Brent Bernasconi

Balboa Park – New Exhibitions Opening this February

Ripley's Believe It or Not Special Exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park

Believe it or not, February is a great month to explore new exhibitions in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Why? Because February is also San Diego Museum Month, a month long event offering a 50% discount on regular admission to 42 museums throughout the county.

Please note that some special exhibitions require an additional entry fee.

New Exhibitions in Balboa Park

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Ripley's Believe It or Not Special Exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park

Believe it or not, this is a vehicle made out of wood…and it floats!

Step right up and marvel at the ludicrously strange and extremely amusing including an actual shrunken head, unusual modes of transportation, ordinary people performing amazing feats, outer space and aviation oddities, and more inside the Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition at the at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Don’t wait too long because these interesting artifacts won’t be back in Balboa Park for another 80+ years!

Where: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 1 – December 31, 2013
Cost: $5 with general admission
> Find out more about Ripley’s Believe It or Not at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Lowrider Legends of San Diego

1951 Chevrolet Truck - San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park

See classics like this 1951 Chevy Truck Lowrider at the Lowrider Legends of San Diego exhibition.

Listen to this as you ride on over to Balboa Park’s San Diego Automotive Museum to marvel at some of the finest examples of lowriders created in the San Diego region. Included in the Lowrider Legends of San Diego exhibition are such classics as a 1951 Chevrolet truck, 1949 Hudson, 1982 Cadillac, 1939 Chevrolet and more.

Where: 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 1 – June 20, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Lowrider Legends of San Diego at the San Diego Automotive Museum

Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders

Jerusalem Cricket - San Diego Natural History Museum

“But be forewarned! The stars of this exhibition are sure to delight the young, inquisitive minds in your family and some grownups might find the little creatures quite outrageous.” Dr. Michael W. Hager

Behold the Devil with Two Heads centipede, tremble before the Goliath Bird-Eating tarantula, gaze upon the Glowing Terror scorpion! Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders brings the most peculiar and astonishing bugs on Earth to the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT). In addition to the local insects theNAT brings to the exhibition, Dr. Entomo’s also includes 18 baffling species of live critters, as well as mounted specimens.

Where: 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 22 – June 2, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Bill Traylor

Bill Traylor - 1982 - Mingei Museum

Bill Traylor – 1982 – Mingei International Museum

A self-taught artist from Montgomery, Alabama, Bill Traylor’s depictions of life in rural and urban Alabama made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. The exhibition will feature more than 60 rarely seen drawings from the two largest public collections of his work, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Cygnet Theatre and Mingei International Museum have partnered to help maximize audience for two important shows during Black History Month: the exhibition Bill Traylor and the play Gem of the Ocean running at Cygnet from January 24 – February 24.

Where: 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 9 – May 12, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Bill Traylor at the Mingei International Museum

> Explore more Balboa Park and San Diego County Museums

Brent Bernasconi

Museum Monday: Exciting New Exhibitions in San Diego’s Balboa Park

Learn to Fly at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Over 16 museums and cultural institutions are spread throughout the almost 1,200 acres that make up the “Smithsonian of the West,” Balboa Park. Each museum offers unique experiences enticing visitors to return.

All of the museums keep things fresh with special traveling exhibitions that highlight exciting topics. These special exhibitions are always thought-provoking, educational and interactive. Below are just a few of these great exhibitions currently on display:

How Things Fly…

Learn to Fly at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Learn to fly the Wright Flyer at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Through January 2013
Ever wanted to learn to fly a plane, or simply wondered how they fly? You can at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s How Things Fly… special exhibition. For the parents in the audience, the exhibition sneaks in education through four different areas of hands-on fun: aerodynamics, propulsion, meteorology and air traffic control. The kids won’t see the learning coming!

Even the adults will have fun while attempting simulated flight on a helicopter or the temperamental Wright Flyer. Visitors can also strap on wings in a small wind tunnel, watch global updates of weather around the world in real time, or rediscover the simple joy of the flying a paper airplane.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Journey through the Titanic at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Take a journey through the Titanic at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Science Center

Through September 9, 2012
While visitors might not find the Heart of the Ocean diamond (sorry, I just had to!), visitors to the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum will encounter over 200 artifacts retrieved from the wreckage of the doomed RMS Titanic, including delicate bottles of perfume, china bearing the logo of the elite White Star Line, and many other now-priceless objects.

As visitors enter the exhibit, they will climb inside recreations of the Titanic’s beautiful interior, assuming the identity of one of its unfortunate passengers to relive the ill-fated journey. Moving through the exhibit, the artifacts provide an intricate narrative of the sunken wreckage as they lay dormant beneath the sea between 1912 and their discovery in 1985.

Woodies! Woodies!

Woodies! Woodies! at the San Diego Automotive Museum

Surfs Up with classic Woodies at the San Diego Automotive Museum

Through May 27, 2012
Imagine driving west, with the warm summer wind blowing though the rolled down windows, the surfboards strapped to the roof, the Beach Boys blasting through the speakers and the car filled with excitement as you head toward the beach. What type of car would you be driving? Why the Woodie of course!

At the San Diego Automotive Museum, the endless summer continues with over a dozen impeccably restored Woodies take visitors back in time.  Explore the history of these iconic and quintessential beach vehicles. Swim trunks and flip-flops are encouraged! Surf boards not included.

Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists

What is a Black Hole? at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Leant what a Black Hole is at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Through April 29, 2012
Discover how to avoid be sucked into a black hole at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center! Young and old scientists will journey into space to learn about how the theory of black holes came to be. The interactive exhibits provide an insight into how black holes work, and clears up many common misconceptions.

Remember to not get sucked in for too long, there is plenty more to see at the Fleet including Geometry Playground, on display through June 19, 2012.

There are even more great exhibitions throughout Balboa Park and you can find more information at Pick up a Passport to Balboa Park or Stay-for-the-Day Pass to save on admission. (Note: Some special exhibitions have an added cost).

Tell us in the comments below, why do you keep going back to visit the beautiful Balboa Park?


February is Museum Month in San Diego

February is one of my favorite months of the year in San Diego. With longer days, warmer temperatures and a shorter month, the race to spring always brings an extra boost to my step. And what better way to celebrate the turn of seasons than to explore San Diego’s many museums throughout the county at half the price?

February is Museum Month in San Diego. Each year, the San Diego Museum Council organizes this month-long promotion, presented by Macy’s, which provides half-off admission to any of the 40 participating museums. And with 2012 being a leap year, you’ll have an extra day to explore the vast and diverse wealth of San Diego’s arts and culture attractions.

From art and history, to science and nature, San Diego museums offer exploration and education into a diverse range of interests. From iconic institutions like the San Diego Museum of Art or the USS Midway Museum, to hidden gems like the San Diego Botanic Garden or the Museum of Making Music, this is the time to visit an old favorite or discover some place new.

San Diego Museum Month Passes

Pick up your Museum Month pass at any San Diego County Macy’s location near you, starting February 1, and start planning out your museum month.

What museums will you visit during Museum Month?

Benjamin Eastman

Highlighting SPACE in Air & Space Museum

Build your own colony on Mars!

The San Diego Air & Space Museum has an exhibition entitled SPACE: A Journey To Our Future.

A brand new selection of awesome hands-on areas make up this fun-filled exhibit! And while it is scheduled to be on display through January 2012, don’t let that be a reason for putting off this very cool experience!

While featuring lots of great memorabilia from the various stages of the Space Race (including moon rocks, space suits, and collections of mission patches, pins, etc), what really drew my attention was all of the great interactive and technology based exhibits that are featured. From their 360 degree theater to an area that allows you to build your own colony on Mars, the SPACE exhibit does a fantastic job of immersing you into all things Space. Their 3D/4D theater is even playing excerpts from the Hollywood movie, “Fly Me To The Moon”!

Motion-detection technology!

And how fun is it to experience exhibits about the future of space travel by utilizing futuristic technology? One particular exhibit uses motion-sensing technology to detect your hand movements and allows you to place parts of a rocket together to build your perfect space exploration machine. Another exhibit quizzes you on various propulsion systems and allows you to build a spaceship based on whether you intend to explore or colonize the region that you want to visit. The museum even features real-life exercise machines that astronauts use while in space!

Once again the Air & Space Museum has done a fantastic job of blending the fun and educational sides of learning together to make an enjoyable experience for future space travelers of all ages.