Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Today was Free Tuesday at Balboa Park and for thousands of visitors, that meant free admission to several of the park’s museums.
There was a line at the door to the Model Railroad Museum. Once inside, families were mesmerized as they watched model trains wend through sculpted landscapes and stop at tiny village depots.
Anthony Ritenhour is the Railroad Museum’s deputy director. Standing by a hand painted mural of the cliffs of Southern California, he described the effect of Free Tuesdays on the museum’s attendance.
“Generally on a Tuesday, we have between 80 and 130 people come into the museum. On a free Tuesday, we have between 1,800 and 2,200 people come through. On a super Tuesday, in the summer, we have as many as 4,000 people visit,” Ritenhour said.
He added that the increased numbers also increased memberships.
Lorrie Jordan brought her 3-year-old son, Brandon.
“Oh, the free Tuesdays started it off because this is his favorite museum, the train museum. He would ask to come every day of the week if he could and I thought we might as well buy a membership because he loves it so much,” she said.
The other museums included in the program this week were The Natural History Museum, The Rueben H. Fleet Science Center and The Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Information on next Tuesday’s program can be found on Balboa Park’s website.