Comic-Con Weekend Museum Fun Guide
Grab your spandex and slip on your cape as Comic-Con International swings back into action July 21 to 24. Get ready for the ultimate fun weekend in San Diego from the downtown convention to amazing exhibitions at your favorite museums. Check our Museum Fun Guide for just a few of our favorite picks!
Your Comic-Con weekend wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Catch all of your favorite characters including your friendly neighborhood webslinger Spider-Man at the new – dare we say AMAZING – exhibition, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition.
Commemorating Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary, this exclusive exhibition features artifacts, artwork and a look at the many creators who have contributed to the Spider-Man mythos. Plan your visit and pick up your tickets here.
Just in time for Comic-Con, the San Diego Automotive Museum has opened the all-new “Cars with Character” exhibit showcasing iconic vehicles from television and film. Hop in The Mystery Machine and discover the autos that stole the show including Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, KITT from Knight Rider, the classic Jurassic Park tour vehicle, and many more. Learn more on the San Diego Automotive Museum’s website here.
Fleet Science Center
Opens Friday on the Fleet’s Giant Dome
See the first horror epic to be shot with IMAX film cameras premiering July 22 on the Fleet’s Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Experience the awe, fear and wonder of NOPE on the 76-foot dome theater screen with Next-Generation IMAX featuring laser system and surround sound. Get your tickets here for showtimes at 5:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Fleet Science Center
Comic-Con Panels Explore Science in Comics and Movies
You can’t have science fiction without science! The Fleet Science Center will be back at Comic-Con with three panels for attendees at the Convention Center. On July 23 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 24 ABC, don’t miss “The Science of Spider-Man and the Multiverse” including the science behind a lab accident! Also, on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. Room 24ABC learn about “The Science Behind Creating Board Games” and on July 22 at 5 p.m. Room 29AB catch “The Science Behind the Expanse.”
Friday nights come alive this summer in Balboa Park! It’s the perfect spot for date nights, family fun, art exhibitions, big-screen movies, live music, and fabulous foods. Check out our museum guide here for great ideas and details.
You can now enjoy late-night access to the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Mingei International Museum and more on Friday nights. See our picks including Panama 66, ARTIFACT at Mingei, Japanese Friendship Garden, Fleet Science Center, and the The Prado Restaurant.
San Diego Bay Front
The USS Midway Museum, once the largest ship in the world and now a naval museum here in San Diego, recently hosted Tom Cruise and the cast for the red-carpet premiere of the hit blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick.
Hollywood loves San Diego as a location for shooting movies and has been the setting for big films including The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Transformers (2007), Green Lantern (2011), Thor (2011), and of course both Top Gun: Maverick (2022) and Top Gun (1986).
Don’t miss your chance to climb onboard the USS Midway which has been seen in many movies including Iron Man (2008). The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last admission at 4 p.m. Tickets and more here.
San Diego Bay Front
Mateys Beware! Sea monsters with massive red tentacles were spotted along San Diego Bay. Lucky for us, the experts at the Maritime Museum of San Diego are on the scene of Sea Monsters: Delving into the Deep Myth. Shiver me timbers! Better get tickets and details here for this the fresh, fun, eye-catching new exhibit.
TIP: For the brave of heart, don’t miss the Sea Monster Saloon (21+) on Saturday, July 23 at 5 to 10 p.m. for special food, drink and live music from rock and blues trio Fish & the Seaweeds. Get tickets here.
What’s waaaay cuter than Burgess Meredith as the Penguin in the 1960s Batman TV series or Colin Farrell as the Penguin in this year’s The Batman movie? Little blue penguins, of course!
The Beyster Family Little Blue Penguin habitat is now OPEN at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Come face-to-face with the world’s smallest penguins as they waddle, swim and dive about their new home. Make your reservations here.
The 1960s saw the popularity of surfing explode with hits by the Beach Boys, surf movies and the first appearance of Marvel’s Silver Surfer in the 1966 Fantastic Four #48.
Whether you or a surfer or just love to watch the waves, the California Surf Museum in Oceanside has something for everyone. The beautifully designed museum features amazing displays that chronicle the history of surf boards and wave riding as well as the growth of this sport from its earliest history to the modern era.
Arts District Liberty Station
Let out your inner Thanos! Go on a hunt for the Infinity Stones hidden around Liberty Station Public Market through Sunday, July 24. Each day, one stone will be hidden and the lucky person who finds the gem will win a prize. Also comic book fans should check out Liberty Station’s San Diego Comic Art Gallery to see a great collection of comic-inspired art.
If you love designing costumes then you’ll love Vision’s Museum of Textile Art featuring three new exhibits including hand-painted, translucent fabrics by local artist Doshi, Paula Nadelstern‘s innovative and complex designs inspired by the bilateral symmetry of kaleidoscopic images and award-winning artists from the Presidents of Studio Art Quilt Associates.
Also make an appointment to see AfroLAtinidad Mi Casa, My City at the New Americans Museum. In this exhibition, visitors enter a recreated Afro-Latinx home and understand how this vibrant yet underrepresented community is central to Los Angeles culture.
San Diego Botanic Garden
If you’re looking for Guardian of the Galaxy‘s Groot or Batman’s Poison Ivy this Comic-Con weekend, you might try the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. The all-new World of Houseplants recently opened at the 37-acre garden featuring an 8,000 square-feet, glass-enclosed houseplant showcase. Inside are beautiful and immersive displays featuring vendors and more.
BONUS: You still have a few more weeks left to experience the Seeing the Invisible exhibit (shown above) of contemporary artworks created with augmented reality throughout the gardens. Find out more here.
Old Town San Diego
Ghostbusters should put on their ecto goggles, grab their proton packs and ghost traps and head straight to the Whaley House Museum in Old Town. Worldwide known as the Most Haunted House in America, it is recognized for its historical significance in Old Town San Diego. Be part of the historic legacy, mystery and legends of the Whaley Family, and hear of their myths and misconceptions. Approximately 30-minute guided tour through the historic Whaley House and the surrounding grounds. Regale in the tales of the spirits from the past and perhaps even experience the paranormal.
The home has a “mysterious and chilling past,” from a series of tragic events that took place on its grounds to the town gallows that once stood in its backyard, where criminals including the infamous thief James “Yankee Jim” Robinson were hung. Visitors claim to hear or see spirits on tours of the home, and it’s been featured on all manner of “ghost hunter” shows, including appearances on the SYFY and Discovery channel. Find tickets and more here.
Perhaps the stories began back in the ’60s when rancher’s cattle began going missing and found miles away mutilated. Rumor has it that a local museum even has a huge footprint that was once found in the valley.
July 22 & 23 is all about the Proctor Valley Monster and urban legends at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. This is the weekend to stop by and tell your story about PV monster encounters. Find zines and fun activities about the monster and films too! Make your PV Monster puppet next door at the Bonita-Sunnyside Branch Library
Downtown San Diego
Just steps away from the convention center is downtown’s oldest standing structure known as the Gaslamp Museum! The home has housed many fascinating people, including pre-civil war soldiers, a a WWI German spy in hiding who was later captured and even Alonzo Horton, founder of San Diego. It was even a hospital for around 10 years where many sick and wounded patients died. Today, each room represents a historic period of the home and is filled with fascinating and amusing stories about the former inhabitants.
The Museum has “special edition” self-guided tours of the historic Gaslamp Quarter available this weekend as well as “special edition” stickers of the museum in celebration of Comic-Con! Supplies are limited so hurry in!
San Diego County
Now through through Labor Day, active-duty military and their families can enjoy free admission at participating museums thanks to a collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Blue Star Museums in San Diego include Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, Coronado Historical Association, Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, Museum of Making Music, Museum of Photographic Arts, The New Children’s Museum, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Museum of Art and Visions Museum of Textile Art.
Calling all Cosplayers! Comic-Con International’s world-famous summer convention is back and the City of San Diego Public Library (SDPL) is celebrating with an exclusive library card, storytimes and a conference focused on the role comics play in promoting education and literacy. Central Library in Downtown will also host a cosplay repair station to mend any costume emergencies during Comic-Con.
This year’s Comic-Con library card was designed by Tijuana-based artist Charles Glaubitz. The exclusive card is licensed by Comic-Con and is the first time an SDPL card has been produced in Spanish. It features a person in a costume riding a zebra and reading a book with the iconic Central Library dome and Tijuana Arch at the bottom of the card. Read More here.
Make your trip to San Diego’s Comic-Con 2022 the BEST it can be! The Toucan has tips on everything related to Comic-Con from bringing the kids, programming schedules, and the Comic-Con App. Get the latest here.
Even if you don’t have a badge, there are plenty of offsites to experience with no badge required. Check out the list below for some of this year’s offsite happenings from 10 News San Diego here.
- Doctor Strange activation
- Abbott Elementary fan experience
- Ghosts offsite (CBS)
- The Walking Dead fan celebration
- Krapopolis outdoor activation
- Bob’s Burger’s offsite
- FX Comic-Con offsites
- All Things Armstrong pop-up experience