Candice

San Diego Museum Month: Half-Off at 40+ Museums

san diego museum month 2014

san diego museum month 2014

Exploring San Diego’s museums, both big and small, is a great way to learn about the life, culture, history and art that makes up the city. But if you plan on visiting more than one or two, admission prices can really add up.

Fear not, budget-savvy museum lovers. San Diego Museum Month 2014 is right around the corner. From February 1-28, 2014, visitors can pick up a special Museum Month pass that provides half-off admission to 44 participating museums around San Diego.

With so many participating museums, it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. Fortunately, San Diego’s wealth of museums means that visitors from all walks of life are sure to find something one (or more) to love.

History and Heritage

maritime museum of san diego

The Star of India is one of the ships featured at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The San Diego History Center showcases San Diego’s history with artifacts, costumes, art and one of the largest photograph collections in the western United States.

Famed architect Irving Gill designed the historic Craftsman period mansion, The Marston House, with an elegant English garden.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego in downtown San Diego along San Diego Bay offers one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the famous Star of India – the world’s oldest active tall ship.

Artsy and Cool

lux art institute

The Lux Art Institute sits hillside in San Diego’s North County

The Museum of Photographic Arts presents photography from leaders like Ansel Adams, as well as cutting edge new artists. An intimate and elegant, state-of-the-art movie theater screens film classics and cult classics alike.

Set on a secluded hillside in a bright, modern structure that resembles a tiny Getty Center, the LUX Art Institute in Encinitas maintains an artist-in-residence program offering up-close opportunities to view international artists at work.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego displays modern masterpieces, including multi-media exhibits from world-renowned contemporary artists, in two locations, downtown San Diego and La Jolla.

Only in San Diego

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway is an aircraft carrier turned museum.

The USS Midway Museum is a decommissioned aircraft carrier museum in downtown San Diego along San Diego Bay featuring aircraft displays and interactive exhibits honoring the U.S. military.

Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad features more than 450 musical instrument displays and interactive areas to listen to music, ranging from ragtime to rock ‘n’ roll.

California Surf Museum in Oceanside preserves the legacy of pioneering legends of the surfing world.

Museum Month passes are free and can be picked up at any San Diego area Macy’s store location (plus locations in Temecula and the Imperial Valley). Be sure to grab one early to make the most of your time in San Diego!

> Click here for a full list of San Diego Museum Month Participants

In the comments below, tell us which museum is your favorite and why…

Candice

Fabulous Florals return to the San Diego Museum of Art’s Art Alive

San Diego Museum of Art's Art Alive 2013

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…a moss-covered angel descending onto the San Diego Museum of Art!

San Diego Museum of Art's Art Alive 2013

Bella Meyer’s moss angel for Art Alive 2013

Intrigued? That’s just one of the stunning sights that visitors to the museum’s annual Art Alive exhibition will see. This three-day floral festival enlists local designers to create arrangements inspired by the master works in the museum’s permanent collection, but that’s not all. Each year, one special designer is selected to transform the museum’s atrium into a wonderland of sights and smells. This year, San Diego is honored to have Bella Meyer, granddaughter of artist Marc Chagall and founder and creative director for FleursBella Beautifiers in New York City, designing the centerpiece of Art Alive.

Creating Art Alive

Working around the clock, Bella and her crew began installing the massive floral structures on Sunday. By Friday morning, the museum’s atrium will have been transformed into a magical forest of greens, blues and whites. Bella explains that San Diego, Balboa Park and the museum’s architecture were the inspiration for this year’s atrium creation.

San Diego Museum Art's Art Alive 2013

Designers work furiously to install the floral arrangements.

Upon first visiting San Diego a year ago, Bella was struck by the melting pot of cultures she experienced in San Diego and Balboa Park, particularly the Mexican culture mixed with Nordic and Spanish influences. Bella interprets these influences into the plant life, mixing Nordic birch and Spanish moss with native San Diego fauna to create her masterpiece.

Bella Meyer's floral wonderland - Art Alive

Bella Meyer’s floral wonderland begins to take shape. What will the finished result look like?

“Balboa Park is like a fantasy land,” notes Bella. “I want to create a world where anything becomes possible.” In the fantasy world that Bella will create, guests will wander through an enchanted forest on the ground floor before ascending to a heavenly space above filled with fragrant white flowers, where a 12-ft moss angel descends into the atrium below.

Another creation that Bella calls the “Moss Muse” will greet visitors outside of the museum, beckoning them inside to explore the floral arrangements as well as the Spanish masters on view. And Bella’s creations aren’t the only unbelievable floral artworks you’ll see – one of this year’s designers has interpreted a bronze sculpture entirely in broccoli.

If all this sounds unbelievable, that’s understandable – Art Alive truly has to been seen to be believed. Don’t miss your chance to see this annual extravaganza before it disappears!

Art Alive to Go

Take a piece of Art Alive home with you! Some of the items for sale at the San Diego Museum of Art’s Art Alive pop-up shop.

Art Alive Events

  • Sip champagne, dine on treats from San Diego’s top restaurants, and dance the night away at the grand Opening Celebration, on Friday, April 26, 7–11 p.m.
  • Enjoy a hip sip and party into the wee hours with Flowers After Hours, on Friday, April 26, 9:30 PM to 1:00 AM.
  • Shop for unique items at a discount during a special Museum Store Jewelry Trunk Show on April 27 and 28, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • Families can try their hands at the “Garden of Activities,” featuring arts and crafts for children and families to do together, on April 27 and 28, 12:00 to 4:00 PM.
  • Enjoy a screening of the “Floral Feature Film,” the cult classic Little Shop of Horrors. The special screening includes a pre-film lecture by local film critic Beth Accomando, plus a box of sweet or savory snacks and your choice of beverages on April 27, 6:00 to 10:00 PM.
Candice

Deliciously Educational: Chocolate at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Chocolate exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum
Chocolate exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum

This life-sized box of chocolates and vintage wrapper collection are all part of “Chocolate” at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Whether you’re still recovering from the Halloween sugar coma or just can’t get enough of the sweet stuff, Chocolate at the San Diego Natural History Museum tempts visitors to its galleries with delicious exhibition that explores the history, science and culture around one of the world’s most popular treats.

The Journey of Chocolate at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Cocoa beans on display at San Diego Museum of Natural History

Would you like to be paid in Chocolate?

Tracing chocolate’s journey through history, the exhibition begins at chocolate’s birthplace, the tropical rainforests where the cacao tree grows. From there, museum visitors follow chocolate through the ages, from Aztec civilization where beans were used as currency to the Spanish conquistadors who introduced chocolate to Europe and through the Industrial Revolution that led to widespread manufacturing and the emergence of chocolate in most American pantries.

Chocolate at the San Diego Natural History Museum Information

Dates: October 29, 2012 – March 13, 2013
Time: 10:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Chocolate at the San Diego Natural History Museum 

After the Exhibition, Get a Taste of Delicious Chocolate in San Diego

Truffles from Eclipse Chocolat in San Diego

Truffles from Eclipse Chocolat in San Diego

If all the chocolate treats on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum have you craving some samples, fear not: San Diego is home to some terrific chocolatiers creating museum-worthy confections. Not far from Balboa Park, you’ll find Eclipse Chocolat, where exotic truffles and decadent drinking chocolates are accented with flavors like sage, peppercorn and goat cheese. Drive up the coast to North County to one of Chuao Chocolatiers’ three locations and sample their creative flavor combinations, including a potato chip-laced chocolate bar or the “Spicy Maya” made with chipotle and homemade popping candy.

Candice

Museum Monday: San Diego’s Balboa Park Art Museums Rule

When it comes to museums, Balboa Park can’t be beat. With 16 different museums housed on its 1,200 acres, it’s no wonder that Balboa Park is often referred to as the “Smithsonian of the West.”

Balboa Park’s museums come in all shapes and sizes, from the grand San Diego Natural History Museum and its momentous Titanic exhibition to the miniature trains housed in the equally miniature San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

If you (like me) can’t get enough art, head straight to Balboa Park, which boasts no fewer than five art museums. For a sneak peek, check out my video tour of some of my favorites:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFoCbzFX52o]
Candice

Video Tour: San Diego Museum Month

San Diego Museum Month - 29 Days - 40 Museums - 50% Off

If you’re an art lover, museum buff or simply appreciate the value of a good deal, then February is the best time for you to visit San Diego. All month long, stop by any San Diego County Macy’s location to pick up a San Diego Museum Month pass and you’ll get half-off admission for you and up to three guests at 40 museums throughout the county.

From sports memorabilia to classic cars, mummies and hands-on science experiments, Balboa Park is a one-stop shop for Museum Month fun. Some of my favorites of Balboa Park’s 16 museums are those of the artistic bent, like the San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts and Mingei International Museum. Join me on a video tour of what you can expect to see at these three spectacular venues:

For a complete list of all the museums participating in Museum Month, visit the San Diego Museum Council’s website, and pick up your half-off pass before it’s too late!

Aki

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?

Aki

MOPA’s Photography Exhibitions Awe and Inspire

Infinite Balance showcases artists shortlisted for the world’s top prize for photography and sustainability.

One of my favorite art museums in San Diego is MOPA (Museum of Photographic Arts). Located in the appropriately picturesque setting of Balboa Park, my admiration for this museum not only stems from their consistent showcase of highly inventive and beautiful photographic art, but also because I always leave there with more knowledge and awareness of the world around me. The power of photography is undeniable, and the current exhibitions deliver a true visual tour-de-force.

Located in the Casa de Balboa Building in Balboa Park, MOPA is one of few institutions in the US dedicated to presenting the entire spectrum of the photographic medium.

The headliner exhibition, Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment is the first US presentation of artists shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet, the world’s top prize for photography and sustainability. The show presents the work of acclaimed contemporary photographers from across the globe, created under the three guiding themes: Earth, Growth and Water.

Infinite Balance showcases artists shortlisted for the world’s top prize for photography and sustainability.

The pictures are stunning – alarming, somber and telling about the impact of human progress on the environment. Many of the works are large-scale, presented beautifully in MOPA’s modern and open gallery space, leaving plenty of room to walk around, step back and absorb the photographs. There is a seating area set up in the main exhibition space, with monitors that show interactive videos created by the Prix Pictet. In these videos, artists talk about each of the themes represented in the exhibition – Earth, Growth and Water – providing a broader context to the work on display.

The second exhibition showcases the whimsical and creative talent of San Diego’s youth.  The 2011 Annual Youth Exhibition, See/Saw, features photography and film produced by San Diego student artists, created during MOPA’s education programs in 2011. Each photograph displays the name and grade level of each student artist. Many of the photographs are accompanied by artist statements written by the students themselves. The wonderfully fresh photographic works provide authentic and unencumbered views of the world, seen through the eyes of San Diego’s youth. Not only was I astonished by the high-caliber quality of the artwork, but was surprised also how clearly and concisely each artist conveyed their ideas in the artist statements. An innovative and interactive feature of See/Saw is a SMS text messaging system that allows you to send your comments to the student artists directly. I loved that I could to send encouraging feedback to a few of my favorite artists from the show.

MOPA's annual youth exhibition, "See/Saw" showcases photographic art by San Diego's youth.

The exhibition also highlights a special program that MOPA developed in India earlier this year, using photography to teach Indian teens to explore environmental issues in their communities. The photographs taken by twenty Indian students who participated in the program in January of 2011 are on display, revealing insightful and haunting images of the rural region in India. This video showcases the program developed by MOPA.

Both exhibitions are on view for the next few months: Infinite Balance closes February 5, 2012, and See/Saw closes on January 29, 2012.

Want to check out these exhibitions for yourself? We’re giving away two (2) sets of four (4) MOPA guest passes! Leave a comment by Noon on Thursday, November 10, 2011 for a chance to win!