San Diego has some of the best museums and galleries in California! You will find something for everyone here. Balboa Park alone has 17 museums.
Did you know that museums are great for children? When a child sees new things they become excited about their new knowledge. Some museums take us back in time and help us understand the culture and the people better. They also help us understand things from a different perspective. Museums and galleries are full of stories and this helps us as parents to start new conversations with our children. I will never forget when I went to a museum that had an exhibit about Chinese foot binding traditions and it sparked the conversation about how some cultures think modifying some part of their body makes them more attractive. Chinese binding was a way to display status because only women from wealthy families could afford to bind their feet and not work. When we got in the car our conversation continued and we watched testimonies of women who had that done to their feet on YouTube. My children and I did not fully understand about foot binding until we went to the museum and that experience sparked an interest in us to learn more. Our son recently got his braces and after watching feet binding he said that braces is a way to modify ones teeth. I see nothing wrong with getting braces and I my self had braces but I wonder if it will always be popular or will it be looked as unnecessary and painful in the future? Maybe one day natural teeth will be considered beautiful and popular? I do think that this comparison was extreme but I’m so glad that we had that conversation and that my children are able to compare things by simply visiting a museum.
San Diego Natural History Museum
Last time when we were in San Diego we were lucky enough to see the ancient Maya exhibit. They have the coolest exhibits and events here. I wish we lived closer so we could come to the upcoming events such as the rattlesnake feeding. The Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage exhibit is probably our favorite because it is full of specimens (8 million to be exact). We love fossils, shells, plants, insects, and other specimens. As a nature enthusiast I can only dream of owning some of these. We have a nature shelf in our homeschool room and it is our favorite.
They are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Located at 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park. San Diego, CA 92101.
When you think of San Diego the first thing that comes to mind is the beach or ocean so it totally makes sense to start with one of their museums that is dedicated to ships. If you love historic ships than you’ll love this museum. Climbing on board these historic ships has you wondering how one could go around the world in one of these in such tight quarters. Since my husband and I were born in USSR it was no wonder that we enjoyed exploring the Soviet submarine B-39. We thought the ships were pretty amazing and we really enjoyed the exhibits that they had to offer. This place is very kid friendly. Hey, you could even throw a birthday party here if you would like to. How cool is that? They are open daily from 9 am until 9 pm.
Located At Star of India Wharf 1492 North Harbor Drive. San Diego, CA 92101.
USS Midway Museum
This is by far the biggest and the best Navy Museum we have ever been to. This ship is so big and it carries a large collection of aircraft and majority of these can be seen on the flight deck. If your into airplanes, you’ll love it here. What many of you may not know is that when I was in high school I took ROTC so aircrafts have always been an interest of mine. If you are planning to see this make sure you plan to spend 3 to 4 hours here. They offer so many different activities for a small fee. Peter and Elizabeth experienced the flight simulators ride.
There is a free audio tour available with headphones so that you are able to learn much more.
I enjoyed the kitchen and laundry room. I just could not imagine cooking and washing so much clothes for so many people and here I was thinking doing it for 6 people was hard work. They had these really neat iron boards there as well. It was interesting to learn about the life of those who lived and worked on an aircraft carrier.
Oh did I mention the view from flight deck? If you look down you’ll see “The Kiss” sculpture. Did you know that if someone served in WWII and got married in the war or a bit after it they can be honored by renewing their vows here.
They are opened daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Make sure you arrive before 4:00 pm because they will not let you in after that and personally you need more than one hour to fully experience this ship. They are closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you plan on coming here then I totally recommend you buy your tickets online because you’ll save $2 for every person in your group.
Located at 910 North Harbor Dr. San Diego, Ca 92101.
Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial
This is a cross monument honoring American veterans. This memorial is different because it honors both living and deceased. The top of Mt. Soledad is the highest point in the city with an elevation of 824 feet. From here you get a great view of San Diego, La Jolla, Mission Bay, the ocean, and the mountains.
This aquarium has 3,000 different animals with 380 different species to observe. It is smaller than some of the other aquariums but we enjoy observing the life of marine creatures so much and we find it hard to pass by an aquarium. I think our favorite exhibits are where the glass is bigger than us. We got to enjoy a large turtle swim past us. We had never seen a sunflower sea star before so it was such a treat. This star fish can have up to 24 arms.The outdoor tide pool area was our favorite because the kids love touching the star fish and the sea cucumber.
Located at 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037.
Hands on Learning: Dissecting a Squid
We love it when we get to explore low tides in real life. However, squids are something we have never seen during low tides because they love the deep waters. Squids are so speedy. They are known as “head-footed” because the end head has both arms and tentacles. They have eight arms and two tentacles. They use their two tentacles to grab their prey. They eat pretty much anything that moves and comes across them. Their sharp beak is like a parrots beak. They have large eyes and this helps them with their advanced vision. They are able to change colors and this is known as “chromatophores .” The different patterns they make is a form of language for them because that is how they communicate with each other. When a squid is frightened it releases ink from its ink gland and jets away. Did you know you can actually write with that ink?
Dissecting the squid was so fascinating. Watch the video below to see and learn more. We received the squid from Home Science Tools.
Thank you San Diego for hosting our museum experiences.
Thank you for reading our post. We share a new post every Thursday at 8pm.