Policies & Procedures

Event Hours

All rental spaces within The Nat are available during and outside museum business hours; setup is permitted during business hours with staff supervision. All events must end by 2 AM or additional fees apply. Other rules and restrictions related to setup and breakdown vary by event size.


The Nat requires event security for all facility rentals. The number of security guards will be based on the number of attendees for each event. The security guard(s) fee will be listed in the venue rental fees.


Caterers and vendors are responsible for clean-up. In-house maintenance staff will be present to handle facility emergencies. Standard facility cleaning fee will be listed in the venue rental fees. If additional assistance is necessary, fees will apply for extra staffing.


Balboa Park offers several free parking lots within walking distance, as well as designated drop-off zones for both passenger loading and shuttle services. Additional valet parking options are available and can be arranged upon request; however, additional fees apply.


The Nat works exclusively with a list of 14 caterers. Guests are allowed to tour the facility with their hors d’oeuvres and beverage in hand. The Museum has food and beverage restrictions in two exhibition galleries.

Bar Service

The Nat is the exclusive provider of all bar services. All alcohol must be served by museum staff. The Nat offers several options including full bar services and beer and wine only. Clients can choose to host the bar services, offer drink tickets, or have guests pay cash. Clients must contract for bar services if alcohol will be served at their event.


The Nat has a selection of rental items available upon request that includes chairs, tables, and specialty items. Additional fees apply. Any outside equipment vendors, including furniture and audiovisual, must provide a valid business license and liability insurance to the Museum.


Decor may not be attached to any wall, floor, or ceiling without permission. All decor must be approved prior to the event by the Special Events Department. No live flame candles are allowed–only LED. Additionally, no confetti or balloons are permitted within the Museum.


All setup and breakdown of events must occur on the same day unless prior arrangements have been approved by the Special Events Department. The Museum is not responsible for any materials, rentals, or decor left behind. Additional fees may apply for substantial mess or items left behind.


The client and all vendors need to provide a one-day certificate of insurance listing the San Diego Natural History Museum as a certificate holder and a separate endorsement naming the Museum as additionally insured.


Smoking is strictly prohibited on museum property and in Balboa Park.


All spaces within the Museum are ADA accessible.

Rental Fees

Please contact the Special Events Department for a customized quote for your event. Please email events@sdnhm.org or call 619.255.0182.


Museum special event staff will be on-site throughout your event to assist with event logistics. The staff is not available to set up, tear down, move inventory, or assist contracted vendors during the event. Please work with your vendors to ensure ample staff is scheduled for your event.