In San Diego, the month of February is San Diego Museum Month. Since 1898, the San Diego Museum Council has been offering residents and visitors the opportunity to experience some of the city’s best museums at a discounted rate. Each year, Museum Month provides awareness about San Diego’s vast ecosystem of historical institutions, educational programs, and cultural representations. Visitors can receive a San Diego Museum Month pass by staying at one of Hilton’s 40 participating locations throughout San Diego County. Residents can pick up a Museum Month pass at over 75 library locations within the city. Each pass allows a guest access to over 40 different museums at 50% the cost of admission.
The discount passes for San Diego Museum Month are free and can be picked up at the Macy’s in The Shoppes at Carlsbad or all three locations of the Carlsbad City Library. The following Carlsbad museums participate in the discounts each February and are open all year long at regular admission prices:
The Museum of Making Music was created to empower the music product industry. The acronym NAMM is displayed above the entrance to the museum. This stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. NAMM is a non-for-profit organization that hosts well known trade shows that showcase the newest advances in musical equipment. These include advances in everything from instruments and lighting equipment to recording industry technology. NAMM’s international headquarters is located on the first floor of the museum.
The rest of the museum is filled with exhibits that bring NAMM’s mission to life. The museum embraces the idea that music is a necessary part of a full human experience. It seeks to show guests how music can connect people. By exposing visitors to musicians and live music, the museum shows how music is created, and the effects that it can have on the human experience. During San Diego Museum Month, guests can visit all of the exciting galleries that are available year-round. These include everything from exhibits on popular music and musical instrument innovations to manufacturing and music retail. Guests can learn how instruments were created throughout the last century and how modern culture has changed the ways that we make music. Access to the museum’s special exhibits like Music from the Sound Up: The Creative Tools of Synthesis are available during Museum Month. Visitors can explore the origins of ‘synthesis’ and play their very own synth as they learn about how synthesis is created.
San Diego Museum Month also gives guests the opportunity to experience the museum’s live performances. Sets by performers like BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and guest Sarah Quintana or Toronto’s Beyond the Pale are a regular occurance at the Museum of Making Music. Live music, special film screenings, and family fun nights are all included during San Diego Museum Month.
Hobbyists who value the art of machinery both large and small love the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum. For twenty-four years and counting, the museum has been a hidden gem nestled unassumingly in the Palomar business district. The wood and metalworking featured at the museum is the world’s largest exhibit of miniature engineering craftsmanship in the world. Guests can get a close up look at tiny representations of cars, trains, airplanes and more. The metalworking displays include engines, clocks, and ornate renditions of firearms. The intricate detail applied to each of the models in the museum is simply extraordinary. Exact scale models of some of the world’s largest and most complicated machines showcase the skills of the craftsmen that created them.
During San Diego Museum Month, guests can take a look at new additions to the collection. Every year, models are added to the museum’s stockpile. In 2020, an airplane modeled after a free flight gas model designed in the late 30’s called Phil’s Mean Streak was added. Other exhibits, including the ship models, clocks and steam engines of Chris Rueby and the miniature fire trucks of John A. Ackerman’s were added to the museum in late 2019.
San Diego’s vast network of museums have something for everyone. Whether you’re a beer lover, a basement scientist, or an at-home historian, San Diego Museum Month is the perfect time to visit as many museums as you can.