As we go into summer, sunlight last longer and children are traditionally out of school and looking for something to do. But not to worry, the San Diego Natural History Museum has you covered this summer. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between the Association of Children’s’ Museums (ACM) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. This program enables low-income families to visit The San Diego National History Museum year-round with free admission for up to four people with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Women, Infants & Children (WIC) card and a valid form of ID. Museums for All is part of theNat’s broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all. For more information, visit

Be sure to visit theNAT on or after July 20, 2018 to spend your summer in their brand new exhibit “The Backyard”.

The Backyard
Spend Your Summer in The Backyard

Living in a rather large metropolis, it’s easy to forget we are surrounded by nature every day—the intersection between people and wildlife is often overlooked. That’s why theNat is building The Backyard, a new play space for young, curious minds up to the kindergarten age. Opening July 20, this new exhibit will allow little learners to expand their horizons by exploring the natural world through play.

Vibrant decor and rich experiences inspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard make The Backyard an inviting space where children five and under can develop essential process skills. Whether animals, minerals, or vegetables captivate your child, they are sure to find an exhibit element that piques their interest and curiosity.

Exhibit highlights include:

  • A soft space garden bed (ages 0-2)
    • Modeled after a self-contained garden area, this enclosed, soft space is separated from areas designed for older toddlers and preschoolers. It is an ideal area for infants to work on tummy time, rolling over, and sitting up. Within this space, older infants have an area to practice crawling, walking, and grasping different textures.
  • An old oak tree (ages 2-5)
    • Children will embody imaginative, dramatic, and realistic play as they dress like familiar backyard animals and crawl on a giant ladybug. Self-directed play can take many forms as kids build block structures, color mix on the light table, and uncover hidden sounds and live animals in the garden wall.
  • A potting shed (ages 2-5)
    • Adults can relax and recharge on plush bench seating with free WiFi and charging station while kids exercise fine motor skills and build imaginations as they create and pot flowers, read books, solve puzzles, and sort shapes.

Parents and caregivers can actively participate with children or sit, relax, and observe with a beverage from The Flying Squirrel Café. This exhibit will be free for members and included with general admission. Stay tuned for additional updates on theNat’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).