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Exploring Beautiful Balboa Park

San Diego's art and cultural center celebrates a centennial


Balboa Park is home to first-class museums and performing arts venues, award-winning gardens, and other family-friendly cultural attractions, not to mention the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

The park began in 1868 as land set aside by civic leaders for a “city park.” Then in 1915, the Panama–California Exposition provided the impetus to rename the scenic mesa Balboa Park and create many of the central buildings and gardens as they still appear today. A century later, Balboa Park stands as one of the largest urban cultural parks in the world.

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the landmark 1915 exposition that put both Balboa Park and San Diego on the world map, literally hundreds of events are taking place throughout the park and the surrounding community.

From the free Twilight in the Park concert series and Centennial International Summer Organ Festival in Spreckels Organ Pavilion to special exhibitions at every Balboa Park museum, 2015 promises to be a year to remember! Visitors should also keep an eye out for major special events, including a parkwide Halloween Family Day (October 31) and, of course, the festive Balboa Park December Nights (December 4 and 5). Many exhibitions and programs hosted by Balboa Park museums are included in the annual Balboa Park Explorer Pass, which grants admission to individuals or families to 17 different museums for a year (restrictions may apply). Single-day and multi-day passes are available as well.

The Balboa Park Visitors Center in the majestic House of Hospitality building should be everyone’s first stop for park passes, as well as maps and guides to navigating Balboa Park’s museums, historic architecture, recreational facilities, and 1,200 lushly planted acres.

Start planning your visit at or call 619-239-0512.

Explore Balboa Park:

Exploring Beautiful Balboa Park

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