Location: Balboa Park (3 Miles Northeast of Downtown San Diego)
Show Times: Six Performances Each Year in Balboa Park with More in Additional Locations
Cost: $10 – $15
Features: Watch Performances of Future Academy Award and Tony Award Winners. Past Alumni Include Dennis Hopper, Raquel Welch, Annette Bening, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Christian Hoff. This is the Oldest Youth Theatre Program in the Country.
San Diego Junior Theatre Highlights: Many of the most inspiring performances in theatre come from young kids. They get their start in Junior Theatres, such as this one, before moving on to professional venues. The San Diego Junior Theatre program has been in existence since 1948. Aspiring child actors move to San Diego to train in this renowned program. Attending San Diego’s Junior Theatre performances is a great way to see an excellent show at a low cost. One day, you will be able to say, “I saw that Academy Award Winner or Tony Award Winner when they were just a kid”.
What to Expect
- The Theatre offers 640 seats.
- The outside of the theatre is particularly beautiful so you may want to spend a few minutes enjoying the intricate details before heading inside to the basic looking interior.
- Disabled access and ASL (sign-language) performance information is available by clicking on the Patron Information page on the Junior Theatre web site.
- No Smoking is allowed in or around the Junior Theatre.
Show Information – Learn more about upcoming productions. Many productions are held at the Casa Del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park. However, some theatre productions are held in La Jolla and Chula Vista. The information below is for the Balboa Park performances. Please see the Junior Theatre web site for details on attending events at the other locations.
Food – For pre-performance or post-performance meals, you will find the Galileo Cafe on the outside of the Science Museum, which is just across the Pedestrian Promenade from the Natural History Museum. The Galileo Cafe is one of the few Balboa Park cafes that remains open for the evening hours. If you are looking for something more than what is offered in a cafe, Balboa Park’s Prado Restaurant is more of an upscale full service restaurant. You can read more about the food options on the Balboa Park web site.
Information on Attending the San Diego Junior Theatre Performances at Balboa Park
Admission Prices: (Costs are Approximate)
- Parking is Free
- Standard Ticket is $10 – $15.
- Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office, which is open from 10AM-5PM, Tuesday – Friday.
- They can also be purchased online for a fee.
Directions from Google Maps to 1600 Village Place in San Diego, CA 92101. The Casa del Prado Theatre and Box office is in the building located next to the San Diego Natural History Museum. Google Maps labels the building as the San Diego Junior Ballet, which also uses the Case del Prado Theatre.
Parking – There are two parking lots adjacent to the Natural History Museum. Both can be accessed just after you turn on to Village Place. There should be adequate parking for weekday performances, which are in the evenings when most Balboa Park museums are closed. For weekend performances, parking may be more difficult, especially during summer. If these lots are full, the next best option is to find street parking or head south on Park Boulevard towards downtown and take a left on Presidents Way. It will take you 15 minutes or so to walk to the Museum. You can also take the free Balboa Park Tram, which starts near the end of the Presidents Way driveway. Get off at the Prado stop near the Balboa Park Information Center and walk a few minutes down the Pedestrian Mall to the Casa del Prado Theatre.
Traffic – Unless there is a major event at Balboa Park, which occurs a few times during the year, getting in and out of the Casa del Prado Theatre 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. Likewise, if you are planning to get on SR-163 northbound after leaving the Casa del Prado Theatre, plan on a short delay during the mid and late afternoon hours as a few entrance ramps merge together before reaching the highway. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)
Transit - Buses serving Balboa Park drop passengers off on Park Boulevard near the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego Museum of Natural History. The stop is underneath a pedestrian bridge, which you can take to reach the Theatre on the other side of the Natural History Museum. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map, which includes Balboa Park, and information for the online Transit Planner.)
You can also get off the bus at Presidents Way to catch the Free Balboa Park Tram. The Tram starts at the end of the driveway, on the east side of Presidents Way and circulates every 10 minutes from here to the main circle at the Prado stop, near the Balboa Park Information Center. The Tram runs from 8:30AM – 6PM daily with extended hours during the summer and special occasions.
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.