The New Children’s Museum is strongly committed to being a community resource and continues to expand its reach throughout San Diego. The Museum has multiple programs designed to reach deeply into local communities and stimulate, cultivate and nurture creativity for children and families.

In addition to program funders below, access opportunities are generously supported by The Hearst Foundations, Darlene Shiley and the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Community Engagement

Mass Creativity. Since 2013, the Mass Creativity program has touched the lives of over 15,000 children and their families. This annual program includes collaboratively-designed art workshops at community centers throughout the County and culminates in a free all-day festival at the Museum that brings artists, workshop participants and the general public together for a day of art, music, entertainment, activities and more.

Visit our Mass Creativity 2018 page to learn more. Generous support is provided by U.S. Bank, Cox Communications, Southwest Airlines, San Diego Honda Dealers, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the County of San Diego, Las Patronas and One San Diego. 

Mi Familia, Mi Historia. The Museum is building bridges through this collaboration with Casa Familiar and UCSD’s Institute of Arts and Humanities in order to engage Latino/a families living in San Ysidro through creative activities and documenting family stories.

This program is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.

Comunidad. This two-year program (2018-2019) extends the impact of Mass Creativity through strengthened relationships and increased activities with multiple community partners including Casa Familiar and South Bay Community Services.

Comunidad is made possible in part by the City of Chula Vista Performing and Visual Arts Grant and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant MA-20-17-0449-17.

pARTners in Creativity

We partner with social service and other organizations that share our passion for providing educational experiences with art. Through pARTners in Creativity, we host group visits for children and families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, with special needs or other life challenges. We have worked with numerous organizations over recent years.  Recent partners have included: Braille Institute, Include Autism, Migrant Education, Monarch School, Ronald McDonald House Charities, San Diego Center for Children, SDYS Foster Care, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), USO San Diego, Vista Hills, Voices for Children and Words Alive. Voices for Children’s CASAs and their case foster children are also offered free visits. Please contact our education department at education@thinkplaycreate.org for more information about pARTners in Creativity.

pARTners in Creativity is made possible through generous support from CarMax Foundation, the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, Samuel H. French & Katherine Weaver French Fund, Issa Family Foundation, Southwest Airlines, USS Midway Foundation and the County of San Diego.

Salute Our Troops: Military Access

The Museum embraces military families and strives to provide an affordable, enriching place for them to feel appreciated and at home. In addition to discounted admission all year long, the Museum participates in Blue Star Museums with over 2,000 museums nationwide to provide free admission between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. Some military groups further serve their constituents through our Museum Pass program. See also the Partners In Creativity program that provides tailored art-making workshops for Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) and USO San Diego.

Our military effort is sponsored in part by U.S. Bank, the David C. Copley Foundation, the Issa Family Foundation and the Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation.

Museums for All Initiative

The Museum is now participating Museums for All. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between the association of Children’s Museums and the Institute for Museums and library Services to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. Present a WIC Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and photo ID at the Welcome Desk to receive $1 admission for up to 4 people.

Museums for All is sponsored in part by QUALCOMM Incorporated. 

Accessibility Mornings

The Museum hosts Accessibility Mornings regularly throughout the year. With a variety of high-sensory activities and designated sensory-break zones, Accessibility Mornings provide disabled families the opportunity to explore the Museum with comfort and safety before the Museum opens to the general public (and then stay for the day if desired).

Our next Accessibility Morning will be held October 20 from 8-9:30am. Discounted admission is $8/child, with adults/caregivers free.  Discounted $5 parking is also available. RSVP required.

Accessibility Mornings are supported by California Arts Council.

Check Out NCM Library Pass

The Museum offers a 10-day Museum Pass through San Diego City and County library branches. Thousands of children and families have been able to “check out” what the Museum has to offer for free through the Check Out NCM pass. These passes are valid for up to four people per visit as well as a 50% discount on parking in our garage.

Check out NCM is funded in part by Mel & Linda Katz.

Schools and Groups

Thousands of children each year come for school visits at little to no cost through our School Visits/Title I Access Program. We also work with an increasing number of organizations who serve children with disabilities and other life challenges.

See our education page for more information about our education resources and this program’s generous supporters.

CASAs

Our Museum maintains a partnership with the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Association, granting free admission to children and program volunteers. To take advantage of our program, just come in to the Museum with your identification card and your case child or children to enjoy a free day at the Museum. For more information contact us at education@thinkplaycreate.org.

Museum Collaborations

The Museum participates with San Diego’s 40+ museums through the San Diego Museum Council to provide free and discounted access for San Diego residents and tourists. The Museum provides half off in February (during Museum Month) and free admission for kids in October (through Kids Free October). The Museum is also an active member of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) that nationally includes over 200 children’s museums. All Museum members receive half off admission at ACM member organizations across the United States.