San Diego Summer Fun: Get Info on Museums, Theme Parks, More

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Christina Simmons/San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo reopened on Jan. 30, 2021. Some special experiences to seek out while visiting? Animals in Action, where (w)ildlife care specialists share their amazing inside stories as guests watch animals climb, jump and balance, just as they do in their native habitats." A Discovery Tour, which puts the focus on plants as well as animals, and the summer-fun Nighttime Zoo are also blooming at the world-famous animal park in 2021.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego sounded the proverbial horn on April 1, once again welcoming visitors eager to learn about the "seafaring experience," with a focus on the city's "rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world." Interested in a tour of San Diego Bay aboard a PCF 816 Swift Boat? That's happening, on weekends. A 2021 concert series and a July 4 festivity are also ahead.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park/Christina Simmons
San Diego Zoo Safari Park "roared back" at the end of January. Planning to visit the epic Escondido expanse, which features giraffes, cheetahs, gnus, bird shows, elephants, and Roar & Snore Safaris? You'll want to look for the orange signs, which are giving visitors plenty of helpful info during the park's reopening phase.
Charles O'Rear
"California Blooming" is the current exhibition on view, as summer 2021 begins, at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The show spotlights "35 stunning photographs of wildflowers from diverse habitats throughout the state of California" and how climate change is impacting our floral landscape. The museum, which is located in Balboa Park, reopened in April 2021.
Douglas Sacha
Choo-choo by the the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, a locomotive-filled family favorite found in Balboa Park. The colorful wonderland of small trains, which reopened to the train-loving public in April 2021, is marking four festive decades this year. Note that it is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only; chugga-chugga to this site for more information on visiting.
Legoland California
LEGOLAND, the way-cool, click-it Carlsbad destination, reopened in mid-April. And just weeks after it said "hello" again to its fans? Something cinematic debuted: Lego Movie World, which opened on May 27. "Visitors will be able to explore the world of Bricksburg with Emmet Brickowski, Wyldstyle, Unikitty and more from the films. They can walk through the streets of the town and explore Benny’s Play Ship or Emmet’s Super Suite Apartment" as well.
Huzzah: Theater returned to the celebrated Old Globe on Friday, June 4. The Bard-strong team behind the Shakespeare-and-more stage reveals that much is ahead, including "... a full lineup of virtual and in-person theatre, boasting five world premieres, offers something for everyone, from musicals, Shakespeare, and new plays to movies, cabarets, family events, immersive storytelling, and more." Find out what to expect this summer as the footlights shine again.
Rachel Cobb
Looking for an airy stroll by some of the planet's most spectacular plants? San Diego Botanic Garden, in Encinitas, boasts 37 spacious acres. A number of distinct gardens, including the Bamboo Garden, the New World Desert Garden, and several other soak-in-the-sun spots. Be sure to don your favorite walking shoes: There are four miles of trails to explore.
Jordann Tomasek Photography/Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is again making a splash, with exhibits devoted to seahorses and seadragons, the oddities of the ocean, and more. The La Jolla aquatic institution reopened in March 2021. For all of the upcoming summer programming, as well as how to make your reservation, swim by this site now.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Ready to take on the Octarock, seen above, or the Tentacle Twirl? The roller coasters and rides of SeaWorld again began to spin/twirl "with enhanced health & safety measures" on April 12, 2021.
Vroom Vroom: The San Diego Automobile Museum reopened on April 2. Ready to spy some fab fenders and wicked wheels? An "All Revved Up! Celebration" is ahead in October 2021, but the Balboa Park destination has plenty to offer visitors this summer, including the "Barn Find" Studebaker display.
The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2020, just underwent a "complete renovation," one that will give music mavens a chance to connect with the engaging exhibits through three themes: "Making the Instruments," "Providing the Instruments," and "Using the Instruments." Learn more about this major remodel, and what to expect when the museum reopens, right here.
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