San Diego Museums Big Exchange Is Happening Now!

By Courtney Daly-Pavone May 5, 2023

Get Ready The Big Exchange Is Here! 

What is it? 

If you have a museum membership you can use it to gain free entry to an additional 40 participating museums! 

The Big Exchange is happening now through May 18th 2023. 

This is your time to check out some of San Diego's many museums without the hefty ticket fee.

Here is a list of participating museums:

Barona Cultural Center & Museum 

Birch Aquarium (Please note, reservations must be made online in advanced to visit Birch Aquarium during The Big Exchange. Capacity is limited, Big Exchange tickets are available on the Birch Aquarium website on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Bonita Museum & Cultural Center 

The Brain Observatory (Reservations Required. Click here for reservations.)

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum (Museum is closed May 1-18 for installation. Instead, enjoy free admission to the exhibitions during  June 10 – 18).

California Surf Museum

Centro Cultural de la Raza

Coronado Historical Association

Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House (Only for general admission self-guided tours Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Heritage of the Americas Museum (Excludes special events and children must be accompanied by an adult at all times).

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Central

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) North

Japanese Friendship Garden

Junípero Serra Museum (The Junípero Serra Museum is part of the San Diego History Center)

La Jolla Historical Society

La Mesa Depot

Lemon Grove Parsonage Museum (Only open on Saturdays 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Living Coast Discovery Center (Does not grant member discount for camps, tours, gift shop, or other member perks. Excludes special event pricing and member only events.)

Maritime Museum of San Diego (Self-guided general admission tours only. On-the-water experiences do not apply.)

Marston House Museum and Gardens (SOHO)

Mingei International Museum

Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum – Always Free

 Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla

Museum of Making Music

Museum of Photographic Arts

Nautical History Gallery & Museum

New Americans Museum  (By appointment only)

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum – (Applies to museum admission only, NOT train ride tickets. Available in-person only. Excludes Campo Days, May 6-7).

San Diego African American Museum of Fine Arts (Museum without Walls – watch the website/social media for upcoming exhibits and online programing).

San Diego Archaeological Center

San Diego Automotive Museum (Children must be accompanied by an adult).

San Diego Botanic Garden

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (Excludes special events. Cannot be combined with other offers).

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (Open on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.)

San Diego History Center

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Museum of Art (Special exhibition opens May 13, $10/person surcharge. Museum closed on Wednesdays.)

San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) Does not include films (available to add on for $5 a person.) Museum closed on Wednesdays.

The New Children’s Museum

Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center – Always Free Admission

Timken Museum of Art  (The Museum is Always free).

 USS Midway Museum

Visions Museum of Textile Art

Warner Carrillo Ranch House

Water Conservation Garden

Women’s Museum of California

WorldBeat Cultural Center

Youth Ride Free with PRONTO

Plus the City and County has made it easier and more affordable for families to access more San Diego FUN. Starting All riders 18 & under are able to ride MTS and North County Transit District (NCTD) services for FREE with a Youth PRONTO app account, or a Youth PRONTO card. The Youth Opportunity Pass is a pilot program, sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and County of San Diego, through June 30, 2023. Find out more here.