Adapting to Community Needs

As any nature lover knows, environmental changes require adaptation, so thank you for adapting with us as we make the museum as safe and welcoming a place as possible for even the most vulnerable members of our community.

Here’s just some of what we're doing:

  • New open hours. Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM, closed on Mondays.
  • Increased cleanings of high traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces before, during, and after open hours. (Thanks to our operations crew!)
  • Extra hand-sanitizing stations throughout the museum.
  • You'll see acrylic shields (sneeze-guards) at points of purchase, like the admissions desk.
  • You'll still be able to see: Living Lab, Insects Face to Face, Hidden Gems, Coast-to-Cactus, Fossil Mysteries, Extraordinary Ideas, Unshelved, Skulls, and various other exhibits.
  • Certain areas of the Museum will remain closed, such as The Backyard, Museum Store, and Giant-Screen Theater.
  • We will be operating at reduced building capacity to allow for practicing physical distancing. We've also shifted a few things around so you'll have plenty of room and still have five levels of exhibitions to explore.
  • Our digital programming, such as Nature & Me Storytime, Trivia Night, and Nat Chats will continue
  • Some of our most avid visitors may notice small changes in our exhibitions. For example, frequently handled interactives have been temporarily removed or replaced.
  • Staff care. Many staff members will continue telecommuting. All staff, volunteers, and vendors have temperature checks before entering the building and wear masks.

Here's how we ask you join us:

  • Do not visit if you have a fever or cough. We’ve been around for over 145 years; we’ll be here when you’re feeling better.
  • Wear a mask. Everyone ages 2+ entering the museum will be asked to wear a face mask at all times.
  • North Entrance access only. Come through our North door, by the Moreton Bay Fig Tree, by going down our ADA accessible ramp. This will help us best monitor building capacity.
  • Bring credit/debit cards. Cash transactions will not be accepted.
  • Make sure to follow traffic flow signage (we worked hard on it!).
  • Look but don’t touch. As much as we love being as hands-on as possible, thanks for understanding we're not quite there yet.
  • Practice prevention. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. (We have plenty of soap.)
  • Your patience is appreciated. You may have to experience brief wait times as our visitor services and operations teams conduct cleanings or help direct foot traffic.
These guidelines were created based on best health practices, guidelines from the County of San Diego, and with feedback from you – our community. We’ve been in this together and are grateful to welcome you back to your home in Balboa Park!

More Resources

If you are looking for additional information about COVID-19 or would like a list of local resources please check out the following:

Stay safe and sane! We're here for you.

Not the right time to visit?

Whether you're choosing to continue to shelter-in-place or are simply unsure you can visit at this time, we're right there with you...digitally!

  • Check out The Nat @ Home for videos and activities to keep any nature nerd active.
  • Visit our blog for research or citizen science news.
  • Explore our digital programming, more Nat Chats coming soon!

And, finally, if you're able, please consider a small donation. Our work in education and conservation relies a lot on admissions, so every little bit helps. Thank you.