Starlight Theatre in Balboa Park


Location: Balboa Park (3 Miles Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Show Times: June to September at 7:30PM

Cost: Ranges from $10 – $75

Features: Musicals Performed Outdoors by Well-Known Actors from Hollywood and Broadway

Starlight Theatre EntranceStarlight Theatre Highlights: The Starlight Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1946. Its outdoor venue, the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park, provides a unique and relaxed environment that attracts top caliber performers from New York and Los Angeles. Four notable musicals are performed each summer season and run from Thursday through Sunday evenings.

What to Expect

  • The Starlight Bowl Amphitheater holds 4,300 guests.
  • Jets fly directly over the Starlight Bowl as they approach for landing at the San Diego Airport. This requires actors to ‘freeze’ in their positions as they wait for the planes to pass. It is quite remarkable to watch how smoothly the actors are able to stop and then continue on without missing a beat as the audience lets out a light chuckle.
  • Guests can buy light refreshments at the venue or pre-order a picnic to enjoy at Balboa Park prior to the performance.
  • For out-of-towners, note it can get cooler than you might expect in the evenings, so consider bringing a long sleeve shirt or light jacket.
  • No Smoking is allowed in or around the Starlight Bowl.

Information on Visiting the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park

Admission Prices: (Costs are Approximate)

  • Parking is Free
  • Tickets range from $10 – $75 depending on your proximity to the stage.
  • Seniors, Students, and Military members can receive a $5 discount in most seating areas.
  • Kids 12 and Under can get in for free with a Paying Adult on select days – typically Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Tickets can be purchased online.
  • The Box office is open 10AM – 5PM weekdays and 12PM – 4PM weekends.

Directions from Google Maps to 2005 Pan American Plaza in San Diego, CA 92101. The Starlight Bowl is located between the San Diego Air & Space Museum and the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum.

Parking – There is a parking lot in front of the Starlight Bowl. Since most museums are closed in the evening, there should be no issues with parking. You can find extra parking in a much larger parking lot behind the Starlight Bowl. It can be accessed from Presidents Way, which is the street you will likely use to enter Balboa Park from Park Boulevard.

Traffic – Unless there is a major event at Balboa Park, which occurs a few times during the year, getting in and out of the Starlight Bowl is relatively easy using Park Boulevard. If you approach Balboa Park using southbound SR-163, traffic occasionally backs up a little over a mile before reaching the Park Boulevard Exit, which is the same exit for the I-5 northbound. However, the delay will only take a few extra minutes. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)

Transit – Buses serving Balboa Park drop passengers off on Park Boulevard at the intersection with Presidents Way. You will have to walk about 200 yards to reach the Starlight Bowl. Buses continue to operate late into the evening so you will be able to catch a bus leaving Balboa Park after the performance. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map, which includes Balboa Park, and information for the online Transit Planner.)

Balboa Park Map – The map shows a listing of all Balboa Park Museums, attractions, bus and tram stops, and places to eat. You should also print out the Balboa Park Tram Map from the City of San Diego. It is not as detailed but is helpful because it includes names on each of the buildings. With the other map, you need to use a map key to find the name of a building.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Balboa Park, Performing Arts |

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