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This is the largest repository of San Diego's rich history available. The reading room offers public records and reproduction maps dating from the 1850s. Also available are architectural drawings, biographical files, an ephemera collection, history books, manuscripts, newspapers, oral histories and vintage publications. Prints of more than two million images, documenting 125 years of San Diego's history, are also available. The archives are closed during the month of August for collection cataloging.
These hands-on science and technology exhibits open a window into the future. Take a multi-sensory simulated space mission and encounter a rogue comet. Also found here is the world's first Omnimax Theater, a dome 10 times larger than a typical movie screen. If the exploration of the science center makes you hungry, pay a visit to the museum's Galileo Cafe for a snack or a cup of coffee.
The San Diego Natural History Museum is the second oldest scientific institution in California. A bi-national museum, its mission is to interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits. The museum strives to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment. Between exhibits on dinosaurs and the Arctic to mammoths and the Titanic, this museum is sure to interest the old, young and everything in between.
For many years, the Spanish Village has been the site of working artists and artisans in the beautiful setting of Balboa Park. Shop or simply browse through the artwork of several local juried artists. Artwork currently on display includes jewelry, fountains, sculpture, mixed media and stained glass works. Some of the artists represented here are Beth Banning Duncan, Miriam Reed, Mary Ella Fetzer, Jean Schindler and June Warren.
The centerpiece of the blissful Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is a prolific destination for adults and children alike. Spread over 98.84 acres (40 hectares) of diverse landscapes, the zoo is home to an excess of 3,500 fauna that belongs to 650 species or subspecies. Established in the year 1916, it is one of the few non-profit wildlife conservation zones to nurture the highly-endangered Giant Panda. Laden with man-made habitats that emulate various topographies from around the globe, the park's most-visited exhibits includes the Monkey Trails, the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, Tiger River, Koalafornia and the Panda Trek. Virtually every nook and corner of the zoo is made conveniently accessible by the beloved Skyfari, a gondola system that spans across nearly 75 percent of the property.
The National Comedy Theatre is San Diego's nationally acclaimed improvisational comedy show. Based completely on audience suggestions, the cast of the NCT create an entire show without a script. This hilarious show has been performed across the country and around the world and with over 3000 performances is the longest running show in San Diego. Shows are appropriate for all audiences.