Access to the Museum, Art and Creativity

The Museum has a wide range of programs that provide free or deeply discounted access to the Museum for thousands of children and families, as well as providing free learning art kits to partner social organizations in the community. Click on pink text to learn more about each program.

Accessibility Mornings

Accessibility Mornings provides free access for families who would benefit from a sensory friendly experience and quieter setting at the Museum an hour before opening to the general public. The Museum’s interactive art installations vary from high-sensory activities to designated sensory-break zones that provide a range of experiences for these groups to enjoy with comfort and safety. The 2022 program takes place on the second Saturday of each month from 8-9am. View 2022 dates here.

Accessibility Mornings is made possible through generous support from the Conrad Prebys Foundation, The New Children’s Museum’s Board of Directors and the 2021 Gala Donors. 

CASAs

Our Museum maintains a partnership with Voices for Children and its CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program, granting free admission to children and CASA volunteers. To take advantage of our program, just come in to the Museum with your CASA 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.

Mass Creativity

Mass Creativity is an artist-led community outreach program that involves the community to help provide inspiration for a new art installation in the Museum created by an artist-in-residence. The Museum collaborates with the artist to host art workshops or provide learning art kits to community centers in San Diego. The artwork created through these workshops or kits are then used as inspiration for a new art installation in the Museum, and culminate on Mass Creativity Day, an all-day, outdoor festival of art, play and creativity with free admission to the Museum. Learn more about our Mass Creativity program here.

Past Mass Creativity community centers have included: Barrio Logan College Institute, Casa Familiar Civic and Recreation Center, City Heights Weingart Library, Paradise Hills at Skyline Library, The San Diego LGBT Center, Solutions for Change and South Bay Community Services.

Museums for All Initiative

Through the Museums for All initiative, visitors can present a WIC Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) or SNAP card and photo ID at the Welcome Desk to receive $2 admission for up to 4 people.

Museums for All, is a collaborative initiative between the Association of Children’s Museums and the Institute for Museums and Library Services that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

pARTners in Creativity

We partner with social service and local organizations that share our passion for providing educational experiences with art. Through pARTners in Creativity, we host group visits at the Museum, and provide learning art kits that include standards-based lesson plans with a video tutorial and supplies for children and families. Organizations currently part of our pARTners in Creativity program include: Autism Tree Foundation, Camp Hope, Monarch School, Sensory Friendly San Diego, SDCC (San Diego Center for Children), STEP (Support the Enlisted Project), Voices for Children, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Words Alive and USO San Diego.

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 The Conrad Prebys Foundation, Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. 

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. When the Museum is open, we provide discounted admission to military personnel and their families ($10). 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 and learning art kits for Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) and USO San Diego.

As a participating museum in the Blue Star Museums program, we provide free admission to those currently serving in the United States Military and up to five family members starting on Armed Forces Day, May 21, 2022 and ending on Labor Day, September 5, 2022. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID) or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card.

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

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 School Visits page for more information.

Virtual School Visits are an online alternative to the Museum’s onsite school visits program. Our Virtual School Visit classroom kits include an online video tour of the Museum’s art installations and studio spaces with standards-based art activities and supplies, and are made free to educators at Title 1 schools. Learn more about Virtual School Visits here.

School and group visits are made possible by Cox Communications, Nordson, Qualcomm, US Bank, The City of San Diego, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, David C. Copley Foundation, Harvey Family Fund at the San Diego Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Pacific Life Foundation, Rice Family Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational & Charitable Foundation, and The New Children’s Museum Board of Directors.

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 50% 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 50% off admission at ACM member organizations across the United States.

In addition to the program funders listed within each of the categories above, access opportunities are generously supported by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Masks Required

Masks are required for all guests (ages 2+) regardless of vaccination status. Mesh masks, neck gaiters and face shields are not accepted as mask substitutes. Click here to read our full Safer Play Policy before visiting the Museum.