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Downtown Exclusives


Things will indeed be great when you’re downtown. Renowned for historical buildings and popular attractions including the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Petco Park, America’s Finest City offers an expansive variety of things to see and do, appealing to guests of all ages from around the world. Here are a handful of the many things that make downtown unique.     JANE SHIOMI

1  Temporarily closed for exhibition build-out through October 14, the New Children’s Museum brings families together in a rich educational environment that fosters creativity. The nonprofit blends elements of art museum, children’s museum, and community center. In May of 2008, NCM opened a new sustainable facility in the Marina District. Designed by Rob Wellington Quigley, the 50,000-square-foot building houses galleries, open studios, and an Arts Education Center offering unique classes and camps. Take advantage of the park across the street, which extends the museum visit outdoors with space for running, climbing, family picnics, and a view of the trains and trolleys passing by. (619/233-8792, www.thinkplaycreate.org)

  With attractions, performing arts, and museums galore, Balboa Park is a cherished institution of San Diego living. Planning is currently underway for the centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The original event in 1915 could be considered a “world’s fair” due to its scope and lasting heritage. While the primary venue of that event was the fledgling Balboa Park, the overriding theme was a celebration of progress, prosperity, and opportunity as represented by the completion and opening of the Panama Canal and the location of San Diego as the first U.S. port-of-call for northbound maritime trade. To follow suit, while the scope of the 2015 centennial celebration is still to be released, this milestone event will once again present the opportunity for San Diego to draw the attention of the nation. Stay tuned for details. (www.balboapark.org)

3  The nearly 101-year-old San Diego Symphony has become one of the leading orchestras in the U.S., and was recently designated a Tier 1 Orchestra by the League of American Orchestras. The symphony performs over 100 concerts each year. Indoor performances include the Jacobs Masterworks series with music director Jahja Ling, the Winter Pops series, the Family Festival, and the Symphony Exposed, a fascinating series of concerts that examine classical works from entertaining and thought-provoking angles. The Summer Pops season at Embarcadero Marina Park South mixes classical favorites and pop music in a festive, outdoor atmosphere on the waterfront. (619/235-0804, www.sandiegosymphony.org)

4  Go to sea without leaving port! The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family featuring more than 60 exhibits and a collection of 27 restored aircraft. Visitors enter a floating city at sea and walk in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors who served our country and upheld the American ideals of strength, freedom, and peace. On Friday, October 21, at 6pm, enjoy a movie night featuring A League Of Their Own. Meet and greet some of the real women who played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League while the men went to war in the 1940s. General admission tickets are $10; members are $8. (619/544-9600, www.midway.org)

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