The New Children’s Museum San Diego

Have you been to The New Children’s Museum in San Diego?

Despite it’s name, The New Children’s Museum of San Diego is not that new. It was founded in 1983. At 35 years old it maintains a very playful and modern offering. The current building that houses the museum was finished in 2008. It is an architecturally interesting, bright, open space with a forward thinking approach to children’s development and learning.

The museum’s tagline is “think, play, create”. Every space and activity in the museum is designed for one or all of those to occur for young visitors. We highly recommend you plan at least one visit with your family and see for yourself how it is worth going back more than once.

What to see

Everything on all three floors in the museum is worth seeing. There are a so many fun play areas that cater to different ages, interests, and needs. We especially love the toddler play area on the top floor with giant fruit and vegetables!

Some play areas that cannot be missed! Like the mattress room where every child can live out the fantasy of jumping on piles of beds and pillows. Or the outdoor paint studio where a permanently installed truck is painted a new color every day. One also can’t miss the cool dark aquarium room on the bottom floor where you can color a picture of a fish or turtle and then scan the image on a device that transports the image into a watery scene projected onto the wall for everyone to see.


There are some messy play areas that involve paint and clay. The museum provides aprons, but it is still wise to dress for mess!

A few of the play areas for smaller children or with soft surfaces require that you take off your shoes. Plan to wear socks unless you want to go barefoot!

You can pack a lunch or eat at the museum cafeteria. The museum cafeteria has a small but satisfying variety of foods kids will like as well as milk, juices, and pretty decent espresso coffee drinks.


The Museum is centrally located in downtown San Diego near the waterfront. It is a straightforward drive to get there when exiting the I-5 south.


General admission $14

Military rate $10

Seniors over 65 $10

Children under the age of one enter for free.

Milmomtip: The museums usually participates in Blue Star Museums during the summer. The program offers free admission to military and their families. The week  this article is being published (November 11-17 2018) they are offering free admission to military and their families in honor of Veteran’s Day.


Monday-Saturday 09:30am – 4:00pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

Milmom tip: Check the  museum calendar before planning your trip to see if the museum is planning any closures or alternative hours.


The museum has a limited space parking behind the museum. It costs $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend. I have never visited when there has been available parking in the museum garage, but I have always been able to find street parking a few blocks away.

The really cute pop-up gift shop at the entrance

We can’t recommend the museum enough for young children. We hope you get the chance to experience it and enjoy it as much as we do. Thier website is full of useful information and tips for planning.

Want to see more adventures? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *