• The Backyard
    Now open
  • The Backyard
    Now open
  • The Backyard
    Now open
  • The Backyard
    Now open
  • The Backyard
    Now open

Where young minds come out to play.

We’ve created a special, new space at The Nat just for young, curious minds ages 0-5. Little learners can expand their horizons in The Backyard, an all-new exhibit space where our youngest visitors can learn and explore the natural world through play.

Vibrant exhibit décor brings urban San Diego to life by depicting a quintessential backyard oasis where people and wildlife share space and live together. The Backyard provides a safe space for children five and under to enjoy some good old natural history recreation.

Learning starts with exploring.

Budding naturalists can play under a shade tree, search for hidden secrets along a wooden fence, climb on a giant ladybug, or read their favorite book in a cozy potting shed. For our youngest visitors still at the crawling stage, there’s a soft, cushioned area for protected exploration.

Whether your child is captivated by animals, minerals, or vegetables, The Backyard is packed with experiences that encourage curiosity about the natural world. Spend some time in The Backyard and see that adventures begin close to home.

Parents or caregivers can actively participate with children or sit, relax, and observe with a beverage from The Flying Squirrel Café. The Backyard is suggested for children five and under, and accompanied by an adult.

Access to The Backyard is included with general admission and free for members. The Backyard will close at 4:30 PM each day for cleaning and maintenance.

We aim to provide a fun, safe experience for all. The below guidelines help make this possible:

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Adults must be accompanied by a child to enter.
  • Older siblings may join in gentle play.
  • Food is permitted.
  • Cleaning supplies are provided to help keep this space tidy.
  • This space has a 25 person capacity. If full, we invite you to explore the Museum with the 5 and Under Museum Guide until space becomes available.



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