An Insider’s View on What to Do in March in Balboa Park

Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park

Spring is a time of renewal and reinvention. And that is especially so in the ever changing, always amazing, Balboa Park. From blooms blossoming to small, but eye-opening exhibits to an iconic show of cars, there’s no shortage of newness to explore. You simply must march on over to Balboa Park to take it all in.

Eye Props

Hidden Worlds

When: Thru January 20, 2019
Where: Museum of Photographic Arts
There is more than meets the eye with MOPA’s “Hidden Worlds” exhibit. It explores a variety of photographic techniques like microscopes and X-rays that make the invisible, visible. From snowflakes to insects to spirit photos, this interactive and imaginative exhibit will have you seeing things in a whole new light.

Sweet Rides


When: Thru June 1, 2019
Where: San Diego Automotive Museum
Want to see the best of the best in automotive mastery? The Automotive Museum’s “Icons” exhibit celebrates vehicles that are memorable and meaningful and have captured the imagination of our collective conscious. Featured vehicles include the Porsche 356, the Chevy Corvette, Steve McQueen’s 1968 Mustang from the film classic Bullitt as well as the custom Harley Davidson chopper from the movie Easy Rider.  

All the Presidents Who Have Been…

Veterans Who Became Presidents

When: Thru May 18, 2019
Where: The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
No doubt military service reveals character and inspires leadership. This new exhibit will look at how that service prepared the men of the military for their most challenging role: leader of the free world. Also, for a little more presidential puzzling, see if you can find both John McCain and Mitt Romney’s autographs on the Veterans Museum main mural.

Art Steps Up

On the Steps at SDMA: A Celebration of Asian Arts

When: March 15, 2019
Where: San Diego Museum of Art
Art moves out and up on the steps of the San Diego Museum of Art to celebrate its Asian collection. This free event includes live musical performances, art making opportunities such as Chinese Ink painting and features artists from San Diego’s Japanese, Chinese and Korean communities. You can also enjoy free admission to the museum from 5 to 8 p.m. Craving more Asian art and culture? Make sure to catch the screening of Zhang Yimou’s Academy Award-nominated film Hero at 8:00 PM, which is a ticketed event. The cost for members and students is $5, $7.50 for seniors and members of the military, and $10 for nonmembers.

Get Your Blooming Fun On

14th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 18-24, 2019
Where: Japanese Friendship Garden
This festival delivers more than the delight of delicate cherry blossoms budding. From March 18-21, select vendors will offer a preview of the weekend festivities. During the evening, there will be special ticketed events and programming, and, yozakura – also known as cherry blossom viewing at night. The festival will bloom in full March 22-24 with a wide variety of merchants in the upper garden, performances, a beer and sake garden and food galore in the lower garden. There will even be an arts and craft area for the kids.

Jazz Fans

Portraits in Jazz: Piano Legends

When: March 30, 2019
Where: San Diego Museum of Art
Hear a legend in the making with a concert featuring Sarah McKenzie, an Australian-born, Paris-based jazz pianist and singer who just might be the next Diana Krall or Norah Jones. She will be joined by local jazz icon trumpeter, Gilbert Castellanos and band, for a performance that will include standards from the likes of George Gershwin and Johnny Mercer. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7:30 PM and the show will start at 8:30 PM. Tickets for nonmembers are $25.

Learn More about Balboa Park