Admission prices vary. For exhibits only, it's $6.75 for adults and $5.50 for children.

We opted to see the 'Australia: Land Beyond Time' IMAX movie at 3:00. So tack on another $5.00 for adults, and $3.25 for children, show the AAA card and get 10% off for a total of $29.01.

Built in 1975, the Fleet Science Center features a series of three large rooms with push-button-see-what-happens exhibits and a chock-a-block layout that is dimly lit and really noisy.

This Science Center has the distinction of having the worlds' first IMAX Theater, and it's a huge domed screen that literally envelops the audience. We were the last ones into the theater, and so ended up sitting in folding chairs in a section designed for wheelchair access. Our view was certainly not ideal, but the movie about Australia was excellent.

Ticket price also includes a ride on some sort of simulator ride, which we did not do.

Overall, it's a pretty mediocre museum. Instead of lending itself to learning, we felt rushed, pushed around and over-stimulated. Too many exhibits were broken, closed or simply out of date. In short, it's way overpriced for what is offered.

About 200 yards away is the San Diego Museum of Art, and the outdoor Waters Café [above]. Serving freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, coffee, iced tea and bottled soft drinks, it is a terrific place to sit on the patio and enjoy some lunch in the open air and sunshine.

Prices are $5-7.00 for sandwiches, salads, and some 'pint-sized portions' that were about $4.00. Well worth it.

The museum itself, features a really diverse collection of Contemporary, European, American and Asian art. Adults: $8.00 Children: $3.00. 10% AAA discount brings the total to $17.00.

Balboa Park does offer a Museum Pass for $30.00 per person. It allows admission to all museums for 2 days. We just weren't sure how much we were going to want to do, so decided to just pay as we went.

Three temporary exhibits were being featured at SDMA: Sculpture in Silk showcased intricate costumes from Japan's Noh Theater, Partners of the Soul displayed African Art of the Baulle, and Of Earth and Sky had a more modern collection of abstract art.

None were terribly compelling.

Perhaps a bit more structure to this collection would help this museum. In one room, a statue of a Seated Bodhisattva from 500 A.D., the next room, a lovely oil painting by Claude Monet, circa 1872.

Talk about a time warp!

The Natural History Museum caught our attention earlier with the African stone sculpture exhibit, [above] but we felt we were too tired and cranky to take it all in.

Walking through Balboa Park we came across some sculptures outside the Mengei Museum, and they immediately grabbed our attention.

It made our vacation.

 
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