Balboa Park Explorer FAQs

Can I pay for the Explorer with cash?

You can pay with cash at the Balboa Park Visitor’s Center, located in the center of Balboa Park. The Museum is unable to take cash for Explorer Passes.

What institutions are included?

  • Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • Japanese Friendship Garden
  • Mingei International Museum
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of the Living Artists
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • San Diego Veterans Museum
  • Timken Museum of Art
  • WorldBeat Center

Is the San Diego Zoo included in the Explorer program?

The Zoo is not included in the new annual pass; however, the current Explorer Week Pass/Zoo combo (7-day Explorer Pass with a one-day admission ticket to the Zoo) continues to be offered for visitors. The Explorer Week Pass/Zoo Combo is available for purchase at the Balboa Park Visitors Center.

Will I be able to see all of the exhibits in every museum with the Explorer?

Occasionally, a museum will feature an exclusive special exhibition or film requiring a separate admission fee, which may be discounted for Explorer Pass holders.

What are the separate fees for Balboa Park Explorers at the San Diego Natural History Museum?

Ocean Oasis and 3D films as well as permanent exhibitions are included for Balboa Park Explorers. Special Exhibitions are not included with the Explorer Pass, however, a discounted rate may be offered for passholders.

What is the difference between my Museum membership and a Balboa Park Explorer?

The Balboa Park Explorer is different from a membership. It provides unlimited general admission to 17 organizations. In addition to financially contributing to the Museum’s ongoing scientific and educational programs, your membership includes a variety of benefits from special discounts, invitations to events, and guest passes to the San Diego Natural History Museum.

If I am already a member of a museum, will I be able to get a refund and/or apply what I have paid in membership toward the purchase of the Balboa Park Explorer?

The two programs are unrelated. Refunds or credits to your current membership cannot be given.

When can I use the Balboa Park Explorer?

The Balboa Park Explorer will be accepted during all regular museum operating hours. Please note that some museums are closed on Mondays, and museums have varying hours of operation.

Does the pass expire at the end of the month or one year from date of purchase?

One year from date of purchase.

Can I buy a pass or membership that gets me into all Balboa Park museums?

Yes, beginning in November 2013 we will have passes available which will provide unlimited admission to 16 institutions in the park for a full year from date of purchase.

How much will an annual Balboa Park Explorer cost?

$99 for students or seniors; $129 for individuals; $229 for a family of two adults and up to four children in the same household.

Will there be a payment plan available?


Where and when will I be able to purchase it?

The Balboa Park Explorer is currently available online. Click here to purchase now. Or, you may purchase in person at theNAT’s admission desk or Balboa Park Visitor Center.