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How to Spend a Day at Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a beautiful urban park that is nestled in the heart of Downtown San Diego. If you are looking for a way to escape the busy city life, you can easily spend a day enjoying the many attractions, exhibits and outdoor space at Balboa Park. For families interested in spending a day in the park, the Marina Inn hotel near Balboa Park has created a 1-day itinerary, sure to please every member of your family.

The mornings are nice times to walk outside and take in the beauty of the gardens at Balboa Park, before the afternoon heat hits. Take a stroll to the indoor botanical garden and the beautiful pond situated right outside. If you need a caffeine boost, stop by Daniel’s Coffee Cart which is located just outside the visitor’s center and get a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate for the little ones before hitting the museums which open at 10am.

There are numerous museums at Balboa Park, but be sure to visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Hall of Champions Museum. If you’re planning on visiting multiple museums, there are day passport passes at the welcome center for $38 for admittance to any five of Balboa Park’s museums.

If spending the morning exploring all the museums makes you hungry, there are kid-friendly restaurants for lunch in select museums and in throughout the park. The Air and Space Museum, the Hall of Champions and the Natural History Museum are a few options that have casual, family dining inside. If you’re in between visiting museums, stop by the Village Grill by the Reuben H Fleet Science Center or Lady Carolyn’s Pub by the Old Globe Theater.

Once you have a full stomach, you can either continue exploring museums or take a break and see a puppet show or meander through the International Village. The puppet shows are at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm. At the International Village, your family can learn about other countries and sample food unique to those cultures.

Some museums close at 4:30pm and others at 5pm. After a long day, grab a quick bite to eat at one of the food carts at the park or splurge and treat your family to a fine dinner at the popular Prado Restaurant. After dinner listen to an organ concert at the organ pavilion or stop for some ice cream and enjoy your treats by the fountain between the science center and natural history museum.

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