Sponsor a child

Kids get free entry to San Diego County museums in October

the concept is quite simple.

“Kids Free San Diego is about kids and families having fun at museums and saving money,” San Diego Museum Council said executive director Bob Lehman.

Lehman is loaded. It’s the 11th year of the free kids’ event, but this year there’s still plenty to do.

“We’re twice as big as last year, so they can visit over 50 museums throughout San Diego County,” he said.

Generally speaking, children 12 and under are free. But each museum handles admission a little differently.

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 children get in for free,” Lehman said.

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

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

Arguilez said the Kids Free event fits perfectly with its core mission – the healthy development of children.


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 during the first five years of life. So when kids have tactile experiences, their brains are developing… And when kids are really young, they’re learning through all of their senses… So all of these experiences are really going to help them learn and ultimately be ready for school,” she said.

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

“Our museums start all the way north at Oceanside. They go all the way down to Tijuana Estuary. We have Chula Vista. We have the Living Coast Discovery Center…And then all the way to Campo we have the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum where you can go out and take train rides,” Lehman said.


A poster showing Kids Free San Diego is displayed in Balboa Park on September 29, 2022.

From aerospace to railroads, surfboards to fine art, there’s so much for kids in San Diego County to discover this October. But a particular location may prove more popular than most young people.

“It’s right up our alley. Comic-Con Museum delivers content that kids in our town love,” said Courtney Gant, Senior Director of Advancement at Comic-Con Museum.

Why not love Spiderman? Here you’ll find every manifestation of Spidey imaginable.

And who knew? There’s an exhibit of famous author Ernest Hemingway as portrayed in the comics!

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

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

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