How to Live 26.2 Days Straight in Balboa Park


There’s no denying it, Balboa Park is entertaining for hours, but how fun would it be if you lived there for 26.2 days straight?

On Monday two of the park’s employees are going to answer that question in a nearly month long stay inside the confines of the park, which is known to be a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.

“My boyfriend thought I was crazy at first”, joked Maren Dougherty, one half of the team for the adventure called Museum Marathon 2011.

The marathon was put together by members of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative in an effort to show visitors the wide variety of things Balboa Park has to offer.

“We just want to show through the journey the variety of things you can do in the park,” said Dougherty. “You can really spend 26 days and not get bored.”

It’s going to be a mix of work and fun for Dougherty who’s employed at Balboa Park’s Online Collaborative where she handles new media.

“Some people leave home for work, others go off to fight for freedom; I’ll live in a park to help to promote arts and culture in San Diego," said Dougherty.

“I’ve worked here for two years and still haven’t seen everything”, said Heather Hart who works for BPOC and will be Dougherty’s partner for Museum Marathon. “I’m pretty much ‘gun-ho’ about everything and have done stuff like this in the past so it should be fun,” said Hart.

The idea came about a few months ago when Dougherty said she thought “to do something exciting through a collaboration among 17 organizations [within the park].” Dougherty said she was inspired by a similar project at the park's Museum of Science and Industry.

With a line-up that includes 15 museums, gardens, the Junior Theatre, The Old Globe and more, there should be plently enough to fill 26 days inside the park.

Attractions aside, how is actual living in the park going to work?

“We’ll have to figure out how to handle laundry,” said Dougherty, who said she’d also miss her boyfriend, friends and television.

During Museum Marathon, which will last until June 25, the women will be live-Tweeting, blogging and Facebooking throughout the 1,200-acre park, constantly updating people online about the encounters and people they come across.

Mattresses in hand, Dougherty and Hart will stay at 17 different organizations in the park both day and night, including sleepovers at the San Diego Zoo and among mummies and dinosaurs inside the museums.

The women will be doing a little bit of everything,from throwing Tweets-Ups and cocktail parties for park visitors to attending a wedding in the park’s Japanese Garden.

While Dougherty and Hart have places within the park they’re looking forward to visiting during their stay, they also plan to highlight the people who work inside the park, who they said make the park what it is today.

You can view all the in-depth coverage, videos, interviews, and more, during Museum Marathon on their blog, Facebook and on twitter @MarathonMaren and @MarathonHeather. The marathon runs from May 30 until June 25.

Contact Us