ROMP! Children Discover Balboa Park

February 01, 2004 – October 01, 2007

This fun new children’s exhibition is a walk through time exploring the fascinating history of Balboa Park from its beginning to the “Park of the Future.” Originally named “City Park,” it was a dry parcel with native plants, coyotes, foxes, and rattlesnakes. The exhibition tracks the spectacular development of Balboa Park for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, through to the technological “wonders” of the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition. Children are encouraged to explore the interactive exhibition components, all the while learning about the people, the cultures, and the city that created Balboa Park.

Balboa Park, with its ornate Spanish-style buildings, and beautiful trees, flowers, and exotic gardens, is full of unexplored history and remnants of some of the many different cultures that have influenced San Diego’s growth and development. Children and adults alike, will learn about why the beautiful buildings were built, who the people were that influenced the growth of San Diego, and what important events happened in our fine city. The exhibition allows all visitors to experience the attractions, exhibitions, and marvels of Balboa Park created to showcase San Diego during different eras in history.

Designed for the young and young at heart, the exhibition guides the visitor on a journey filled with fascinating examples of lifestyles, architecture, and technology. Its activities allow one to see how the Park has changed, and to visit the two Expositions. You are also invited to create your own design of the “Park of the Future.” Children will take home several projects, which they will create within the exhibition: an origami swan, a rubbing from a 1915 souvenir penny, and a personalized computer-generated certification as a Junior Historian. In addition, a printed “Discovery Guide” will enable parents, teachers, and visitors to extend their learning into the Park, as architectural features and buildings are identified.