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Explore the natural history of Southern California, from past to present, at the San Diego Natural History Museum (the NAT). From fossils and dinosaur bones to rare books and live animals, there’s something for everyone at the NAT, a flagship museum in Balboa Park.
Visitors of all ages will be impressed by the unique, vibrant, and interactive exhibitions that span across five floors. Through its research collection, exhibitions, films, and programs, the museum fosters a lifelong love of learning about nature and the environment. the NAT features lots of “learn and play” activities for little ones, frequent free guided nature walks for nature enthusiasts, adult and family programs, and interesting lectures (be sure to check their calendar before you go!).

San Diego Natural History Museum
Based on 2743 reviews
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Paterka Town
Paterka Town
16:42 01 Jun 22
We had a terrific time! Lots of neat stuff spread out on multiple levels. The prehistoric skeletons and a few really... cool life-size cutaway dinosaurs (you can see their skeletons on one side, a guess at what the living dinosaur looked like on the other) were probably my favorite thing. Fun exhibits all around, it kept us wandering and looking.Very enjoyable and really glad we got to go!read more
15:13 03 May 22
I absolutely love this museum! Its such a great place to explore especially with the little ones! Has plenty to offer,... movie showings, live animals, kids play areas,cafe & much more! I highly recommend its a must see place & very educational.read more
02:24 19 Apr 22
We loved our visit! We did not have tickets in advance, but we were still able to get tickets without any wait. Our... group (adults and young kids) enjoyed each exhibit, the cafe, and one of the movies in about 2 and a half hours.read more
Jade Cojena
Jade Cojena
03:14 22 Feb 22
We enjoyed our visit to this museum. If you like science you are likely to enjoy this place. If you have kids surely... they will love it. A good place for a science teacher to tour the kids.. We went to museum of arts as well. Oh I love San Diego!read more
01:40 22 Feb 22
The NAT must stand for Not All There.A big disappointment of a museum. The displays are small, will little substance;... only decent part were the fossils on floor 2.Floor 1 were just a bunch of snakes, frogs, and bugs in small fish tanks. They have an exhibit of old science books on floor 3 which was boring, their special exhibit on floor 4 called Blooming was only photos of flowers on a wall.The best part was a movie they showed of the Natural History Museum, London, England. Made this museum completely laughable.read more
02:43 07 Feb 22
A great place to explore and learn. It’s nice to get to know so many things before our lives and what we have... currently. It is a great place for weekend no matter for kids or adults.read more
03:51 19 Jan 22
super cool museum, lots of local specimens too! whole family loved the displays and film. only negative aspect was the... staff, ranging from rather abrasive to downright rude.read more
Lacey Hart
Lacey Hart
20:11 20 Dec 21
I am passionate about natural history museums, and I wanted to love this one. Sadly, this museum has a shockingly small... collection for their size. It feels like they took a small collection and spread it thinly across the space to make it look like more than it is. What they have is really good, it's just much less than I expected.read more
Danielle Henry
Danielle Henry
15:19 17 Jul 21
My daughter got tickets to the museum through the public library for completing the summer reading program so we used... the tickets for her and I and then bought a ticket for my military husband. Right when we got there a movie was showing so we ran right in and sat down. Great show on the oceans, if a bit long. Really good museum with a lot of hands on exhibits for the kids. As a new resident to San Diego/California, I learned a lot about the animals that are indigenous to this area. We will definitely be back!read more
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  • Handicap Accessible:No