Fairy Tales

Whether you're young or just young at heart, Balboa Park is as full of wonders as Neverland. Take a journey through our fairy tale playlist to uncover the magic that awaits you. Free entrance to each of these institutions is available to San Diego residents on the third Tuesday of every month.

Many fairy tales begin in a mysterious forest or garden. Start your tour with a winding stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden, taking note of the special plants and trees that are native to Japan. Make sure to first stop for lunch at the Tea Pavilion so you can leave a trail of bread crumbs behind you...

Look, it's the tortoise from "The Tortoise and the Hare!" Do you think the tortoise would win in a race? In Japan, a tortoise symbolizes good luck.

Once you've found your way out of the garden, head over to the Mingei International Museum. Mirrors and reflections also play a big role in fairy tales. Do you dare ask this mirror who's the fairest of them all?

Stumble across Mingei's "A Palace for Wednesday," a fairy tale in miniature. Which is your favorite character?

Next, discover the museum's Himalayan lamp collection. If you could ask a genie for three wishes, what would they be?

Follow the sight of the striking California Tower to the San Diego Museum of Man. For a small fee, you can climb to the top to check whether Rapunzel is still trapped by an evil witch.

Back inside the museum, find the cacao beans used by the ancient Mayans to make chocolate. Jack planted magic beans to climb to the giant's castle in the sky. What type of bean do you think he used?

After looking around the Museum of Man, dive into Charles Arthur Fries' "The Restless Sea" at The San Diego Museum of Art. Could there be mermaids underneath the water's surface?

Next, find the museum's three Chinese celadon bowls: one big, one small, and one just right, just like in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."

Near the Museum of Art is the Balboa Park Lily Pond. If you find a frog, it just might be a prince in disguise!

At the Spanish Village Art Center, there are over 200 local artists showcasing their work. Beware of a wolf that tries to follow you to Grandma's house...

End your journey with a trip to the Rose Garden. Similar to "Beauty and the Beast," the drop of the last petal means our time has run out.

We wish you a happily ever after, and hope you'll join us back at Balboa Park again soon.