your schedule is flexible.


Ride sharing services are also highly recommended due to limited parking access.


The main parking lot for Balboa Park is at Inspiration Point (on the east side of Park Boulevard, at the intersection of President's Way). A free tram provides access to Balboa Park's museums and attractions and runs daily from 9 am to 6 pm, with summer hours extending from 9 am to 8 pm. Trams pick up every 8-10 minutes (at peak times, 20-40 minutes). The tram stops at two additional parking lots and loops around the park, taking visitors within a short walk to most of the popular destinations.

Additional parking is available in front of the San Diego Zoo, and at several smaller lots throughout the Park, including at the end of President's Way and behind Spreckels Organ Pavilion; be aware that these smaller lots fill up quickly each day.