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Children’s Museum

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san diego childrens museum

The Children’s Museum is an environmentally sustainable building that provides a dynamic, playful public space and community center for children and families – a place to experience exciting art exhibitions, hands-on studio projects, performances, birthday parties, in-depth classes, camps and educational programs. Across the street from the new building is a beautiful park, extending the museum visit outdoors with space for running, climbing, family picnics and a view of the trains and trolleys going by.

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San Diego is an all-year destination. This southern Californian gem sits on the edge of the Pacific and less than fifty miles from the Mexican border. Set to a backdrop of ocean waves, rolling hills and mountain peaks, San Diego offers visitors fun in the sun and easy access to the slopes. Although the weather is one of the biggest draws to America’s finest city, once visitors arrive, they find themselves enthralled with all sorts of things available to do. Educators, dreamers, learners and those with young travelers among them can find all sorts of magic within the city’s offerings. Whether you’re a youthful explorer or one who’s young at heart, San Diego has something for you.

The museums of San Diego are only some of the many things that set this city apart from other southern Californian destinations. For a heavy discount, the Balboa Park Explorer Pass can provide access to five or seventeen of the park’s museums either daily or annually. Whether you’re spending your time museum hopping through Balboa Park, downtown San Diego or the surrounding suburbs, you’re bound to experience learning enjoyment and find that non-traditional educational experience every which way you look. The New Children’s Museum is located in downtown San Diego. With parking available and only a short walk from the Old Town Trolley stop, a trip to this museum will provide both indoor and outdoor educational entertainment for the entire family.


The New Children’s Museum is filled with exciting finds, intriguing exhibits, and meaningful activities for all ages. In order to enable an entire new generation to experience art through their own eyes, leading artists create specifically designed and commissioned pieces of art for all museum guests to enjoy. Since reopening less than a decade ago, the museum’s focus has been on inviting guests to ‘think, play and create.’ The staff and artists pride themselves on a series of themed exhibitions with original artist creations designed to stimulate the mind and enhance creativity. With this mindset, there have been featured exhibits such as ‘Childsplay, Animal Art, Eureka! and Feast: The Art of Playing With Your Food’.

The New Children’s Museum aims to reach a larger audience of art lovers and learners alike. Providing budding artists and dreamers the opportunity to witness and create their own canvases, dream big and enjoy the journey through art interactions is part of the everyday activities at the museum. Learning isn’t restricted to the classroom. At The New Children’s Museum, guests are met with opportunities to interact, engage and dream. Through play and curiosity, the goal is to continue to cultivate and improve skills that today’s learners will bring to their future selves. When summer vacation hits, parents can find special summer camp programming for children ages 4-12. Throughout the year the museum offers programs taught by artists for teachers and families.  Whether you’re checking out the family adventures, summer camping offerings or exploring the exhibits on a weekend afternoon, your interaction will be filled with smiles, laughter, learning and creative development. A day at The New Children’s Museum is designed to enhance an already great love of learning while encouraging all museum-goers to work more play into their worlds.

Important Visitor Information

Museum Hours:  5 days/week (Thursday-Monday) with two play sessions, 9am-12pm + 1-4pm! Advance reservations are not required.; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Admissions:  Members and children under 1: FREE, Children 1+, Adults, Seniors, Military: $10.

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Must See Features

Our current exhibitions:

Feast: Surrounding the idea of all things food, this interactive exhibit features over ten artist installations and many other projects all connected to food. Whether we’re discussing ‘community, sustainability and the environment, family traditions [or] health’, food tools and artistry combine to create an engaging array of experiences. Like a great teacher in a classroom, the museum and its staff incorporate multiple learning disciplines into one unique exhibit.

Eureka!: This state-themed adventure provides insight into all things California. Whether you’re reveling in a day in the sand, checking out access to highways and automobiles, rocking out to music creations or climbing over thirty feet of ‘housing’, you’ll learn about the golden state and all it has to explore.

Things to do nearby:

san diego gaslamp quarterThe museum is located a few steps from the Martin Luther King walking path in downtown San Diego. Whether you’re spending the afternoon taking in the sights of the Historic Gaslamp Quarter a few blocks away or wiling away the hours watching the boats come through the marina, there’s much to see and do close by to the museum. Take in the shops and restaurants of Seaport Village and the Headquarters, enjoy entertainment by San Diego’s savvy street performers or head on down the Embarcadero to check out the military history housed in the USS Midway or history on the seafaring seas at the Maritime Museum. If your feet are ready for a bit of a longer journey, head on over to Little Italy to experience local boutiques and delicious cuisine. If you’re in town on a Saturday, be sure to check out downtown’s largest farmers market housed on the blocks of Little Italy. Here you’ll find your fair share of craft beer, food truck fare and organic goodies galore. If there are baseball fans in your party, wind the waterway down to the East Village to set your sights on San Diego’s major league baseball stadium, Petco Park. Home to the San Diego Padres, here you’ll find a stadium shop, the Padres Hall of Fame area as well as entrance into the ballpark which USA Today has recently voted as best ballpark in baseball.

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