What
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Where

The New Children’s Museum is a new model of children’s museum whose mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity, and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. The original Children’s Museum opened its first facility in 1983 in La Jolla and relocated to a downtown warehouse at 200 West Island Avenue in 1993. At that time, the Museum became Children’s Museum/Museo de Los Niños San Diego. After nearly 10 years in the warehouse space, the doors were closed in 2002 to break ground for a new building at the same site. Thanks to generous philanthropic support, the new facility, renamed The New Children’s Museum, opened to the public in May of 2008.

The New Children’s Museum is a dramatic, three-level, 50,000-square-foot building located on the north side of Island Avenue between Front and Union Streets. The Museum is a series of transparent, flexible spaces which visibly expose the building’s construction and design. Designed by visionary and award-winning architect Rob Wellington Quigley, the Museum is a dynamic space, full of natural light and fresh air. The Museum is one of the first green museums in California and signals the Museum’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Located in downtown San Diego’s Marina District, the Museum faces Harbor Drive and is well positioned near the MTS Convention Center Trolley stop, Seaport Village, and the Gaslamp Quarter.

The New Children’s Museum
4.5
Based on 2871 reviews
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Angela Colabucci
Angela Colabucci
22:29 12 May 24
I came here with my six-year-old and he absolutely loved it. There was an arts and crafts area. There are several... exhibits. There is a lot of interactive play areas for those under two-year-old and a separated one for under four-year-old and then one for a little older kids as well.it is so unique and artistic and their slides and play areas along with their designing tables were really cool. I would highly recommend visiting here with Kids.read more
Dirty D
Dirty D
21:27 12 May 24
This was a fun place. The kids loved it! We went on a Sunday & Mother's Day. It wasn't too crowded. Parking is free on... Sunday in front of the Museum. It's very colorful. They suggest you start at the top & work down the 3 floors. I'd of done it the other way. The "grand finale" was the top floor according to me. They are in the process of building on. You can bring food & drink in. They do have a cafe. There are tables to eat at. We spent a couple hours there. Then ate our brought in lunch there right before we left. Cost: $20/Child, $24/Adult. There are certain discounts.read more
Juliana Kapovich
Juliana Kapovich
02:06 08 May 24
We are members and it’s the best decision ever! My boys are both high energy toddlers and this offers a fun rainy day... indoor adventure with loads of stimulation and opportunities to express their creativity. The huge outdoor wooden playground is a huge bonus bc it’s like two adventures in oneread more
Keegan Huerta
Keegan Huerta
17:40 28 Apr 24
The kids love this place. It's not too much of a museum. It's really a giant indoor playground and a maze of adventure.... Nevertheless, it a great way to occupy the kids while I do some Amazon shopping! Parking is in a garage on the north side of the building, and it's $20 for non-members. Seems expensive, but that's really the going rate downtown. There is a small coffee shop and Cafe within the museum, which helped deliver a much needed boost!read more
Audrey Burrows
Audrey Burrows
03:26 27 Apr 24
This was 3 stories of fun. My son is 4 and it was perfect for his age. So much climbing, jumping and sliding. We will... be back. There is an awesome food court but you can bring your food and drink too.read more
Jaleisha Jacobs
Jaleisha Jacobs
14:01 23 Apr 24
We’ve been coming to the Children’s Museum for years and it just keeps getting better and better. My 7 year old... daughter and I love the new Octavia Butler exhibit. There’s a cafe in the museum that’s oriented to children. It’s a fun and happy place. Parking onsite is expensive, street parking is rarely available, and the lot down the street can be pricy if there’s an event. Otherwise, a trip to the Children’s Museum is a great experience.read more
Ludmila Ciobanu
Ludmila Ciobanu
16:55 14 Apr 24
Good place for kids to have some fun. We also loved their outdoor playground . Parking can be a challenge sometimes
SuperEDD
SuperEDD
16:27 18 Feb 24
Hi everyone! 👌👋👋👋👋👋👋🙏We by chance found The New Children's Museum 👶👶👶👶 in San Diego downtown🌇🌇🌇🌇🌇.I checked website... and found a lot of options for family ( membership)👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👧.Kids under 1 year is free .We so liked the The New Children's Museum, it was fantastic.3 floor amenities for kids (big and small)One of the best 1 floor is clay crafting .Kids was a wonderful mood 😃😃😃😃😃.They have cafe inside.🚔🚔🚔🚔🚔🚔🚔🚔🚔Not so far parking for $10 / day. ( With promo code 8792 - $5 - 2 hours, you can renewal every 2 hours )I recommend it 👍👍👍read more
Daniel Gussman
Daniel Gussman
09:45 13 Feb 24
A must-see museum, an incredible experience for kids and adults alike. Be prepared to think, play, create, wonder.We... brought food which we ate afterwards across the street at an amazing new playground. There's also a cafe inside the building which is a decent option.read more
Alejandra Escobar
Alejandra Escobar
16:08 11 Feb 24
Really awesome place for the kids to explore, create and have fun! Location is right in downtown across from a new... playground they can play in after your visit. We went through each floor and kids (ages 2-10) interacted with every station offered. Love that they have a breastfeeding nook to feed your baby during the visit. Super useful! They even have space for the 0-4 crowd to play with soft items that my 7 month old enjoyed. We were there about 2.5 hours on a Saturday and it was not too crowded.read more
Sara Silberstang
Sara Silberstang
22:37 23 Jan 24
Very fun place for kids and parents! I like that there are different sections for all different ages. I brought my 21... month old and he had so much fun! There’s also a great park across the street when you leave.read more
Paul Banez
Paul Banez
09:48 23 Jan 24
As you enter, you are met with beautiful pieces of art painted throughout the walls with beautiful and inspiring... messages. There are so many different things to do with what always feels like so little time. As a resident, it would bring your child so much joy to take them to a place where they can explore, learn, and push their minds to do much more than they thought they could do! As a tourist, if you do have the time to visit this wonderful place to treat your children or child to, please bring them here! There are a good amount of seats for all us adults!We went on a Thursday and it was not busy at all. With about 2 1/2 hours to explore. Spent about 10 minutes in a new area with hugging pillows and a very calm atmosphere. Afterward, we spent a good amount of time making clay sculptures! Moving on exploring other areas then was led to the GIANT knitted area play area. A good amount of seating on the level for parent to watch their children be children, you can swing on the balls or go in the nets and get lost! Part on that level can be seen in one of the videos taken with the plants. That area is to the right of the giant knitted play area from the staircase and elevator.The food selection for the kids' meals was adorable. We ordered the grilled cheese, and it was shaped as little monster eating tater tots. My kid also thought it was awesome! The pizza they served was awesome, and the Farm Parm sandwich I had was good but felt like it needed more sauce. The salad that I got with the sandwich was a healthy amount, and it was actually pretty good if you like balsamic vinegarette. Chips, cookies, and a handful of other snacks were available for purchase. I ordered about 7 meals and our order was ready in about 10 minutes!Tickets were around $20 for children ABOVE 1 and free UNDER 1. $24 for adults 18 and over. $20 for those adults who serve in the military!Regarding the other comments with the demonic and dark places. I watch my children and keep them close with an eye on them at all times. I don't think anything like that at all, especially when you are the one who took the kids to the museum and is responsible for watching your child at all times. The area in the middle upstairs is a relaxing area and sort of a meditation ground for you, your child, significant other, or anyone to take that second to just relax. I sat my child next to me, and we closed our eyes and just listened to the beautiful sounds. I feel as if it being demonic or something up with the area is a stretch.Bring out your inner child and play alongside your little ones as they get to explore, create, and smile. This place is a great place to wander. Highly recommend!read more
Guy East
Guy East
14:43 21 Dec 23
We’ve visited the New Children’s museum several times and our kids have enjoyed it, however we started to notice some... concerning trends with the exhibits. There is an exhibit downstairs that is very dark and has lots of places kids can go missing and where strangers can hide. Additionally, there is a new exhibit upstairs that is borderline demonic and features a dark room with two mattresses on it where you’re intended to lay down and breath as the lights turn on and off. It’s very strange to have so many dark, hidden places in a children’s museum. There is something spiritually dark and demonic going on there.read more
ILIANA GUARIRAPA SHEETZ
ILIANA GUARIRAPA SHEETZ
19:29 02 Nov 23
We became members and love the children’s museum! It’s super cute and sensory friendly. We made masks 🎭 and walked all... around. So glad we get to enjoy this.read more
Pedro José “PJ” Fuenmayor Rojas
Pedro José “PJ” Fuenmayor Rojas
22:13 21 Oct 23
The New Children's Museum of San Diego emerges as a sanctuary of creativity and learning. Its interactive exhibits,... creative decoration, clever and beautiful art, and the unique balance between non-pretentiousness and sophistication make it a treasured gem in the cultural landscape of San Diego. It's a place where children's dreams take flight and where learning is an adventure in art and imagination.read more
arturo antonio
arturo antonio
02:01 10 Oct 23
I loved this place for my four year old son. There are a lot of activities like painting, ceramics, and many more... activities, a place to spend the day with the little ones. The only bad thing is that there is not much place to park the car but other than that it is an excellent place, very clean and organized and the employees are very well trained to help the little ones 👌 .read more
JO Cordero
JO Cordero
19:22 15 Sep 23
Easily spend all morning/afternoon experiencing unique exhibits from artists all over the world. This is necessary just... a play area for kids like some other museums, nor is it as educational as others. However, this museum focuses heavily on art and the interaction with art. Exhibits are organic and unique. My 2 year old loved it! $18 is a little steep for what we did, I'm not going to lie but it is San Diego...read more
laura ruiz
laura ruiz
22:08 31 Aug 23
Really cool place for toddlers. Beautiful decorations. Lots of activities! Bring socks because you need to remove your... shoes on most placesread more
Malena Settles
Malena Settles
04:25 14 Aug 23
It’s a cool concept. Big slide is probably what my son loved the most. Like an art kids museum. He played with clay,... paint. The quiet room was cool looking. We got in free because of militaryread more
Connie Rodriguez
Connie Rodriguez
21:24 09 Aug 23
Great place to take your kids. Very hands-on and full of activities for kids of all ages. Will definitely be back.
Edgar M
Edgar M
04:57 07 Aug 23
Inspiration galore. The kiddos had a blast. Neat experience for the entire family. Building clay models, painting... dinosaurs, climbing in a woven maze and much more.read more
Hannah McBean
Hannah McBean
18:59 18 Jul 23
Not impressed. I've been to several Children's Museums, mostly here and TX. This one has a dry, art museum feel to it.... There's no pretend play things (or maybe very few that I didn't find), everything seems centered more toward order and art than fun. The climbing/play area had a native American theme, great concept, I love native American things, but for a play area, really??? Kind of felt like it sucked all the fun out of it. Deep, ethereal symbols and quotes FOR A PLAY AREA?! Why? I'm sure they're native American symbols, but the vibe is very occultic. What's wrong with bright colors and pictures of happy fruit like everywhere else? I recommend Mast Park in Santee, this isn't a children's museum it's a playground with a lot of rules.read more
Anna Tegarden
Anna Tegarden
01:05 09 Jul 23
Amazing place! Kids (8and 10) had a blast and to be honest, so did the adults, lol
Melissa F
Melissa F
14:58 04 Jul 23
I have kids aged 8-11, so i was worried this would be too “small kid “ oriented. They LOVED it.Just a heads up, they... have parking available for $16. Street parking is cheaper, if you can find it. If you go on a Sunday, street parking is free. I was able to find a street parking right behind the museum, otherwise i was prepared to pay $10 at a nearby parking lot.Also, a lot of the play rooms/ areas had NO food/ drink signs. I had brought a backpack with snacks and drinks and had no issue because there’s a little lunch store and seating area in the museum where we could sit and have our snacksread more
Niyaz Zubair
Niyaz Zubair
21:48 01 Jul 23
A different experience for children. They will be able to and allowed to do crazy things. Though the exhibits are a... few, it’s worth a visit. Your 1+ yr old child will love it and if coming with 5+ olds, come with friends in a group.read more
Samy Tadrous
Samy Tadrous
15:44 24 Jun 23
Very nice for the kids, a lot of activities, and you can use the parking area 2 hours for $5.
Magdalena Gomez
Magdalena Gomez
03:08 12 Apr 23
My children loved this museum and I recommend it. I have a 2 year old and 12 year old and the museum was suitable for... both of them as well as the adults. We were from out of town and we took about 2 ½ hours to enjoy the place with no rush. We were at the museum on Monday, March 27 and it was busy with people, but comfortable to enjoy all the rooms or the activities they had.read more
Bertrand Nocella
Bertrand Nocella
04:06 07 Apr 23
I would highly recommend the San Diego Children's Museum to anyone with kids. It's a great place to spend a few hours,... and the exhibits are both educational and entertaining. It's clear that the museum cares about providing a safe and fun environment for kids to learn and play, and I can't wait to go back with my family!With so many kids running around and touching everything, it can be hard to keep a space like this clean and organized. But the staff were constantly cleaning and sanitizing everything, and I felt very comfortable letting my kids explore and play.There are so many interactive exhibits and activities for kids of all ages to enjoy, from building and designing their own structures to experimenting with science and technology. It was great to see my kids learning and having fun at the same time.read more
Naki Smith
Naki Smith
01:59 24 Feb 23
This place is amazing. Although it was designed for small children, my teenagers had a blast. Its a 50,000 Sq ft... playground.We came on MLK and there was a bit of a line earlier in the day. The museum parking garage was at capacity. But there is a public parking lot a block away. If you purchase tickets online, you get a coupon code for $5 off the parking.What I loved.....they even have a Nursing nook for the breast-feeding mommy's. Plenty of restrooms with 3 sink sizes: standard, kid-sized and toddler size with a step stool. If you have kids and live in San Diego, I highly recommend the season pass. So worth it.read more
Jungsoo Lee
Jungsoo Lee
23:50 21 Nov 22
At first we thought it is quite expensive - 20 per adults and 18 for children. 1 year and older should pay! - but it... was worth the visit.Great place for kiddos to be creative, and also spend there energy on tree house and other activities.We spent good 3 hours, and my son had a blast!read more
Jan Koren
Jan Koren
23:19 29 Oct 22
I took my daughter here yesterday and was truly impressed with this museum. It was a like a giant indoor playground for... kids. Very cool place and kids from 3-7 will love this place. They have lots of activities you can do plus cool slides and other fun climbing areas with stages and crawl areas with tree houses.read more
Abraham Novoa
Abraham Novoa
17:14 03 Sep 22
Jesus this place sucks. Don’t waste your $15 per person. Hot as balls! 🥵 No A/C with 100+ people is insane. Definitely... geared towards toddlers. My son 8 was so bored and just wanted to leave. Do not recommend at all! Save your money and just go to the beach or find a different activity.read more
Karen Hiatt
Karen Hiatt
09:01 20 Aug 22
I went with my seven yr old grand. We did every room/activity there. Three hours is a good amount of time to do/see... everything. The docents were all child friendly and kind. At the end I noticed The BREATHING ROOM near the bounce house and Grand said that was her favorite thing. Perfect end to a fun morning. I'll post my picture.read more
Renee Rich Rentals
Renee Rich Rentals
02:51 18 Aug 22
My mother and I took my 3 yr and 6 yr old nieces here. They loved it! So many great things to explore and challenge... themselves. We are grateful this is in our town for young people. We will be back.read more
Tram Le
Tram Le
00:34 17 Aug 22
Very friendly staff. The place was a bit crowded but I think it’s normal on a Sunday. Their hours make sense! 9-12 then... break, then 1-4! 3 hours is totally enough for kids to play. They have 3 floors and a fun slide from 2nd down to 1st. The clay area is fun. Staff in the Innovators Lab is friendly too. Good spot to spend a few hours with the kids!read more
Bojana Savic
Bojana Savic
19:49 15 Aug 22
I am giving the place 3 stars just of the parking organization. Museum’s garage parking it’s been overfull few time... . Museum members are sending us to the public parking which is 5 min walking distance and it charges $5 for only 2 hours. If you want to stay longer then that then we have to go back to parking and pay another $5 for 2 hours. Going back and forth few times it’s not convenient with 3 kids. Not sure we will be back . In another hand museum is nice place to be with kiddos .read more
Jessie Uribe-Ixta
Jessie Uribe-Ixta
18:23 13 Aug 22
Excellent place to take the kids. However they don't have A/C so it gets hot quick due to the body head from the crowd.... The kids will enjoy it but take snacks and or something to drink.read more
Jon Perry
Jon Perry
23:39 20 Jul 22
My 8yo daughter loved this children's museum. She loved the giant whammock thingy that had these dangling wrecking... balls. She loved the clay session. She loved the play houses. The best part was this stage area. She enjoyed putting on a "show" on stage with a completely original back stage setup.My 1yo son tired himself out between the two dedicated 3 and under play locations.We were very pleased with the experience. Thank you New Children's Museum!read more
Maria Healey
Maria Healey
16:54 15 Jun 22
Always a fun experience for kids in San Diego! Located right downtown. Paid garage parking is available but free or... cheap metered street parking isn’t too difficult to find if you show up early enough. Buy tickets online or take advantage of free days throughout the year. Plenty of activities and experiences for kids of all ages. My son especially loves the hideaway area and I love it too because it’s connected to an outdoor seating area for adults to relax while kids run around and tire themselves out.read more
lee lee
lee lee
03:18 31 May 22
I once volunteered here 13 years ago. It was nice but nothing like this.... I was very impressed how they turned this... place into a children's heaven. My son didn't even want to eat or drink. He had a blast and we need to plan a trip down to SD again to come here.read more
Ashleigh Sciarrino
Ashleigh Sciarrino
21:23 25 Apr 22
I’m really disappointed in the new chidlrens museum. we used to love this museum and it has really gone down hill. It’s... pretty pricey and they offer very little for kids now. We had heard from others that it wasn’t very fun anymore but chose to give it a shot because of the cool innovations exhibit. But when we got there it was closed with no plans to reopen it to the many kids who wanted to do it. When asking staff, we got 3 different answer as to why…. One being a staffing issue. This being said while 3 staff members stood together and chatted for a good while. What a disappointment to so many kiddos.read more
Queen Jones
Queen Jones
00:11 17 Apr 22
My children and I went to the children's museum and had a wonderful time. The parking is very convenient. There is so... much to do there it would definitely be a place to venture. Thank you so much.read more
Shelly Matthews
Shelly Matthews
04:40 14 Apr 22
I love this museum and the workers / artist that make up this space. It has 3 floors of all interactive art... spaces.Top 3 favorite museums to go in San Diego but #1 museum for kids in SD.read more
Jeremy Sanchez
Jeremy Sanchez
05:21 04 Apr 22
This place is amazing. Took my son and we spent 4 hours here having fun. My son spent the majority of the time in the... area with a big rope net obstacle course.They also have a big area where there's club houses with their own network of tunnels and hallways the children and adults could explore. Definitely recommend everyone who has children top bring them here.read more
Silva Amirkhanian
Silva Amirkhanian
18:21 21 Mar 22
It was lovely and big. Just a bit crowded with adults and kids everywhere but then again we haven’t been used to being... in crowds for sometime. It was nice to feel normal and around people. Masks were required (even though the mandate was lifted) which was fine considering there are a lot of kids and snot and getting a regular cold isn’t fun when the kids miss school and I would have to miss work.read more
Vivi Goenawan
Vivi Goenawan
16:53 26 Jan 22
We have all Sunday morning with no schedule but checking out of our hotel room. To explore the city a bit we searched... online and found the new children museum within walking distance. We decided to go in with no expectations except for pictures found online. It turned out to be a good decision. I would personally say it's suited for 12 and under. My daughters spent 2 hours easy with all the jumping around,climbing up and down, clay crafting. They had fun.read more
Roxana Flores
Roxana Flores
17:14 24 Jan 22
This place has gotten way better!!!! The new park like exhibits are awesome. The net is such an amazing piece. There... are areas for children under 3 which is a nice relief. Definitly want to come back. Special thanks to San Diego Library for the tickets.read more
Jonathan Peters
Jonathan Peters
01:47 18 Jan 22
Parking was $16 dollars alone and its only till 4:30pm they dont let you park any later if you want to explore the... area. I would recommend parking else where. My son had a blast no complaints about the museum itself.read more
Mark Greer
Mark Greer
05:15 17 Jan 22
My 10 y.o. son liked all the art & discovery zones, especially the theater, hidden slides, large 50' (?) slide, very... large bounce (cylindrical tube air house), woven "drop/drip sculpture" climbing room ? -( quite extravagantly made !) -note: 1/15/22 sanitation happens for an hour @ noon which is reassuring....kids can play out ft..There is a Starbucks or coffee shop there..oh and an exceptional gift/toy shop as well - beautiful & smart toys that travel & endure...Remember if outside to see extra play area to the south of the swings & large intersecting balance beams area... the staff were present/caring, kind & exceptionally attentive..read more
Alexis Diefenbach
Alexis Diefenbach
03:37 12 Dec 21
EVENT REVIEW:Had our company holiday party here. Tammy and her team were amazing to work with. She was very responsive... and helped me with any issues that arose. The company had a fabulous time and we would absolutely recommend.read more
Samantha R
Samantha R
22:49 27 Nov 21
It’s a cute museum, but it wasn’t quite worth it for us. Our 2 year old was too small for a lot of the stuff and the... bigger kids made it impossible for him to play on a lot of stuff. There were a couple areas specifically for younger kids only, which I did appreciate, but for $15 for parking and $45 to get in to the museum, we will go to the library or a park next time.The nursing nook was a good idea in theory, but multiple kids came and opened the curtains while I was feeding my baby and so it wasn’t private after all. Would be helpful to have some way to keep the curtains more secure and closed for privacy.read more
Jennifer Patrocky Lowe
Jennifer Patrocky Lowe
16:52 13 Sep 21
This place was really awesome! The exhibits were fun and there were specialized interactive art areas for toddlers,... preschoolers and elementary aged kids. My kids jumped in a rainbow of the missing link, made clay pottery, colored sea creatures and scanned them into an interactive aquarium!!! Even my husband got in on this technological art and science Mashup to add Cthulu. I think the yarn ball looks like my worst itchy sweater nightmare to climb in but the kids loved it! Honestly, I think every town should have a play area like this place has. It's artistic and evokes imagination while providing physical challenges that I was shocked my 4yo could just do without ever trying before. Who knew he could climb a vertical rope maze or a rope ladder yet alone figure out climbing across a mesh tunnel with nothing more than a cargo net for balance!?! He said he's ready to do boot camp now and both kids left feeling stronger and more creative. Highly recommend this museum.read more
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  • Monday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
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