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Kids Science Museum San Diego

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Childrens Discovery Museum Hosts ‘Science & Engineering Night’

Location: Balboa ParkAddress: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Another gem in Balboa Park, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a must-see for families with kids who are obsessed with trains.

There are over 27,000 square feet of amazingly detailed model train layouts complete with full towns and farms, tiny carnivals, and more making this the biggest scale Model Railroad Museum in the whole United States.

At-home resources: Theres no better place to learn about how to build a model railroad. Theyve designed a virtual program for families who are up for the task, in addition to online crafts and videos.

Best San Diego Museums For Kids

Sunny San Diego is a family-friendly vacation destination where kidsand their parents can enjoy year-round activities and attractions. The citys world-class museums educate and entertain with hands-on exhibits, special events, and opportunities for family fun. Hereare a few of the most kid-friendly museums in San Diego. Most can be visited ata discount.

Maritime Museum Of San Diego

Location: Downtown San DiegoAddress:1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Youll find one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels at this museum, which is worth adding to your itinerary if youre looking for things to do in San Diego with teens.

The collection includes fascinating exhibits showcasing maritime history, the fishing industry, and war on the seas, along with real frigates, swift boats, steam-powered vessels, and submarines.

There are even opportunities to ride aboard some of the museums ships through special tours a one of a kind experience. And its really neat to walk through the B-39 Soviet submarine .

Tip: See the and the USS Midway Museum on the same day as theyre only a short walk from each other.

At-home resources: Free videos and virtual lesson plans catered to grades 3-5 are available that focus on Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and the discovery of California.

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How To Get Ready For Your Experience At The Fleet

  • Ghostbusters have nothing on us! Increased frequency of sanitization with our hospital-grade Protexus Electrostatic Disinfecting Sprayers.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged while inside the building for all visitors ages 2 and older. If visitors do not have facial coverings, we can provide one.
  • Seek and you shall find! Some exhibits may be set up in different areas to provide more space for exploration.
  • The city that never sleeps is back! Kid City is open for our 5 and under friends.
  • Reduce time standing in line, get your tickets online. While reservations are not required, you can bypass the ticket counter if you get your admissions online. Purchase your tickets now!
  • Treat yourself! Our Craveology Café and North Star Science Store processes have been updated in compliance with County Public Health Restaurant and Retail guidelines.

Learn more about our Health & Safety Guidelines.

Reuben H Fleet Science Center

museum

The Fleet Science Center has over one hundred hands-on exhibits for curious kids and their parents. Kid City was designed for children up to five years of age and features a block corner for budding architects, the Little Learners Lab and its Young Explorer computer stations, a Fire Truck exhibit that teaches street safety, and the colorful and exciting Ball Wall that demonstrates the properties of physics.

Older kids will gravitate to the Studio X maker space where they can participate in regularly scheduled workshops orcreate something on their own using the studios tools and materials. The wholefamily will enjoy viewing IMAX films on the 76-foot wraparound movie screen inthe Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. The Fleet Science Center is in Balboa Park at 1875 El Prado.

Recommended Reading: St Louis Car Museum Inventory

Whats New In Our Exhibit Galleries

Travel the world with the Fleet Science Center in Going Places. Through engaging interactives, explore how different modes of transportation have shaped society. Plus, all of your favorite experiences, including Kid City, Studio X, Illusions Gallery and our VR Transporter, are open with additional cleaning and with more space for a safe exploration.

Experiment With Fun At The Fleet

At the Fleet Science Center, you can touch a tornado, explore electricity, discover the wonders of the universe and more! This hands-on science center is the most-visited museum in beautiful Balboa Park. Kids Free San Diego admission includes access to all of the Fleets interactive exhibits and one documentary film in Southern California’s only Giant Dome Theater. Studio X is a makerspace where you can bring exciting creations to life. Kid City is a town just for tykes under age 5. Dozens of other exhibits offer interactive fun for all ages.

Important information: The offer allows one child to get FREE admission with one full-price paid adult. Coupons must be presented at the ticket counter and cannot be combined with other offers. Children must be accompanied by an adult during the visit.

Please note: Purchase of a Balboa Park Explorer Pass does not qualify as a paid adult admission for the Kids Free in October program. Purchase of a Go San Diego Pass or card does not qualify as a paid adult admission for the Kids Free in October program.

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Museum Month In February

Youll need to pick up a pass at participating libraries or Hilton Hotels in San Diego that will grant you half-off admission to over 40 museums. The details are usually released in January.

What are your favorite childrens museums in San Diego?

See also: 60+ Free Things to Do in San Diego

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly .

Living Coast Discovery Center

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum reopens to the public after 14 months

Location: Chula VistaAddress: 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a museum that I feel is often overlooked. Its located in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge about 15 minutes south of Downtown.

Theyre a zoo, aquarium, and museum all wrapped into one that teaches kids about the local flora and fauna in our coastal environment and why its important to care for it.

You can get up-close with raptors and rays in the exhibits and by booking animal encounters. I also recommend walking the trails around the museum for pretty bay views and to spot plenty of local birds.

At-home resources: Virtual programming includes online animal encounters for birthdays, classrooms, and every day fun. You can also download coloring sheets, get craft ideas, watch wildlife webinars and more.

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San Diego Natural History Museum

Location: Balboa ParkAddress: 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Known to locals as the NAT, this is one of the best museums in San Diego and a favorite of local and visiting kids.

Whats so great about this museum is that children of all ages will get something out of it. Weve been visiting through my daughters entire life. I can tell you first-hand that you can enjoy and learn something new with each visit.

We love saying hello to Al , completing the scavenger hunts in Fossil Mysteries, watching the Foucault Pendulum swing, and learning about Southern Californias unique habitats.

Ive actually had a chance to go behind the scenes at theNAT to see some of the over 8 million specimens in their collection and to find out more about how scientists design the museums exhibits. Its fascinating yet important work they do for our community.

See also: Local Kids Guide to the San Diego Natural History Museum

Tip: Its tempting to visit the Balboa Park museums and San Diego Zoo on the same day because theyre next door to each other. Split the visits into two days, if you can, because its otherwise a long day for small kids .

At-home resources: theNAT has always offered a robust list of activities for families to be citizen scientists outside of the museum. Check for ways to find nature in your backyard, learn about our region, find lesson plans, and find activities at home.

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The San Diego Museum Council maintains a Kids Free Fun Guide with options throughout the county, along with coupons for other bonuses.

Participants include multiple Balboa Park attractions, among them, the Fleet Science Center and the Comic-Con Museum, along with the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Mission San Luis Rey and the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Kids also get to eat and play for free with dozens of deals on activities, attractions, restaurants and more. SanDiego.org lists the options, including SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland and whale watching.

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Birch Aquarium At Scripps

Location: La JollaAddress: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Birch Aquarium at Scripps showcases the research of the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego through over 60 aquarium habitats, hands-on exhibits, an outdoor playground, and even a touch tide pool.

Go for a raised awareness of how our actions impact the environment, marvel at the over 3000 sea animals in residence, and learn about some of the equipment scientists use at sea.

Its a must for any budding oceanographer. Dont forget your camera as views from Tide Pool Plaza over La Jolla Shores Beach are breathtaking.

At-home resources: Birch Aquariums opportunities for virtual learning are far too long to list but check out its after school programs, virtual camps, educational crafts, or even watch the fish swim around thanks to the Kelp Cam.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Kid Museum Fun for Spring Break

Location: Balboa ParkAddress: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

This museum in Balboa Park isnt one of the childrens museums of San Diego, but it is absolutely child-friendly.

In addition to the original and full-size replica aircraft and spacecraft in the San Diego Air & Space Museum like the actual Apollo 9 Command Module there are also flight simulators and a lot of hands-on interactive displays designed with younger visitors in mind.

You could easily spend hours here especially if you decide to catch a movie in the 3D/4D Zable Theater.

At-home resources: Check out Air & Space at Your Place. The four week themed programs cover topics like rockets, time machines, and astronauts. They are geared toward grades 2-5. The Zoom sessions meet for one hour per week.

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Free Museums For Kids In October

SAN DIEGO All October, kids 12 and under will be able to get into 50+ museums across San Diego County for free.

This is part of the annual “Kids Free San Diego” promotion, which also applies to various hotels, attractions and restaurants.

Here are 10 of the participating museums, and what you have to do to claim the discount:

The New Childrens Museum

Location: Downtown San DiegoAddress: 200 W Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

If youre starting to see a pattern of great kid-friendly museums giving children lots of opportunities to learn through creative play, youre right.

The New Childrens Museum is another one of the best museums in San Diego for kids because it makes learning and sharpening critical thinking skills so much fun. This museum is known for its ever-changing exhibits.

Theres a room filled with mattresses where kids can jump and crawl as much as they want, the Sketch Aquarium where fish you draw on paper come alive in a huge digital aquarium, and even the art on display can be touched and played with.

Tip: This San Diego museum is located near many of the downtown San Diego hotels. If you stay in this popular part of town, its easy to include this childrens museum on a busy itinerary.

At-home resources: Virtual art experiences detail what the exhibits are about so that you can appreciate them even more when they reopen. They also offer online educator resources, online craft tutorials, and other downloads.

Also Check: Metropolitan Museum Of Art Catalogue Online

Beginning Saturday Kids Get In Free At More Than 50 San Diego County Museums

Beginning Saturday, children will get in free at dozens of San Diego County museums and attractions during the month of October.

Hosted by the San Diego Museum Council and San Diego Tourism Authority, the Kids Free San Diego program includes free admission for children 12 and under at more than 50 locations.

Last year, 30,000 children and 17,000 adults participated in the Kids Free program. As the pandemic wanes and new museums are participating this year, attendance is expected to grow. The goal of Kids Free San Diego is to remove the barrier of cost for low-income residents. The program also supports museum admissions during a traditionally slow time for tourism.

With so much to see and do, San Diego is always a kids paradise, said Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Museum Council, in a statement. But in October, it gets even better with kids free.”

Among this year’s participating museums are the recently reopened Mingei International Museum and the newly opened Comic-Con Museum, which is featuring “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing The Exhibition.” Also participating are the Fleet Science Center, the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Museum of Making Music, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Museum of Us, New Children’s Museum, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Botanic Garden, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, San Diego Model Railroad Museum and San Diego Natural History Museum.

San Diego Childrens Discovery Museum

Teaching San Diego’s kids all about science and engineering at Petco Park

Location: EscondidoAddress: 320 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025

This is one of the best museums in San Diego for families with young children for two reasons. First, its inexpensive so you can go a lot. And second, its hands-on in a way many museums are not.

Learning here is definitely rooted in play, and kids are encouraged to touch, imagine, explore, and experiment to learn more about the natural world, science, math, engineering, art, and history.

Children from the toddler years through grade school just love it.

At-home resources: This kids museum strives to provide families with something do to every day, whether its story time via Facebook live, how-to videos, or daily STREAM activities posted on their blog.

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Best Museums In San Diego For Kids

There are museums in San Diego for every interest, whether you have a passion for history, art, or nature. Most of them are family-friendly, but some really go above and beyond when it comes to exhibits and programming for children.

In this post, Ill share some of my favorite childrens museums in San Diego County that blend education with fun. The options include some traditional museums, as well as some hands-on discovery spaces specifically for younger learners.

Please check each museums calendar for opening hours and information before you go in todays changing world. Right now, all museums on this list are temporarily closed but they do have some pretty amazing virtual programming for kids, classrooms, scout programs, and even adults.

For when the time comes, hopefully, my suggestions will make your next family vacation to San Diego an amazing experience for the teens, tweens, kids, and toddlers in your crew.

You can save on tickets, tours, and hotels through my affiliations. If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated.

Free Admission For Kids To 100+ San Diego Attractions Museums In October

Splash Zoo Waterpark / Legoland

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos as we welcome fall? We’ve got some suggestions and even better – they’re free!

Kids Free San Diego offers free admission to 100+ San Diego-area attractions and museums for kids 12 and under for the entire month of October.

So if your kid wants to learn about anything from history and science to nature and wildlife, there’s something worth exploring. From the hands-on Fleet Science Center and the Museum of Photographic Arts, to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, which boasts the nations largest indoor model railroad exhibit, there’s surely something for everyone.

Not only do kiddos get free admission, but some attractions even offer meals on the house and other perks like hotel stay discounts.

Keep in mind that exact ages included in the promotion may vary for each attraction check website for details before you go.

Free admission is available for up to two kids for every adult ticket purchased, according to organizers. You cn download a Kids Free coupon for each venue you would like to visit at , and then present it at the participating museums admission desk to receive the no-cost passes.

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Hosted By The San Diego Museum Council And San Diego Tourism Authority Project Aims To Lower Barriers For Admission To Low

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Beginning Saturday, children will get in free at dozens of San Diego County museums and attractions during the month of October.

Hosted by the San Diego Museum Council and San Diego Tourism Authority, the Kids Free San Diego program includes free admission for children 12 and under at more than 50 locations.

Last year, 30,000 children and 17,000 adults participated in the Kids Free program. As the pandemic wanes and new museums are participating this year, attendance is expected to grow. The goal of Kids Free San Diego is to remove the barrier of cost for low-income residents. The program also supports museum admissions during a traditionally slow time for tourism.

With so much to see and do, San Diego is always a kids paradise, said Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Museum Council, in a statement. But in October, it gets even better with kids free.

Among this years participating museums are the recently reopened Mingei International Museum and the newly opened Comic-Con Museum, which is featuring Marvels Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing The Exhibition. Also participating are the Fleet Science Center, the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Museum of Making Music, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Museum of Us, New Childrens Museum, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Botanic Garden, San Diego Childrens Discovery Museum, San Diego Model Railroad Museum and San Diego Natural History Museum.

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