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San Diego Natural History Museum

1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92104 (Balboa Park)
619.232.3821
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Ranked #115 of 235 Attractions in San Diego
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Type: Natural History Museums, Museums
Owner description: Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films with a focus on the natural world. The Museum’s... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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153 reviews from our community

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English first
Tustin, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014 NEW

I visited this museum a few weeks ago with my 17-year-old daughter who, like myself, loves a good Natural History Museum. It is definitely on the small side for a museum of this type, but we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits, especially the Nat Geo Pirate Exhibit (temporary, go soon!) which was beautifully done and very complete. We both liked how... More

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Fort Myers, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

I thought this was a terrible attraction. Not only was it so hot we could hardly breathe but we were charged $17 per person to view very few exhibits. The taxidermy wasn't done well, the exhibits had dust on them, and there wasn't sufficient information about the displays.

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Weston, Florida
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
36 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

It is a very small museum so if you go thinking that you are in New York or the Smithsonian, you are in for a shock. It is also VERY expensive for it size, all this said, I think it is a great way to introduce kids to this type of museum. Too small to be boring but with enough... More

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Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
370 reviews 370 reviews
117 attraction reviews
405 helpful votes 405 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

For those who have never been to a natural history museum, this may provide a basic introduction to the field. But for anyone who has visited a topnotch natural history museum, such as the one in Washington, D.C. or New York City, I recommend giving this one a miss. Though the building has four stories, it is small in terms... More

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Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
21 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We were very disappointed with this museum. The price was high for such a small museum with not many exhibits. Felt we overpaid at $17 per person. My daughter was $12. We were all bored. There are too may others nice museums in the park so don't waste your time or money on this one!

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Murray, Utah
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

Went with grand kids. They love fossils and dinosaurs, so it was a hit. Some amazing nature photographs on the fourth floor. Saw two 3D movies and one regular with general admission. A bit pricey, but so is everything these days.

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Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
117 attraction reviews
214 helpful votes 214 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Even though the museum contains multiple levels, it is a very small museum and makes the $17 admission price seem a bit steep. And, if you wanted to see the Pirate exhibit then add another $10, making a total $27 entrance cost. I passed on the Pirates, but did watch all three of the movies offered in the theater (included... More

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Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

I wanted to go here specifically to see the dinosaurs. When we arrived we were upsold on an annual pass and went through all the paperwork only to find out in the end that they don't take American Express. We ended up buying a day pass and are glad we did. The majority of the building's space is a four... More

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Haifa, Israel
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
27 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

I like museums, and after going to the Nature History Museum in London, I expect greatness of every similar museum. Now, the museum is very small, it's OK... Nothing besides that. They have a pirates exhibition now, and I just don't know... I paid like 28$ (Or something similar), and it was totally not worth my time.

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Wolverine, Michigan
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

The San Diego Natural History Museum has great! It has lots of interesting facts about the animals like the others do but most are from the California area. They also had a pirates exhibit (which we didn't pay the extra for) that looked like it was pretty neat from what we saw. We took our 2 teenage girls & they... More

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