Arts Month San Diego: Balboa Park Can’t Be Beat

The country’s largest urban cultural park, Balboa Park, has been one of my favorite San Diego spots since childhood. I can remember taking class field trips to the many museums, my 8-year-old self awestruck by their enormous grandeur. As an adult, I still love visiting Balboa Park. No matter how many times I wander the park’s vast Spanish Colonial walkways, I always find something new and exciting to explore that awakens my inner 8-year-old spirit.

To celebrate Arts Month San Diego, take your inner child to explore the arts offerings of the nation’s largest cultural park. With 15 major museums and spectacular performing arts venues, art lovers of all walks are sure to find something to marvel at. Here are just a few of the inspired offerings you’ll find this September in Balboa Park:

Legendary designer Zandra Rhodes serves as the honorary chair for this annual exhibition and special event gala at the Timken Museum of Art. Fashion enthusiasts will be bowled over by the extraordinary fashions inspired by 15 artworks from the museum’s collection. Proceeds from tickets to the grand celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24 benefit the Timken’s art education programs, and Art of Fashion programming will continue at the Timken through October.

Outrageous fashions take center stage at both the Timken Museum of Art and The Old Globe

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at The Old Globe

Fashion certainly plays an important role in this ground-breaking show that launched a cult phenomenon. The Old Globe’s stage production features all the outrageous music and characters created by Richard O’Brien, who wrote the original book, music, and lyrics for The Rocky Horror Show. Do the time warp back to Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter’s castle as it was meant to be seen – live onstage. The show runs through Nov. 6.

See the Spanish masters at the San Diego Museum of Art

From El Greco to Dalí : Spanish Masters from the Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art

On view through Nov. 6, this momentous exhibition spanning five centuries showcases 64 masterful pieces from Spain’s most celebrated artists, including Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí. In addition to the big names, visitors will discover works by artists little-known in the U.S., such as the Romantic Manuel Barrón y Carrillo, or the Modernist Romero de Torres.

Innovative photography captivates at the Museum of Photographic Arts

Works from the Bank of America Collection at the Museum of Photographic Arts

From the Spanish masters to masters of photography, Balboa Park’s art museums are some of the best in the country. Be sure not to miss Imagine That! at the Museum of Photographic Arts, now through Oct. 9. Expect to see the unexpected in this exhibition that highlights unique perspectives, unknown realms and phenomena inaccessible to the naked eye and immediate senses.

Enjoy a free concernt at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion

Free Sunday concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion

Donated to the City of San Diego by John D. and Adolph Spreckels in 1914, the Spreckels Organ is one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, containing 4,530 pipes that range in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet. Since 1917, San Diego has had a civic organist, who performs free weekly Sunday concerts.

Want to experience all the Balboa Park has to offer for free? Leave a comment on this blog post  to be entered to win two Passport to Balboa Park certificates. Each Passport includes a one-time admission coupon to each of 14 museums, and the coupon booklet is valid for seven consecutive days. A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, Sept. 28, so be sure to post before 10:00 am on Wednesday!

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Candice

About Candice

Foodie, craft beer nerd, shopaholic, music geek, photographer and contemporary art fan could all be used to describe me. I’m a big proponent of highlighting San Diego’s hidden gems and local businesses and breaking stereotypes about our city. We’re more than just sunshine and beaches (though those are nice, too!).
What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?
Eating and shopping around my favorite neighborhoods: Golden Hill, South Park, North Park, Little Italy and Hillcrest. Then popping into one of our great art museums and capping off the night with some live music and a a local beer at The Casbah.
What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?
Does shopping count as an outdoor activity? Or checking out the public art around town, like at Chicano Park? I do love visiting the La Jolla tide pools in the summer and ice skating at the outdoor rinks that go up each winter.
Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?
Let’s get one thing straight here: San Diego craft beer goes with everything, not just burgers. Though it is really good with a burger.
Latest music purchases for my iPod player are…
I’m lucky to be married to a music journalist, so advance copies of the newest albums are constantly available to me for free. But I can’t seem to stop playing the new album by CHVRCHES, and San Diego band Rocket from the Crypt have been on repeat a lot lately.
Follow Candice on Twitter @candicesd

26 thoughts on “Arts Month San Diego: Balboa Park Can’t Be Beat

  1. I love Balboa Park. Reminds me a bit of back east but way more museums and events. Beautiful! and a friend is getting married in the Japanese Friendship garden….

  2. I love San Diego, and am so happy to see that Balboa Park is just as beautiful as it was when we lived there 30+ years ago! Maybe even mor beautiful! We were just there, walking the park, but had not planned to visit museums. We decided that will be on our agenda for next visit!

  3. I take everyone who comes to visit me to Balboa Park. It makes me very proud of San Diego to be able to do that—-we’re the luckiest people in the world, eh, San Diegans?

  4. My hubby and I really enjoy going to Balboa Park! I especially like the great architecture. Did you know that parts of Balboa Park were used as Charles Foster Kane’s estate called “Xanadu” in the greatest movie of all time, “Citizen Kane”?!

  5. Balboa Park is my favorite spot in San Diego, no matter rain or shine. And I always suggest my friends to go there when they come to San Diego.

  6. I have always claimed Balboa Park as one of the best attractions to visit in San Diego. I grew up exploring everything Balboa Park has to offer and hope that I inspire more people to visit. I always tell my students to visit whenever they get the chance to. 🙂

  7. I love Balboa Park but have probably only been to half the museums. This would be a great activity to do with my daughter if I won. Thanks for another great giveaway.

  8. I haven’t been to Balboa Park since I was a young teen and I always loved it! Especially the gardens….would LOVE an excuse to get back there, since I’ve just recently moved back to the area 🙂

  9. I like to wander into museums not knowing what the special exhibit at the time is, that way I’m almost guaranteed to learn something new.

  10. Photography experience for sure. Love that area and always looking forward to the drive from Temecula area down to Balboa Park. Go ahead, Make My Day! 🙂 xoxo

  11. I love Balboa Park, so far I have only been to one museum. This would be a great opportunity to visit all the great museums Balboa Park has to offer.

  12. Balboa Park is where I made my vows of marriage last year in May. The art, architecture, plants and trees, fish, and even the wildlife scattering near my feet created a warmth and richness forever secured in my memory. There were places within the park I could share with others and places where I was able to reflect in solitude. It welcomes all.

  13. I just moved back to San Diego after being gone for about ten years and this is hands down one of my favorite places to visit. They have a saying back home “Lucky you live Hawaii” but now I believe in “Lucky you live San Diego” 🙂

  14. I am coming here in October bringing my 8 year old daughter. We have been there before and just love it. She is really into art and history just as much as I am! So this is a great place to come and visit. We are coming for my birthday!

  15. Wow there really is so much to see at Balboa Park. I frequent with my daughter CeJae (3)and she just loves it all so much, but I admit would be nice to explore sans a sticky toddler!!

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