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San Diego Natural History Museum

Neighbourhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone Number:
+1 619-232-3821
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D...

Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films with a focus on the natural world. The Museum’s award-winning exhibit design team creates exhibitions that focus on the unique and biodiverse southern California region. In addition, the Museum hosts several traveling exhibitions each year which teach visitors about our natural world as it is today and as it was in the past.

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Platinum Balboa Park Segway Tour
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San Diego Natural History Museum Admission

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 325 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 93
  • 96
    Very good
  • 68
  • 23
  • 12
Excellent volunteers at this museum to really help kids think & learn - they made a difference!

We were visiting Balboa park and thought we would quickly go through this museum but ended up staying several hours. The volunteers shared very interesting insights with our... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Missouri City, Texas
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325 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 292: English reviews
Missouri City, Texas
Level Contributor
131 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We were visiting Balboa park and thought we would quickly go through this museum but ended up staying several hours. The volunteers shared very interesting insights with our daughter and we all ended up learning a lot. We also appreciated the the animals and sections that are specific to California. We really enjoyed our time here!

Thank EGRap
Kerhonkson, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017 via mobile

Balboa Park is a very cool place. Have a game plan when going in can assist in not becoming overwhelmed. We did the Museum of Natural History today and it was delightful.

Thank Ridgewalkersss
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2017 via mobile

My son who is currently obsessed with dinosaurs keeps voting to go to this museum as it is included in our Balboa museum membership package. Filled with lots of interactive exhibits for kids, it is extremely informative in a variety of topics- ranging from fossils, local flora and fauna, water sourcing etc. The short movies that are included in the... More 

Thank Seeprats
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
74 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2017

While not as large as equivalent museums in other cities, I still found San Diego's version enjoyable. We especially enjoyed the local focus of the exhibits, showing what ancient fauna lived in the area at different points in time. The admission is reasonable. If you plan to see several of the Balboa Park museums, get a multi museum pass. If... More 

Thank Ian B
Emeryville CA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2017

I've been to thi museum before and really liked it. I enjoyed re-visiting some of the permanent exhibits, like the Fossil Mysteries, the Coast to Cactus and the Skulls exhibits, but two new exhibitions really hit home with me, and in different ways. The Photo Ark exhibit, a series of photos of mostly threatened and endangered species, but also some... More 

Thank ed_in_510
Ripon, California
Level Contributor
138 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016 via mobile

If you go here, get the multi museum pass because this one goes kind of quick, especially if you are already into fossils

Thank wingnut457
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Level Contributor
126 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2016

The webpages advertised dinosaurs and animal life in California. There are film features included in the price of admission. Even with the three hours allocated to the museum we had to rush through the top two floors and could not see everything. It would be best to give yourself at least four hours or more. We went on a Friday... More 

Thank CHinSoCal
Salmon Arm, Canada
Level Contributor
267 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2016

Although not a large collection, it was an interesting visit. We particularly liked the National Geographic photo gallery. Some interactive displays for the kids.

Thank TMLB
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2016

We fully enjoyed this museum with its many varied exhibits. The special exhibit on how animals movements and design was most enlightening and the exhibits on fossils and natural history of this part of California taught me many things.

Thank Lee F
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2016

We were down in SD for a soccer tournament for the Big Bean and wanted to take the little beans somewhere fun. They loved it..from the 2 year to the 16 year old. I would highly recommend for any family!

Thank Charlene M

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of San Diego Natural History Museum and other visitors
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Alexandria, Minnesota
10 days ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?