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Balboa Park Halloween Family Day 2012


  • WHEN Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 11 a.m.
  • WHERE Balboa Park, (Visitors Center) 1549 El Prado , San Diego
    Map | Website
  • AGES All ages
  • COST Free - $39

Children 12 and under will be treated to free admission at over a dozen museums at the 4th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day on Saturday, October 27, 2012.

In addition to free children’s admission with a paid adult, participating museums and cultural attractions will present a spooktacular array of hands-on activities, crafts, costume parades, tours, storytelling, and other free goodies from 11am to 3pm.

Adults also receive discounted admission when they pick up a Stay-for-the-Day Pass, a one-day excursion pass allowing one adult admission to five park museums for a low price of $39.

Among the highlights of this year’s park-wide Halloween Family Day is a doggie costume parade and contest at the Lily Pond, a Great Pumpkin parachute drop at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, a creepy nocturnal Critter Cavern at the Natural History Museum, and activities that explore legendary local ghosts at the San Diego History Center.

Balboa Park Visitors Center: Free gift to kids in costume who are accompanied by an adult (while supplies last). Enter a drawing to win: Passports to Balboa Park; Old Town Trolley/Seal Tour tickets; Junior Theatre tickets to "Sound of Music."

Japanese Friendship Garden: Garden scavenger hunt and crafts for kids, as well as a miniature Japanese dry gardening workshop. Free gift for kids in costume.

Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre: Free puppet-making activity for children accompanied by an adult at 11:45am and 1:45pm; show ticket not required.

Mingei International Museum: Children 12 and under free with paid adult.

Museum of Photographic Arts: For all ages, come in costume and take a photo in MOPA’s turn-of-the-century Man in the Moon photo backdrop and trick your friends into thinking it’s 1914!

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: Toddlers can get crafty and create Halloween decorations featuring skeletons and jack-o-lanterns in the Kid City activity Pasta Skeletons and Pumpkin Guts (ages 5 and under).

San Diego Air & Space Museum: Make Great Pumpkinparachutes in preparation for the pumpkin drop off the museum roof at 2:30pm; enjoy kid-friendly 3-D films. Special admission price of $4 to see the "How Things Fly" exhibition.

San Diego Automotive Museum: Discover your inner (scary) car designer with ghost car coloring sheets in the Children’s Art Gallery.

San Diego Hall of Champions: Children 12 and under free with paid adult.

San Diego History Center: Tombstone Trivia tests your knowledge of notorious people and legendary ghosts from San Diego’s past in a simulated graveyard setting. The Make-n-Take Pumpkin Treat Bag for the little ones will be filled with treats to take home to eat later.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum: Take a spooky ride down the Haunted Tracks to learn what an engineer does, hear stories about haunted railroads, and make a Halloween mask.

San Diego Museum of Art: Discover the many masks and costumes depicted in works of art in the museum’s collection with clues from a special Search and Find handout.

SDMA’s Sculpture Court Café by Giuseppe will offer a warm apple cider station with candy for the kids, while quantities last.

San Diego Natural History Museum: Grab a flashlight and visit the Critter Cavern to learn about bats and other nocturnal creatures, then join in a costume parade led by Ms. Frizzle at 2:30pm following her 1:30pm performance. Also, hands-on activities to create crafts to take home.

San Diego Museum of Man: Learn about Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and sugar skulls; make a calavera mask or a paper flower to honor friendly spirits, then take a spooky tour of the museum’s mummy collection, presented in ghostly rhyme!

San Diego Youth Symphony: Free open orchestra rehearsals on the second floor of the Casa del Prado building.

San Diego Zoo: Free admission to all children through 11 years of age, regardless of adult ticket purchase. Part of “Kids Free Month” (October) promotion.

Spanish Village: Dog Costume Parade and Contest beginning at 1:00pm at the Lily Pond. Dog treats for the winners and first place receives a $25 Spanish Village Gift Certificate. Also, free art activities, including trick-or-treat bag decorating, trick-or-treating at the studios, entertainment, art, and food booths.

Timken Museum of Art: Revel in ghostly giggles at a Family Storytelling at 11:00am that will give ages five and up “just the teeniest bit of shiver.”

UNA International Gift Shop: Pick up a Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF box for kids to take along with them as they go trick-or-treating this Halloween. The money they collect will be sent to UNICEF to help children around the world who need clean water, food, school supplies, etc. One free flag per family while supplies last.


Balboa Park Sustainability Program: Enjoy Halloween-themed arts and crafts that teach all ages how to live more sustainably. Meet special guest Ivana Waste, an energy vampire who feeds off the electricity of turned-off, plugged-in appliances.

Marston House: Mask making and coloring. Receive a vintage, c. 1900 style, treat bag full of various goodies, including coupons and candy (while supplies last).

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet: Information on upcoming programs including "The Nutcracker" and "The Nutcracker Tea."

San Diego Natural History Museum: Information on the upcoming exhibition "Chocolate."

San Diego Youth Symphony: Instrument “petting zoo” where students will demonstrate and teach visitors how to play an instrument; free candy for kids while supplies last; and information on concert season and other programs.

San Diego Zoo: Pins, decals, magazines, and Halloween candy will be handed out to everyone. Zoo animals at the booth.

Spreckels Organ Society: Coloring sheets depicting the great Spreckels Organ and the logo of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, with crayons and markers and fun facts on the back. There will also be information on upcoming organ concerts.

LOCATION: Balboa Park is located at 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. Google Map

BALBOA PARK MAPS: See Maps for detailed locations of the museums, attractions, restaurants and amenities.

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending. Check local COVID-19 restrictions and updates.

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