Why are you called The New Children's Museum?

We have “new” in our name because we’re a new model of children’s museum, focused on contemporary art. We work with contemporary artists to create interactive art installations and studios for children to engage with art, creativity and imagination. We also have “new” in our name because there is always something new to explore and discover when you visit! Learn more about the Museum’s mission and history here.

Does the Museum have discounts or discounted days?

The New Children’s Museum participates in several county-wide discount efforts, including San Diego Museum Month (February) in which a pass provides half-priced admission for up to four people (available at local libraries and Macy’s stores); Kids Free (October) in which a pass provides free admission for two kids with one paid adult admission. The Museum also offers $1 admission for families with an EBT card through the Museums for All program (up to four people). Click here for more of info on our access programs.

What activities do you have for older kids?

The Museum has several spaces for older children to enjoy. The Innovators LAB (our makerspace) offers daily hands-on, art-making workshops that are targeted at older kids (ages 6-12 years old). Older children also enjoy exploring The Wonder Sound, one of our most popular art installations, that features rope bridges, tunnels, crawl spaces, a fire pole and a special language to decipher.

What is there for toddlers to do?

We have several spaces designed specifically for our youngest visitors (ages 4 and under), including tikitiko and Wobbleland on our Upper Level. We also have ongoing programming including our 6-week Little Learners classes for children and their caregivers, and our weekly Toddler Time, offered every Friday.

When is the best time to visit to avoid school visits?

School visits to the Museum are scheduled Monday – Thursday from 9:30am to 12pm. To avoid school visit groups, the best time to visit the Museum is typically after 12pm Monday – Friday.

Are you open to the public during camp weeks?

Yes we are! We feature camps on the Museum calendar so visitors are aware that we hold camps, but the Museum is open. For more information on our camps, click here.

How long does it take to go through the Museum?

The amount of time spent in the Museum varies among our visitors. However, if it is your first time visiting, we recommend allotting at least 2 hours to experience all three levels of our interactive art spaces.

Where is the best place to park?

The Museum has limited first-come, first-serve parking in our underground parking garage (entry is behind the building). Parking is $10 per car Monday-Thursday and $15 per car Friday-Sunday. Museum members get 50% off the parking fee. The garage is open 15 minutes before and after Museum hours, and closed when the Museum is closed. On Sundays, the garage opens at 8:45am for members and 10:30am for the general public.

Visitors may also park in the ABM lot a couple blocks from the Museum on Island and 2nd Avenue and get a two-hour discount by using code 8792 (not valid during Padres games and subject to change at ABM’s discretion). See more parking options on our Visit page under “Nearby Parking.”

How can I get directions to the Museum?

The Museum is located at 200 W. Island Avenue, in between Front and Union.  For directions on how to get to the Museum by car, bus, trolley or train, go to our Visit page under “Getting Here.”

Where can we eat?

Within the Museum there is a cafe called Bean Sprouts, which offers healthy and fun meal options. Visitors can also bring and eat their own food in the cafe area, but food is not permitted within the art installations and studios. There are also several family-friendly restaurants nearby that offer discounts for our guests – check out our Neighborhood Guide for more information.

Are you a nut-free building?

We allow nuts in the building. However, we do not allow any snacks, especially nuts, in our installation spaces. All food and drink consumption is limited to our cafe area only. The Museum cafe, Bean Sprouts, also serves allergy-friendly options.

Do you offer birthday parties?

Yes, the Museum hosts birthday parties every weekend. Our birthday packages include a special room for your party and playtime in the Museum. Birthdays start at $350 for members and $400 for non-members for up to 25 guests. Learn more about booking birthday parties at the Museum here.

Can I throw my own party in the cafe?

We do not allow parties in the Museum’s cafe area. If interested in hosting a child’s birthday party for a fee at the Museum, please visit our birthday parties page to learn more.

Are strollers allowed?

Yes, the Museum is stroller accessible with access to ramps and elevators. You may take your stroller throughout the Museum with you or park it on the Main Level near the Museum Pop Up Shop and Welcome Desk. The Museum does get crowded on busy days, so if you don’t need it, we appreciate you leaving it in the car.

Do you have a nursing area?

Yes, we have a Nursing Nook with privacy curtains located between our cafe area and the Museum Pop Up Shop. Nursing is also permitted throughout the Museum.

Do you have day lockers?

Yes, our day lockers are located in our cafe and are available for rent for $1 per day. Please inquire at our Welcome Desk if interested in renting a locker.

Do you have a lost and found?

Yes, please email info@thinkplaycreate.org or call 619 233 8792 to inquire about a missing item.

Does my Balboa Park Explorer Pass work at the Museum?

No, we do not accept the Balboa Park Explorer Pass. We do accept the Go San Diego Card.

Does my San Diego Discovery Children’s Museum (Escondido) Membership work here?

Both the San Diego Discovery Children’s Museum in Escondido and The New Children’s Museum are part of the Association of Children’s Museum reciprocal when you become a member at either museum. Due to this reciprocal, your membership from the San Diego Discovery Children’s Museum will get you into The New Children’s Museum for half-priced admission! The number of people you have on that membership will be the number of people you can get into the Museum for half price. See which children’s museums in the U.S. are part of the reciprocal and eligible for this benefit on the Association of Children’s Museum’s website.