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Guide: Balboa Park Centennial Celebration

Photo caption:

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Pictured is the fountain in the center of the Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park, Jan. 15, 2015.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama–California Exposition at Balboa Park, an event that drew tens of thousands of people to the San Diego park.

Originally called City Park, modern-day Balboa Park started with the exposition. It's a 1,200-acre park that's home to museums, gardens and the San Diego Zoo. To celebrate the exposition's anniversary, events are planned throughout 2015.

Ongoing Events And Exhibits

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Patty Mooney

The San Diego Natural History Museum is pictured in this undated photo.

The Discovery of King Tut is on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum through April 26. The exhibit allows visitors to see the replicas of items discovered in King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.

A forgotten battle is remembered at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center. Hold at All Costs: The Battle for Outpost Harry will be on display through December. The exhibit highlights the eight-day Korean War battle that pit U.S. troops and its allies against a massive number of Chinese troops.

The family friendly Monsters! exhibit is at the San Diego Museum of Man through the end of the year. The interactive exhibit allows visitors to create their own monsters, learn about monster legends and explore monster habitats.

Dr. Seuss and his beloved stories come to life in Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss at the San Diego History Center. The exhibit continues through 2015 and features family-friendly activities as well as original artwork by the late Theodor Geisel, who lived in La Jolla.

The Madonna of the Pinks, a piece painted by Italian Renaissance artist Raphael between 1506 and 1507, is on display at the Timken Museum of Art through April 26.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is hosting concerts in its theater lobby on one Friday a month through May. Each Rock in the Park show includes two performances and starts at 7 p.m.

Get a glimpse into how Americans commuted over the years at the San Diego Automotive Museum. The museum will host an exhibit featuring modes of transportation dating back to 1915. The exhibit runs through March 27.

The San Diego History Center will showcase Masterworks of the Exposition Era through Jan. 10, 2016. The exhibit includes more than 80 pieces of art, some of which were on display in 1915.

Experience San Diego County's rich biodiversity at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The permanent exhibit, Coast to Cactus, allows visitors to explore the region's diverse plant and animal life.

The WorldBeat Center's Virtual Pavilion is hosting events through the year via the web. Events will include live performances and films. A full calendar is available on its website.

The Garden of Unity, an exhibit celebrating 100 years of the Japanese presence in Balboa Park, will continue through 2015 at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Public screenings of a documentary showcasing the Japanese history in San Diego will also be available.

Experience a world of science, engineering and math at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in its 2theXtreme — MathAlive! The interactive exhibit runs from Jan. 31 to Sept. 13, and allows visitors to understand the math behind designs and applications.


Photo caption:

Photo credit: Balboa Park Online Collaborative / Flickr

Museum of Photographic Arts is shown in this undated photo.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival took place from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25. It featured six films telling the stories of human rights abuses. It was the fifth year the festival was held at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Collage 2015 — Innovation, a variety dance show featuring San Diego dancers, will be at the Casa del Prado Theatre from Jan. 30 to Feb. 15. Hosted by the San Diego Civic Dance Arts, the show celebrates 70 years of dance education in San Diego.

The San Diego Art Institute is showcasing the history of Balboa Park in its exhibit, San Diego Keeps Her Promise: Balboa Park at 100. The exhibit, which runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 22, features the memories of Balboa Park through the eyes of participating artists.

San Diego Invites the World: The 1915 Expo will be at the San Diego History Center from Feb. 1 to Jan. 10, 2016. The exhibit allows visitors to relive what the estimated 4 million visitors saw at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

In Birds of the World, the work of 14 award-winning photographers will be on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum from Feb. 7 to Sept. 13.

Works of more than 20 of the most significant designers of the two Balboa Park Expositions will be featured, including drawings, photographs, lectures, and architectural tours. The exhibit will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the exhibit Balboa Park Exposition Designers 1915-1935 at the Marston House.


Photo caption:

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

A model trolley station that will be included in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum's Centennial Garden Railway is pictured.

Centennial Railway Garden, an exhibit that will feature streetcars and models of park structures, will be at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in March. The exhibit highlights the San Diego railways during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

The classic tale "The Sleeping Beauty" will be performed from March 27 to April 4 at the Casa del Prado stage. The production will be hosted by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.


Photo caption:

Photo credit: Ken W! / Flickr

A historic car is showcased in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum in this undated photo.

The San Diego Automotive Museum's Balboa Park: The War Years will feature military vehicles used during World War II. It runs from April 3 to June 26.

More than 100 works, including ceramics and needlework, will be showcased at the Mingei International Museum in its exhibit Self-Taught Genius — Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum. It will run from April 18 to Aug. 16.

Art of the Park: 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park will be on display at the Marston House from April 17 to Sept. 30. The exhibit showcases the renderings of Balboa Park as seen through the eyes of various artists.


Photo caption:

Photo credit: File Photo

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Balboa Park is pictured in this undated photo.

Circus: Science Under The Big Top will feature 20 interactive stations at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center from May 23 to Sept. 7.

The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer will be featured at the Timken Museum of Art from May 11 to Sept. 11. The art piece is one of 35 known works by the Dutch artist.


Photo caption:

Photo credit: The Old Globe Theatre Facebook page

The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park is pictured in this undated photo.

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will be the San Diego Natural History Museum from June 12 to Jan. 3. The exhibit will bring artifacts and life-sized recreations of Maya architecture.

The Old Globe will celebrate the centennial of 1915 Panama-California Exposition with the works of William Shakespeare on stage and in film. The performances run from June 21 to Sept. 20 and include free Monday night films relating to the playwright.


Balboa Park, Postwar will be at the San Diego Automotive Museum from July 3 to Sept. 25 and feature cars from the 1950s.


A Spirit of '45 Celebration will be held Aug. 9 at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The event will allow visitors to talk to veterans and enjoy music that was popular at the time.


The San Diego Automotive Museum will feature concept cars in its exhibit, Balboa Park, the Future, from Oct. 2 through Dec. 26. The exhibit will include cars that are still in the design process, and cars that never hit the road.

The Museum of Photographic Arts will host the 10th Annual Youth Exhibition — Self Identity exhibit from Oct. 3 to Jan. 24, 2016. The exhibit features the work of students in grades kindergarten through 12th from throughout San Diego County and Tijuana.


Photo caption:

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Performers are shown during the December Nights at Balboa Park in 2014.

December Nights will light up Balboa Park on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. The annual event will feature light displays, music, dance, food and activities. The event will also include the Festival of the Trees, a display of trees covered in historic decorations.

This guide will be updated as events are announced.


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