Harry Potter, Free Tuesday

Explore the magic in Balboa Park with this Harry Potter-inspired museums tour. Do you have wizarding skills like Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Take this tour to find out! Free entrance to each of these institutions is available to San Diego residents on the first Tuesday of every month.

Time to catch the Hogwarts Express! Find the train at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. When was it built?

But where are Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Check for their footprints on the Marauder's Map above the Toy Train Gallery to see where your friends went off to.

Uh oh, they're fighting the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. Doesn't this Coronado Railroad field book remind you of Tom Riddle's diary? What sort of information does the field book tell us?

But how can we destroy the diary? I know! This early 20th-century railroad spike could be a basilisk fang!

Well done. Time for a much-deserved rest in Gryffindor Tower. Give the password to the "Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress" at the Timken Museum of Art to be let in. See how her eyes follow you wherever you stand?

Where's Hedwig? Find Harry's beloved owl at the San Diego Natural History Museum's "Coast to Cactus" exhibit. What type of tree is he living in?

Nearby is a live California Mountain Kingsnake. Test out your Parseltongue and see if it responds!

Now it's time to visit Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest. Could the NAT's live California Trapdoor Spider be his friend Aragog, the giant talking spider?

Get ready for Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class. Is the NAT's ancient horse skeleton a thestral? How long ago did horses become extinct in North America?

Head over to the Flight Science Center, look into the fun mirror, and tell us what you see. Will it show your deepest desires like the Mirror of Erised?

Finally, its time to settle in with the book itself, which takes its place alongside other great works of fantasy and science fiction. Maybe you'll find a new magical world to get lost in!

Whether you're a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin, we thank you for joining us on this special Harry Potter tour. To visit even more magical locations in Balboa Park, make sure to check out these other collections.