Skip to Content

Your Guide to The New Children’s Museum in San Diego

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

This last March, I took my children on an epic vacation to San Diego, California.  We visited all sorts of cool places such as the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista, Edna Harper’s Topiary Garden in Mission Valley and the Flowers Fields of Carlsbad.

For the first time, we also stopped by The New Children’s Museum, located along the waterfront in downtown San Diego.  I had heard such extraordinary things about this particular museum, that I wanted to take my children to experience it first hand.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The New Children’s Museum’s mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art.  The Museum offers opportunities for children of all ages to experience the arts in ways that are meaningful to them – not just for adults.  What’s unique about The New Children’s Museum is that they regularly commission new art pieces from leading contemporary artists from around the world.  The art pieces are designed for children to interact and explore them, rather than stand off to the side, and simply observe them.

There are 3 stories to The New Children’s Museum in San Diego.  Each level contains endless opportunities for children ages 0-9 to imagine, discover, play and explore.  Everything in the museum is experiential.  Generally, the more children play with the exhibits, the more they will learn.

The museum’s newest exhibit on display is called Eureka which is all about the great state of California.  The exhibit includes such amazing works of art like:

A monumental balloon shaped out delicate tissue paper and built by the people of both Tijuana and San Diego.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

Car-a-oke in which the artists transformed an old car into a place for children to sing and express themselves, while listening to some of the classics.  My son had a fantastic time playing inside the car and then appearing ‘live’ on the green screen outside.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

Group Tours The New Children's Museum in San Diego

Another nice part of the Eureka exhibit is Desert Derby – a landscape of reservoirs and roads inspired by Southern California’s desert like climate and surroundings.  Children can play on the highways and byways with miniature hand-carved vehicles.  Field Trip Boy spent over 30 minutes in this area.  That’s how much he loves his cars!

Field Trips at the New Children's Museum in San Diego

Field Trips at the New Children's Museum in San Diego

My favorite part of Eureka was the 40-foot, climbable tower called HOME.  HOME is a four-story house featuring California architectural styles from different time periods and locales throughout the Golden State.  It is made up of steel, wood, salvaged architectural ornamentation, cedar, fennel, metal pulleys, buckets and braided rope.  Children ages 5 and up are free to roam around the house and truly discover what ‘home’ means to them.  It was so mesmerizing that I didn’t want to leave.  I wanted to move in!

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

Outside of the New Children’s Museum, they have an Outdoor Art Studio where children are encouraged to imagine, experiment, and explore the world the around them through art.  My kids also made cute figurines out of clay that we were able to take home.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

The Outdoor Art Studio at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum is where children are encouraged to imagination, experimentation, and exploration through art.

The Outdoor Art Studio at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum is where children are encouraged to imagination, experimentation, and exploration through art.

The Outdoor Art Studio at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum is where children are encouraged to imagination, experimentation, and exploration through art.

While Field Trip Girl did water color painting in the Outdoor Art Studio, Field Trip Boy spent a good of his time in the museum’s Innovators Lab building catapults and trapezes out of recyclable material.

In the Innovators Lab, as a part of the Experimentation area at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum, children make connections with science, technology, engineering, and math through a continually changing series of investigative science stations.

In the Innovators Lab, as a part of the Experimentation area at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum, children make connections with science, technology, engineering, and math through a continually changing series of investigative science stations.

In the Innovators Lab, as a part of the Experimentation area at the San Diego Children's Discovery Museum, children make connections with science, technology, engineering, and math through a continually changing series of investigative science stations.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

In between exhibits, my kids enjoyed taking energetic romps through the museum’s climbing structures.  It’s generally an indoor playground with endless opportunities to get your wiggles out!

Group Tours at The New Children's Museum in San Diego.

Group Tours at The New Children's Museum in San Diego.

Group Tours at The New Children's Museum in San Diego.

There are so many exhibits at the New Children’s Museum that you need approximately 3-4 hours to get through everything.  But if you do get hungry, you can always pick up a bite to eat at their cafe called green bellies.

green bellies cafe at The New Children's Museum in San DiegoOther exhibits we explored while at the museum include Missing Links created by Felipe Dulzaides – affectionately called the “Rainbow Jumpy”— for Animal Art.  This colorful bounce house is a playful way to teach children the idea of constant transformation.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

We also saw the The Rain House created by Ernest “Ernie” Silva (1948-2014).  Originally commissioned in 1994, the current structure was built in 2008 and is the second incarnation of this artwork.  The Rain House evolved from the idea of offering a contemplative and creative space where children could explore and play as they might on a rainy day at home.  Children are free to go in and out as they wish.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

Field Trips to The New Children’s Museum

The New Children’s Museum offers tours for schools and other groups for pre-kindergarten through high school.  The Museum has three different styles of school tours, each emphasizing one component of the Museum’s motto; THINK, PLAY and CREATE!  The price per student is $5 – $8.  The Museum requires one chaperone per every seven students on the CREATE and THINK tour and one chaperone per every five students on the PLAY tour.  Complimentary admission is extended to those adults.

The museum also offers field trips for high school students such as CREATE exploration, where students discuss and experience the interactive art pieces created by contemporary artists in the current exhibition, then create a unique artwork with a Museum Teaching Artist.  The guided tour and hands-on art making activity builds students’ problem solving and critical thinking skills as they delve into the artistic process.

The New Children’s Museum Admission

Adults / Children 1+ $12 each

Children (under 1): FREE

Seniors 65+: $8

Military w/ ID: $6

The New Children’s Museum is located at 200 West Island Avenue, San Diego.  Parking is on a first-come, first served basis in their private garage for $10 per vehicle.

The New Children’s Museum in San Diego has a mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art that you can see all around you.

Happy Field Tripping!

Jilleen

More Things To Do With Kids in San Diego:

75 Places To Explore in San Diego with Kids

Living Coast Discovery Center is one of San Diego’s Best Family Attractions

The Best Time To Visit The Flower Fields in Carlsbad

A Visit to the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad

Visit The Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Encinitas

Get $5 Tickets to visit The World of Dinosaurs at The Laguna Hills Mall now through the end of 2015!
← Previous
Last Chance To Visit The World of Dinosaurs in Orange County!
Are you planning a road trip? Check out these 5 Road Trip Essentials that are guaranteed to make make your trip more enjoyable.
Next →
5 Road Trip Essentials To Purchase Online

2020 Best Family Friendly New Year's Eve Celebrations in Southern California - SoCal Field Trips

Tuesday 31st of December 2019

[…] the entire family and get cozy in your jammies at The New Children’s Museum in San Diego!  The night includes New Year’s-themed art activities, games, a dance jam, photo […]

75 Places in San Diego to Explore with Kids - SoCal Field Trips

Monday 9th of July 2018

[…] 58. The New Children’s Museum – San Diego […]

cep

Saturday 4th of June 2016

we love the zoo

Lori

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

We love exploring! Exploring the museums, beaches, tide pools, walking around.

Anne N.

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

We have never been but would love to take my kids as they would love the climbing area.