Don't Miss The Big Museum Exchange in May!

Free Entry to 30 San Diego Museums

By Courtney Daly-Pavone April 18, 2018

What's The Big Museum Exchange?

Starting May 1 to May 18  anyone who is a member at one of the participating San Diego Museums (listed below) can enjoy free admission to the others during the two-week promotion.  A single-person membership at a participating museum provides one free admission to another, while a family-level membership provides access for up to four guests.

This is a great program that gives museum members a unique opportunity to explore San Diego's diverse arts and cultural scene, by visiting the many museums, historical sites, gardens, aquariums/zoos in America's Finest City!

 “The Big Exchange is like a free trial membership, so it’s great opportunity to check out someplace new or that you haven’t visited for a while,” said San Diego Museum Council Executive Director Theresa Kosen. “Our goal is to encourage museum membership growth in the region. We hope San Diegans will discover some new favorites and decide to support them after the exchange by purchasing memberships and enjoying the many year-round benefits.”

 The Big Exchange began in 2015, and since then it has grown in popularity 8,000 people take part in the exchange annually. 


This is How it Works?

To receive complimentary admission, members simply present their membership card at each participating museum’s visitor services desk. Free admission does not include special upcharge exhibitions, films or events. Balboa Park Explorer pass holders are not included in this program. For more information, please visit


2018 Participating Organizations:  

Barona Museum & Cultural CenterSan Diego Art Institute 
Birch Aquarium at ScrippsSan Diego Automotive Museum
Bonita MuseumSan Diego Children's Discovery Museum
California Surf MuseumSan Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Coronado Museum of History & Art San Diego Archaeological Center
Flying Leatherneck Aviation MuseumSan Diego History Center
Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton HouseSan Diego Model Railroad Museum
Heritage of the Americas MuseumSan Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
Japanese Friendship GardenThe New Children's Museum
Living Coast Discovery CenterThe San Diego Museum of Art
Maritime Museum of San DiegoTimken Museum of Art
Marston House Museum & GardenUSS Midway Museum
Mingei International MuseumVeterans Museum at Balboa Park
Museum of Contemporary Art San DiegoVisions Art Museum
Museum of Making MusicWarner-Carrillo Ranch House Museum
Museum of Photographic ArtsThe Water Conservation Garden
New Americans MuseumWhaley House Museum
Oceanside Museum of ArtWomen's Museum of California


About the San Diego Museum Council

The San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) represents San Diego County’s museum community by increasing awareness, connecting, and providing services to the diverse museums within its members. With more than 40 unique arts and culture destinations as members, the SDMC presents three annual promotions: the Big Exchange, Macy’s Museum Month, and Kids Free in October.

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