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Visiting the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center With Kids


By Casey Makovich, Smart Destinations

Planning a San Diego vacation with the family and looking for some fun activities for you and the kids?

Make sure to visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. It’s a great place for kids to get interested in science. The museum’s interactive exhibits are designed to inspire curiosity and allow kids to learn scientific concepts through hands-on learning.

Check out some of the most popular exhibitions by age:

Kid City

Designed for kids 5 and under, Kid City is a fun place for kids to explore and learn scientific concepts—while staying entertained. Kids will love exploring the “Ball Wall,” “Little Learner’s Lab,” and “Fire Truck.” Plan to spend anywhere between an hour to half a day letting the kids explore all there is to see in Kid City.

The Tinkering Studio

Designed to give young adults a chance to discover their inner inventor, the Tinkering Studio allows visitors to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Leonardo da Vinci, and create something new. Kids with an interest in building, mechanics and engineering will love the chance to experiment with the tools and materials in the studio.

Cellular Journey

An interactive exhibition, Cellular Journey is designed to introduce visitors of all ages to human cell biology and the potential that stem cells have in the fields of medicine and medical research on regenerative and personalized medicine. “Journey Inside a Cell” uses a virtual reality fly-through concept to explore the cellular universe within the human body while a realistic lab introduces visitors to the layout and functions of a typical stem cell research laboratory.

Origins in Space

Geared toward kids and adults alike, at Origins in Space, visitors can learn about the household items that have their roots in space technology. Visitors can also explore the latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope and other missions downloaded daily on a large plasma screen.

IMAX® Theater

Although it’s not recommended for infants and toddlers, the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, San Diego’s only dome theater, is one of the Fleet’s most popular attractions, featuring immersive IMAX films and planetarium shows. A ticket to one film is included with general admission. Be sure to check the schedule and plan your visit around which show you want to see as the museum changes the selection daily.

Dining Options

Craveology, conveniently located in the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, offers a wide range of fast casual dining options, such as flat breads, hot sandwiches, salads, giant pretzels, nachos, ice cream and more. When the weather is nice, take advantage of the picturesque outdoor dining setting located right near the iconic Bea Evenson fountain.

Visitors are allowed same day re-entry, so guests are welcome to leave the Science Center to grab a bite to eat elsewhere and return later. Some family-friendly restaurants nearby include: Casa 1915, Panama 66, Café Mingei and The Prado, where Go San Diego Card holders can save $10 off an order of $40 or more. Or, pack a brown bag lunch and have a picnic outside.

North Star Science Store

Be sure to check out the gift shop before you leave to take some of the excitement of the museum home. The shop features lots of educational toys, games, books, movies and more that will keep your kids engaged and interested in scientific concepts far beyond the time you spent in the museum.


Balboa Park is a popular destination so plan to arrive before the museum opens at 10 a.m. to ensure you get a parking spot in the free lot right behind the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

Save on Admission to Top Attractions

Planning a trip to Southern California and want to visit some of the top San Diego attractions? You can save up to 55% on combined admission to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and many more fun, family activities with a Go San Diego Card.