Kids Free San Diego begins at nearly 60 museums for the month of October
From artistic murals to prehistoric mastodons, there are many free attractions for children 12 and under across the county this month.
The San Diego Museum Council is sponsoring its annual Kids Free San Diego program where children receive free admission at nearly 60 museums with a paid adult. In some cases, families are allowed in for free, too.
Ben Barbrick, 9, is home-schooled. He was investigating the fossils exhibit with his mother and siblings at the San Diego Natural History Museum on Monday.
“You learn where things have come from in time and stuff like that, but also where things come from in the world," he said.
Every October the San Diego Museum Council opens its member museums with complimentary admission offering freebies, educational exploration and fun.
The Council's Executive Director Bob Lehman said, "You don’t have to get dressed up to come to a museum. You can wear sweatpants if you want. It doesn’t matter. It’s just about coming to have fun. You’ll be surprised by what you see inside."
The Kids Free October county crawl includes a wide variety of venues. Among them are all 18 museums in Balboa Park. The USS Midway Museum, the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, and the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center just to list a few.
Access to the museums is one goal of the program, to reach families with young children who are also members of marginalized communities.
First Five San Diego is one of the sponsors of the event.
“The museums are doing such an amazing job of really meeting all the senses (to stimulate children). What we see, what we hear, what we touch, what we taste, what we feel. It's so important for our little ones and their brain development at this time," said Alethea Arguilez, executive director of First Five San Diego.
Danielle Deery is an independent curator, an arts professional and considers herself a museum mom.
On Monday she visited the Natural History Museum with her daughter, Keira, 9, who is in fourth grade at Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach.
“It’s tactile learning, right?" said Deery. "Out of a book, you can only learn so much. But, if you’re hands-on, engaging with an object, you get to learn more."
Although she enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit, Deery's daughter had a confession to make.
“My favorite museum is the Museum of Making Music, (because) I play the harp. I’m half Irish and the harp is the national instrument of Ireland," Keira said.