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San Diego Natural History Museum

Neighborhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone Number: 619.232.3821
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D...
Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films with a focus on the natural world. The Museum’s award-winning exhibit design team creates exhibitions that focus on the unique and biodiverse southern California region. In addition, the Museum hosts several traveling exhibitions each year which teach visitors about our natural world as it is today and as it was in the past.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 193 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 59
    Excellent
  • 57
    Very good
  • 49
    Average
  • 18
    Poor
  • 10
    Terrible
Most recent review
Looking for Monsters and Bones

Our 12 yr old grandson came with us to the Museum primarily because it offered a view of monsters. He got as excited when he discovered all the skeletons and fossils. Even though... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 27, 2015
askewcher
,
Phoenix, Arizona
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193 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW

Our 12 yr old grandson came with us to the Museum primarily because it offered a view of monsters. He got as excited when he discovered all the skeletons and fossils. Even though he was on Spring Break and not interested in putting his brain to work during his break, his eyes lit up and he started making up stories... More 

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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
233 reviews 233 reviews
81 attraction reviews
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

we were in Balboa Park and saw the signs for the King Tut exhibit. We had never been to the museum before and didn't know what to expect. Staff was friendly and helpful and got us into the Tut exhibit with the self guided "wands" quickly and easily. The exhibit was well laid out, well documented, had lots of good... More 

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

The new gallery is just fantastic. Great information on local plants and animals along a transect from the California coast, over the mountains, and into the Colorado desert. Enjoyed the current science especially. We spent an hour in that exhibit and could have spent more. The fossil gallery was also good--I'd seen it shortly after it opened and it is... More 

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Hinton
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

We visited the museum in March. I was very excited to go as we enjoy science and history museums. This one, however, truly misses the mark. They have some nice exhibits but nothing to make you say wow. We have visited natural history museums in other cities which are far more extensive with varieties of exhibits. They had a King... More 

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Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

very exciting and a lot to see , price was well worth it, parking was horrible, too many people and not enough parking

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Vista
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

The King Tut exhibit is awesome but ends April 26th 2015. Your entrance fee costs less if you order online and includes the on site Theater with about 4 different films throughout the day. The "NAT" as it is known here in San Diego is located in Balboa park where a parking space can be an excursion itself. Go early... More 

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
52 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

My friends and I were impressed by the displays and explanatory plaques that both children and adults can understand and appreciate. We came away understanding what was living locally in the different periods and not just the ever-popular Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. You should spend a few mesmerizing minutes beyond the front entry watching the pendulum sway. The display of... More 

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Fountain Valley
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Really made for kids now with lots of interactive exhibits and things to crawl in and around while they learn about nature. 2 adults visited this time and can't wait to take the grand kids.

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PA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
25 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2015

Small, and at $17 a person, I'm not sure it was worth it, as the exhibits were nice but not extraordinary. However, once we climbed to the top floor, past the crowds, a giant Fabergé-like egg, depicting the carousel outside, wowed us. The complex mechanisms and the attention to detail was astounding. Even better was the gem of an exhibit:... More 

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San Diego, California, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

The museum is a nice place to spend a few hours, but the "added" exhibits such as Tut are pretty expensive... $27 + admission to the museum. And why is Tut at a Natural History museum? There was an audio tour, but no one to ask questions. If you have an unlimited budget, I would recommend the museum. Otherwise there... More 

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