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House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

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House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

I am traveling to San Diego with my two teenage daughters in August. Can you please tell me more about the International Cottages and whether we should include a visit in our upcoming trip? We have one day (maybe 1.5) to spend at Balboa Park and I'm having trouble deciding how to spend it. We recently visited the Smithsonians in DC and my kids liked the Natural History and Udvar Hazy museums best, but I don't want to just do "more of the same." They are definitely "museum kids," but I want to know which museums are most appealing to teens.

Thank you.

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1. Re: House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

Every teen is different so which museum to visit may really depend on their interests. I WILL tell you that the museums in Balboa Park are quite small compared to those of many other cities! You can easily include several in a day at the park! I would say that unless you are very involved in a particular exhibit you could see each of the museums in about an hour. Perhaps the interactive science museum with its I-Max movie theater would take longer?

The international cottages are open on Sundays and offer an interesting snapshot of countries around the world, with samples of food , and an outdoor presentation of music or dance from one of the countries involved.

It is definitely an area to visit if in the park on a Sunday afternoon!!

My favorite museum in the park is the Mingei which has folk art exhibits form different parts of the world.

BTW IF you are going on a Sunday then definitely get there before 10AM to easily find parking. I'd not plan to much before hand but just wander and enjoy!! In addition to the museums there are gardens,outdoor performers,live theater(see Old Globe Theater)and artisan shops in the Spanish Village area.

Of course there's also our zoo which is world famous!!

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2. Re: House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

That is helpful, thank you. We have set aside a day for the zoo as well.

We will still be on east coast time, so arriving early shouldn't be a problem for us!

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3. Re: House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

I may be in the minority on this, but I have always found the international cottages to be underwhelming, even on Sundays.

I agree with RiffM that the Mingei is worth seeing. If you've done the Smithsonians, I'd skip the Balboa Park museums, and instead do the USS Midway Museum, which is in the San Diego Harbor area, about 4 miles from Balboa Park. This would tie into your kids' experience at Udvar Hazy. Add the Maritime Museum to this, and you've filled half a day.

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4. Re: House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

The cottages are small, and in some cases 2 countries share one building. The cottages are only open on Sunday from 12 noon to 4 pm. Each Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m, from March through October, there is a "Lawn Program" featuring one country, in the lawn area in the center of the cottages. The Lawn Program features music, dancing, costumes and food of that country. On August 4 it will be Peru, August 12 Panamá, August 19 Hungary and on August 26 Palestine. More info at http://www.sdhpr.org/

Very close to the cottages is the Spreckles Organ Pavilion, and there is a free organ concert concert every Sunday of the year from 2 pm to 3 pm, usually by Sana Diego civic organist. Dr. Carol Williams. On Monday nights in the summer there is a 2-hour organ concert starting at 7:30 with a visiting organist, also free but donations are welcomed. August 6, Elizabeth & Raymond Chenault, August 13 Gordon Turk, August 20 they show a silent movie and organist Dennis James plays a live organ accompaniment, August 27 Carol Williams and friends. http://sosorgan.org/

There are popular music concerts at the Organ Pavilion in the summer season, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m, and they are free. As of today, the web site is still showing last year's schedule, but sometime in the next month they should be posting the 2012 schedule at balboapark.org/press/twilight-park-summer-co…

The east end of the Prado area with some of the museums and gardens is about a 10-minute walk from the zoo exit, so you can just walk over there after your time at the zoo and not have to repark your car to see those museums. All the gardens in the park are free except the Japanese Garden which is $4. There is a free park tram that runs a route through the park, though it does not go to the zoo entrance.

The Prado restaurant is one choice of places to eat in the park, though there are others and inside the zoo there are additional choices. The Prado has a large, pleasant outdoor patio in back. cohnrestaurants.com/menu-restaurants/…

I would enter the zoo when it first opens in the morning (usually 9 am) as the animals are more active in the morning. In the afternoons (and especially on warm August days) animals may be asleep or at least sedentary. More information on Balboa Park is at http://www.balboapark.org/

Edited: 03 June 2012, 20:53
5. Re: House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

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