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Children get in free to museums throughout San Diego County during October

The concept is pretty simple.

“Kids Free San Diego is about kids and families having fun at museums and saving money," San Diego Museum CouncilExecutive Director Bob Lehman said.

Lehman is charged up. This is the 11th year for the kids free event, but this year there’s a lot more to do.

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“We’re twice as big as we were last year, so they can go to over 50 museums all over San Diego County," he said.

Generally speaking, kids 12 and under get in free. But each museum handles admission a little differently.

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Carlos Castillo
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KPBS
KPBS reporter John Carroll speaks with San Diego Museum Council Executive Director Bob Lehman in Balboa Park on September 29, 2022.

“Some museums are free for the whole family. Others are — you buy a ticket for one adult and two kids get to go in free," Lehman said.

Several organizations are sponsoring the event, including First 5 San Diego. Alethea Arguilez is the group's executive director.

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“First 5 San Diego is a local commission that funds a variety of programs and initiatives for pregnant women and young children first to five throughout the county," she said.

Arguilez said the Kids Free event fits right into its core mission — the healthy development of children.

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Carlos Castillo
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KPBS
First 5 San Diego Executive Director Alethea Arguilez speaks with KPBS reporter John Carroll in Balboa Park on September 29, 2022.

“90% of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. And so when children are experiencing hands on, tactile experiences, their brain is developing... And when children are really young, they learn through all their senses... So all of those experiences are really gonna help them learn and eventually just be ready for school," she said.

“There’s something for everyone” may sound a bit trite, but it’s true! It’s not just Balboa Park — museums up and down the county are part of the event this year.

“Our museums start all the way up north in Oceanside. They go all the way down to the Tijuana Estuary. We’ve got Chula Vista. We’ve got the Living Coast Discovery Center... And then all the way out in Campo, we’ve got thePacific Southwest Railway Museumwhere you can go out and take train rides," Lehman said.

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Carlos Castillo
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KPBS
A poster showing Kids Free San Diego is shown in Balboa Park on September 29, 2022.

From aerospace to railroads, surfboards to fine art, there’s so much for the children of San Diego County to experience in October. But one particular place may prove more popular than most among the younger set.

"This is right up our alley. The Comic-Con Museum offers content that kids in our city love," said Courtney Gant, senior director of advancement at the Comic-Con Museum.

What’s not to love about Spiderman? You’ll find every manifestation of Spidey imaginable here.

And who knew? There’s a display of the celebrated author Ernest Hemingway as portrayed in comic books!

But Gant said some kids walk in and see the PacMan exhibit — and never see anything else

Kids Free San Diego — educational, fun and for the month of October, free.

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