Dinosaurs, space, earth science, marine biology, zoology, the brain. Are you getting excited?
Museum Month is here, and San Diego’s museum world has something for everyone! From dinosaurs to space, earth science to marine biology, zoology to the brain, there’s no shortage of scientific discovery to be had. The best science and natural history museums are more than just educational; they inspire wonder and spark the imagination.
Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center is a must-visit for science enthusiasts, while the San Diego Air and Space Museum offers a glimpse into space and aviation history. For those fascinated by the brain, downtown’s Brain Observatory is the perfect destination.
History buffs will love the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Heritage of the Americas Museum, and the San Diego Archaeological Center. And, for those looking to learn more about our region, the Museum of the Californias in Tijuana is a definite must-visit.
Finally, for animal lovers, the Living Coast Discovery Center, the Birch Aquarium, SEA LIFE® Aquarium at LEGOLAND® California Resort, and the California Wolf Center offer a chance to delve into the worlds of marine biology and zoology.
Don’t miss out on Museum Month in San Diego – come explore the many scientific sides of the city’s museums! Pick up Museum Month pass at any city or county library or download your pass to your phone here.
Attention all science enthusiasts! The Fleet Science Center has got you covered this month with their interactive exhibits that are sure to inspire curiosity and learning. Designed for all ages, these exhibits allow you to touch a tornado, play with a sand pendulum, and explore a variety of scientific phenomena through hands-on experiences. With new exhibits like Color in a New Light, Wild Creativity, and Deep Sky, and returning favorites like Kid City and Studio X, there’s always something exciting to discover at the Fleet.
Plus, your half-price Museum Month admission also includes a documentary film in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, now with state-of-the-art seats for an even more extraordinary experience. Come and explore the wonders of science today!
Embark on a journey through aviation and space history at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park! From historic aircraft to celestial wonders, the museum offers something for everyone. Military buffs can explore dozens of full-size jets, spacecraft, and even a real Apollo 9 command module. The museum also showcases examples of World War I fighter aircraft and other reproductions, including Charles Lindbergh’s famous “Spirit of St. Louis.”
For thrill-seekers, interactive flight simulators offer an adrenaline rush as you dive, roll, spin, and spiral through the air while dodging enemy fire. And don’t forget about the all-new Moon Base San Diego with interactive and immersive learning activities perfect for explorers of all ages. Don’t miss out on this remarkable story of aviation history!
Explore the all-new Brain Observatory in Downtown San Diego this February. The “brainchild” of Dr. Jacopo Annese, it is part laboratory, part museum and a world-wide archive of human brains for educational and research purposes.
Tour an authentic research laboratory and meet the brains that made neuroscience history. Dr. Jacopo Annese, neuroscientist and Director of The Brain Observatory will guide you through his new downtown anatomical laboratory and neuroscience showroom. The tour is an unprecedented exposure to the world of science and the occasion to experience brain research in the making. The tour also offers children activities at the intersection of art and science. Book your half-price Museum Month tour here. (all Museum Month tours must be booked online)
37 acres, 29 gardens, and 5300+ plant species representing 15 regions of the world. Each garden has a unique theme and design, and each is united by the beauty of its plants. Learn about the rich botanical heritage of our neighbors in our Mexican Garden, which displays agaves, salvias, prehistoric cycads and festive topiary mariachis. Overlook the ocean from the hillside Old World Desert Garden, with showy aloes, euphorbias, and dragon trees. Enjoy the colorful flora of the South Africa Garden, especially the treasures of the southwest Cape, with a Mediterranean climate like ours.
Head up the coast to Encinitas where you’ll find San Diego Botanic Garden with three areas designed just for kids – the Hamilton Children’s Garden (the largest on the West Coast, home to Toni’s Tree House, mountain stream and bird and butterfly garden), Seeds of Wonder (for early learners, with model trains), and the Junior Quail Trail (an immersive area to play and explore).
Online reservations are required for Museum Month participants. Use promo code MUSEUMMONTH online here for up to four (4) half-price admissions. Cannot be combined with other offers, coupons or discounts. Click here to download your digital Museum Month pass with link and code for 1/2 price admission to the San Diego Botanic Garden.
The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 30 Reserves in the U.S., yet is unique in the national system due to its location. It is an urban estuary, and one of the largest and last intact in southern California.
The Visitor Center offers a variety of hands-on, interactive activities for all ages as well as a collection of videos (including videos in Spanish) that are shown upon request. Educational videos are designed to educate the public about estuaries and watersheds, including estuary flora and fauna, estuarine ecology and natural processes.
The Natural History Museum (The Nat)
Be part of the BIGGEST YEAR in history of the Nat as they celebrate 150 years. Explore the natural history of Southern California and Baja California at the San Diego Natural History Museum, located in the heart of Balboa Park. From rattlesnakes and flesh-eating beetles to dinosaurs and fossils, this museum offers something for every nature enthusiast. Take a stroll through the historic archives and art on display, and discover the wonders of nature at the Nat!
Only printed Museum Month passes (no digital passes) will be accepted at the door for half-price Museum Month admission. Pick up a printed museum pass at one of more than 80 city and county libraries. You may also purchase a half-price Museum Month pass online with code: MuseumMonth 24 at www.sdnhm.org/visit/.
Discover the rich heritage and natural history of the Americas at the Heritage of the Americas Museum, located on the beautiful campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego. Divided into five wings, including Natural History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Art, and Education, this cultural and educational facility will take you on a fascinating “Journey Through Time.”
Don’t miss the Tropical Garden Patio, the Desert Garden Patio, and the unique gift shop at the heart of the museum. As the Museum’s founder, Bernard Lueck, said, “To be lost and never found is to be nothing.” Come and discover the treasures of the Americas that educate and inspire mankind.
The San Diego Archaeological Center is both a museum and a curation facility. It tells the story of how people have lived in San Diego County for the past ten thousand years. Besides its role as a museum, it also serves as an education and research facility. It is the only local organization that is committed to the collection, study, curation, and exhibition of artifacts from San Diego County’s archaeology.
The Center Museum has interactive exhibits and activities that explore San Diego’s history through archaeological records. Visitors can learn about the life-ways of early Native American hunter-gatherers who lived in the region, as well as the immigrants and many groups who have contributed to the area’s archaeological records. You can learn archaeology basics and explore how the first people arrived in the Americas.
You can also view the Center’s curatorial vaults and research area through the viewing portal. The Center actively curates archaeological collections, and there is a chance to see staff and interns cataloging and researching artifacts during your visit.
The Museo de las Californias in Tijuana houses a collection of historical artifacts that represent the regional history from prehistoric times to the recent past. The museum has eight permanent rooms, including California before California, First European explorers, Missions and missionaries, Territories and borders, The porfiriato, Mexican Revolution, The years of the post-revolution, and Environment.
You can discover a fascinating collection of objects including maps, tools, and journals dating back to the 16th-century expeditions of the legendary conquistador Hernán Cortés. However, the museum’s main focus is on fossils from the local Sierra de la Laguna range.
The Living Coast Discovery Center is an interactive zoo and aquarium devoted to the endangered Southern California coastal wetlands, located in the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. This zoo/aquarium focuses on animals native to Southern California, including endangered sea turtles, sharks, rays, reptiles, and an impressive range of birds, including owls, hawks, falcons, shorebirds and even an American Bald Eagle.
Half- price Museum Month is the perfect time to explore the FUN of the Shark & Ray presentation at the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista and encounter animals from under the sea. The presentation includes a visit with a loggerhead sea turtle named Sapphire, rays, leopard sharks and more. Experience the Shark & Ray presentation Wednesday through Sunday.
Fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego, you will find Birch Aquarium nestled among the cliffs of La Jolla. As the public outreach center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Birch Aquarium’s hands-on exhibits explore the latest in oceanographic discovery, while introducing guests to a variety of amazing creatures.
In the Hall of Fishes, guests come face to face with a Giant Pacific Octopus, a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Moon Jellies and Leopard Sharks, to name a few. Out on Tide Pool Plaza, you will take in stunning ocean views while getting hands-on with local tide pool animals including juvenile sharks, then it’s off to Seadragons & Seahorses, where you will see one of the largest Weedy Seadragon exhibits in the world.
Meet the world’s smallest penguins in Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins which follows these pint-sized penguins on their journey from hatchlings to adults, highlighting the challenges they face in a changing climate while celebrating the features that make them so unique (and adorable).
Please note advanced reservations are required for all guests. To receive the Museum Month discount use code MuseumMonth24 in your cart to save 50% off up to 4 tickets. A Museum Month pass must be presented upon entry with your reservation. Offer valid for tickets dated February 1-29, 2024. Click here to find Birch Aquarium tickets.
Home to jellyfish exhibits and tide pool touch tanks, sharks and octopi, freshwater and saltwater species, San Diego’s SEA LIFE® Aquarium in Carlsbad introduces visitors to hundreds of marine creatures spread across numerous exhibition areas. The park’s schedule of dives, feedings, talks, and other interactive experiences offers additional ways to learn about the the resident sea life and their respective habitats.
Located just a quick drive away from downtown San Diego, SEA LIFE Aquarium makes the perfect destination for an independent day trip. Advance reservations are required. During Museum Month visitors can get 50% off full-gate-price ticket valid for either a LEGOLAND® California Resort and SEA LIFE® Aquarium Hopper Ticket or Resort Hopper Ticket that includes LEGOLAND + Water Park + SEA LIFE. The Water Park opens late-March through late-October. Tickets good through December 31, 2024. Book your tickets online here.
The Tijuana Aquarium is the only one of its kind in the state of Baja California, it has a surface area of 300 square meters and is located inside the facilities of the Tijuana Cultural Center.
Inaugurated on November 26, 2012, it offers a sample of marine species from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California and includes freshwater fish; It houses 500 specimens belonging to 12 species native to the region, 41 species from different parts of the world and 13 more Australian corals, in addition to a species of jellyfish and another species of freshwater turtle. The Aquarium is focused on reinforcing the identity of Baja Californians, through knowledge and appreciation of the entity’s natural resources, with regard to the fauna of the seas that surround the peninsula.
While visiting, see the new Gray Whale Marine Migrants exhibit and tour the Botanical Garden.
Journey to Julian to experience San Diego County’s only wolf reserve and learn fun facts, meet the wolves, and get an inside look at wolf conservation. The California Wolf Center is one of only two nonprofit organizations working with the Southwest community sharing the landscape with the returning wolf population. All Mexican gray wolves residing at California Wolf Center are candidates to be released into the wild through a reintroduction program managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Tours are by appointment only. Passes are redeemable for the 12:40 & 2:40 p.m. public tours on Fridays & Mondays and for the 9:40 a.m. public tours on Saturdays & Sundays in February. Please note that we have limited capacity (30 people) for each tour, and visitors must book in advance with discount code. Click here to purchase your half-price Museum Month tour with code CWCMM2024
New Museum Month locations for 2024 include LEGOLAND® California Resort and its SEA LIFE® Aquarium, the California Wolf Center, the Deer Park Winery & Auto Museum and WNDR Museum San Diego. Also new this year, Museum Month will be recognized as an official event of the World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024. The design capital is a designation won together by the two cities for achievements in design that brings with it a yearlong showcase of civic and cultural events. Explore what’s new to Museum Month 2024 here.