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7 Summertime Sizzles in Balboa Park

What will you do on your summer vacay? There’s so much to do in Balboa Park!


Start Your Engines!

Compete in the F355 Challenge in a Ferrari, race side-by-side with your friends on a MotoGP motorcycle, or set a personal speed record in a Scitech pedal car in SPEED: Science in Motion at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. SPEED: Science in Motion explores the fastest vehicles mankind has ever produced, including space ships, rockets, planes, trains, race cars, motorcycles, jet boats, and more. Enjoy an immersive and fun experience for adventurers of all ages.


Art in Action

Take a stroll through the historic studios and colorful courtyard. Spanish Village Art Center studios represent over 250 working artists, many of whom offer daily demonstrations of works-in-progress. Free admission, priceless experience. Watch, learn, and shop all year long. Open daily from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.


X Marks the Spot

Dream, design, and create in the Fleet Science Center’s newly remodeled maker space, Studio X. Tools, supplies, and inspiration await you! Studio X provides dedicated time for instructor-led projects in Make-It Workshops where you can create take-home projects such as light-up cards made with electric circuits or magnetic slime. You can also design and print your very own three-dimensional object in a three-session 3D Printing and CAD Workshop. Maker Hour is an engaging 21+ event that combines cocktails and creativity—you might make beer soap or coasters from comic books. Want to work solo? Studio X also offers open studio hours. 


Art After Hours

For only $5 after 5 p.m. on Fridays, experience special exhibitions and the San Diego Museum of Art’s 20 galleries featuring works from world-renowned artists, including Picasso, Monet, and O’Keefe. College students are free—just bring your ID. Open until 8 p.m. on Fridays. Afterwards, visit Panama 66—the museum’s restaurant located in the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden for a selection of draft beer, craft cocktails, locally sourced food, and live musical performances. Visit the Panama 66 calendar for a full listing of music and events. Don’t forget to visit Bibliotique, the retail store adjacent to Panama 66 where you can find unique and innovative items inspired by San Diego culture. 


Get Back on Track

With over 27,000 square feet of tracks, trestles, and trains, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum opens up a world of wonder to kids and kids at heart. There are multiple exhibits to explore, including the Centennial Railway Garden featuring innovative technology and sustainable exhibit design, and the Toy Train Gallery, filled with fancy lighting and fast trains sure to spark smiles. History buffs will appreciate the fact that most exhibits in the museum are based on actual historic railway lines. 


Views and Brews

One of Balboa Park’s best new additions is too good to be kept secret: The Natural History Museum’s rooftop lounge and event space overlooking the fountain and Prado walkway. The lounge, which is open 5–8 p.m. every Friday through August 31, is included with admission to the museum, which is half-price after 5 p.m.Watch the sun set over Balboa Park with beer, wine, and kid-friendly beverages, after touring The Nat’s slate of 3D films, special programming, and immersive exhibitions.


Rediscover Your Passion

This summer, the Museum of Photographic Arts is hosting a great line-up of inspirational photo talks, workshops, and films. Visit until 8 p.m. on Thursdays through August and delve into Hidden Worlds, on view through August 2. No matter your age or interests, there’s something exciting to explore at MOPA! 

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