All Year Access: San Diego’s Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Sponsored by: Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

The kids are out of school, which means the search is on for activities to keep them busy, while keeping everyone in the family entertained. Balboa Park, San Diego’s cultural oasis, is a unique place to explore, offering 17 museums, performing arts, recreation, exquisite gardens and more.

Occupying 1,200 acres overlooking downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. Since there’s so much to see and do here, the Balboa Park Explorer Pass is a great option because it grants you year-round access to all of the park’s attractions with just one ticket.

Brittany Pierce, host of YurView’s Destination San Diego, visited Balboa Park to experience a few of the awe-inspiring activities. Watch the video above, or read the interview transcription below (lightly edited for clarity).

Balboa Park
San Diego’s Balboa Park

Balboa Park – Cultural Oasis

Michael Warburton, Director, Park-wide Communications, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (00:20) – Balboa Park is a very unique place. It’s the largest urban cultural park in the United States. It’s a National Historic Landmark. There are a ton of outdoor recreation opportunities, but also more than a dozen museums, cultural institutions, performing arts venues. And so there’s a real vibrancy and diversity to the location.

So the Explorer Pass was a collaborative program created by several of the organizations in the park. It was a way that was convenient for visitors to visit multiple venues with one ticket.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

San Diego Air and Space Museum
San Diego Air and Space Museum

David Neville, Director, Marketing & Communications, San Diego Air and Space Museum (00:50) – The very first thing you see when you come inside the San Diego Air and Space Museum is a replica of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis.

The second most iconic thing you’ll see is the actual Apollo 9 Command Module. It flew in space just a few months before Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July of 1969.

MW (01:10) – We find that people who buy the Explorer Pass will end up visiting multiple institutions. And that’s really unique in this one venue here. The revenue from the past sales go back to the individual museums you might visit.

DN (01:23) The Explorer Pass is so important to us because it allows San Diego families to buy the pass and come in and visit us year-round.

Kat Salazar, Explorer Pass Holder (01:32) – There’s always so much to see here at Balboa Park. So getting this pass is super awesome because it’s a great deal. And you get to visit all the museums, see a new exhibit that comes out. There’s always something new in the park.

Fleet Science Center

Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park

Steven Snyder, President and CEO, Fleet Science Center (01:47) – Well, here at the Fleet Science Center, we are the science center in San Diego, and we are a completely hands-on space. So whether you’re 5, 55 or 105, there’s some incredible science for you to come in, get involved with, get your hands on and have a great time.

Balboa Park is an absolutely amazing place. There’s no place else like it in the world where you can have all of these incredible cultural organizations literally within walking distance.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Bianca Zepeda, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager, San Diego Model Railroad Museum (02:11) – The San Diego Model Railroad Museum has indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as educational programming. Our mission is to research, collect, preserve and present the heritage of American railroading with scale models of California railroads.

At every twist, turn and tunnel, we spark curiosity by developing educational programs that include educational milestones like critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. Visitors can explore our Centennial Garden, a G scale garden railroad modeled after Balboa Park, how it existed in 1915. The exhibit is solar powered and the plants are all drought resistant.

The Explorer Pass has exposed us to visitors of Balboa Park that may have not known that we are here since we are located downstairs at the Casa de Balboa Building.

Year-Round Explorer Pass

Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Cassie Kaawaloa, Special Events and Programs Coordinator (03:14) – The Explorer Pass is a great deal for visitors from across California or even across the world. It gives you access to all of the museums in Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. It’s a really good value.

You can get Explorer Passes for one day or up to a full year. And there’s a special rate for families. For more information, visit explorer.balboapark.org.

Related: Comic-Con Museum
             Spreckels Organ Pavilion
             More Things to Do in San Diego