Places To Go



ArtsBusXpress has established a collaboration with the MOPA (San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts) to provide FREE bus transportation for out of classroom educational Field Study Excursions. Transportation and admission funding is shared between ArtsBusXpress and MOPA.


Be sure to include the many Balboa Park museums like MOPA in your out-of-classroom experience for the new year. Contact the museum to secure a date for your field trip, and then apply for a bus grant at ABX.  

Requests for the 2018-2019 school year are coming in.


Educational trips contribute to better
student outcomes in school and beyond

The following is a list of venues visited by ABX funded field trips over the last two years.  These venues have been reviewed and designated by the ABX funding committee as approved destination sites for K-12 students based on the program offered by the venue.  Teachers may also select a destination site not listed and subject to approval.  Be sure to answer all questions on the bus grant application as fully as possible to receive our complete consideration.

Balboa Park

Ever changing. Always amazing.  Where culture, science, and nature collide, Balboa Park is home to more than 17 museums, multiple performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails, and many other creative and recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. With a variety of cultural institutions among its 1,200 beautiful and lushly planted acres, there is something for everyone.

Balboa Park Museums

Balboa Park boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with an incredible diversity of collections. From local San Diego history, to the history of flight, trains, or automobiles, to the workmanship of the old masters, and the arts, crafts, and culture of people near and far, recent and historical. There is no shortage of things to see and do.

Birch Acquarium

See more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats plus a museum featuring cutting edge research from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Take in spectacular panoramic ocean views, get hands on with interactive activities, see a feeding, and dive deeper into the world under, in, and above the oceans. 

California Center for the Arts - Escondido

More than just a performing arts venue, the Center’s mission is also firmly rooted in education. Through its Education Department, the Center offers a multitude of enlightening and informative programs for students, teachers, and the general public, including: field trip opportunities, weekday performances for youth, artist and performer led master classes, free arts and crafts workshops for families, music education programs, and more.

Cal State University - San Marcos School of Fine Arts

The Mission of the School of Arts is to provide an inclusive, collaborative community where artists, scholars, and students actively engage in developing artistic practices, critical thinking, cultural intelligence, and creativity.

Classics 4 Kids

Each season, Classics 4 Kids performs 12 STEAM professional orchestra concerts as field trip events at the historic Balboa Theatre. Each participating class receives an optional FREE docent visit two weeks prior provided by our long-term partners Advocates For Classical Music accompanied with a FREE audio CD and detailed lesson plan. Day of concert Classics 4 Kids pre-entertainment provided by Songbirds Music.

Cygnet Theater

Founded in 2003, Cygnet Theatre is a leading regional company and one of San Diego's cultural icons. Each year, Cygnet Theatre creates an eclectic mix of 6 or 7 mainstage productions, from classics to Broadway-style musicals. On stage and off, Cygnet Theatre is dedicated to bringing the best performances to San Diego.

Available (Wednesdays only) student matinee dates are:

  • The Last Wife 2/7/18

  • The Wind & The Breeze 5/23/18

La Jolla Music Society

Extraordinary performance by Chicago Symphony launches La Jolla Music Society 2017-18 ... La Jolla Music Society is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization.

La Jolla Playhouse

The Education and Outreach Department of La Jolla Playhouse, in close collaboration with the Artistic Department, creates an appetite for the work of La Jolla Playhouse by providing an aesthetic vocabulary and theatre experiences that enable the uninitiated to crave challenging and adventuresome theatre.

Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast offers a variety of options for you and your classes to choose from when you come to visit us on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, Sweetwater Marsh.

Lux Art Institute

At Lux, you don’t just see finished works of art; you see the artistic process firsthand, observing internationally recognized artists in a working studio environment. Lux education programs support community in developing a creative voice through exploration, experimentation, and discovery.

Media Arts Center, San Diego

MACSD evolved out of the San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF), which originated in 1993. Incorporated in 1999, MACSD has grown from a festival to a mid-size organization with diverse statewide programs and services for residents, visitors, and independent and amateur filmmakers. In 2012, MACSD moved into a new space in North Park. Renovating a derelict building, now known as the Digital Gym, has brought vitality and inspired new businesses to open in this once-blighted area. The Digital Gym allowed MACSD to expand core programming to better serve the community.

Mission Trails Park

Mission Trails Regional Park encompasses 7,220 acres of both natural and developed recreational areas. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542.

Moonlight Cultural Foundation

In every region, there is a great cultural destination. For San Diego County, it is Moonlight Amphitheatre. Moonlight Cultural Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the theatrical experience in Vista and North San Diego County. Check out more details of the Moonlight Youth Theatre programs.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

With two locations, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the region’s foremost forum devoted to the exploration and presentation of the art of our time, presenting works across all media created since 1950. Located in the heart of downtown San Diego and in the coastal community of La Jolla, MCASD provides an unprecedented variety of exhibition spaces and experiences for the community, showcasing an internationally recognized collection and a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and public programs.

Museum of Making Music

The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad takes students in grades K-12 on a musical exploration of the people, historical events, and innovations that helped shape music and musical instruments. Led by a trained facilitator, students embark on creative thinking adventure featuring hundreds of instruments on display, music and video samples, and a variety of hands-on, group activities.  The museum provides complementary student admission to qualifying Title One-designated schools.

Museum of Photographic Arts

MOPA's mission is to inspire, educate and engage through the presentation and preservation of photography, film and video.

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center (National City)

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center’s historic 6.85-acre property in National City, California serves as an interactive, indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults from around San Diego County.  Our purpose is to build healthy families and a healthy environment.  

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, California, is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech. The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope. Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Fleet offers weekly, half-day camps for eight weeks in the summer, as well as full-day camps in the spring and winter. The camps take place at the Science Center, and are designed to include fun, educational, hands-on activities while incorporating the Fleet's exhibit galleries.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Aviation history is truly a remarkable story, and it all unfolds at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Your journey through the history of flight begins as you stand beneath a model of the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon of 1783 - the first manned vehicle in recorded history to break the bonds of gravity and lift humans above the Earth.hat's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

San Diego Art Institute

The San Diego Art Institute was initially founded in 1941 as the San Diego Business Men's Art Club. In 1950 the name was changed to the San Diego Art Institute, and three years later women were allowed membership into the organization.

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum - Escondido

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (SDCDM) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing hands-on educational exhibits and programs focusing on science, art, and world cultures for over 100,000 visitors including children, families and school groups annually.

San Diego County Fair

You’ll leave the ordinary world behind the minute you step into this magical sweet spot overflowing with opportunities to truly savor summer with the excitement of a wide-eyed kid. Whether it’s sampling chocolate bubbling from a fountain, soaking up the glittery ocean views from atop the Ferris wheel, discovering how nature’s sweet fruits grow and ripen, or enjoying the Fair’s golden-ticket entertainment, your toughest decision will be choosing what to indulge in first!

SDGE Energy Innovation Center

SDG&E’s Inspiring Future Leaders giving initiative supports local STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and non-profit partners dedicated to the development of the next generation of diverse, prepared and skilled leaders in San Diego and southern Orange Counties. 

San Diego History Center

All K-12 programs offered at the San Diego History Center are designed as an extension of classroom learning. They are aligned with California State Standards and the Common Core and led by trained docents and professional educators. In addition to the programs listed in our brochure, the Education Department will work with teachers to customize a museum experience to meet the specific needs and interests of a particular class.

San Diego Opera

The Student Night at the Opera Program provides students and their chaperones access to the final dress rehearsal of our mainstage productions. You'll hear the opera stars sing accompanied by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, see the cast and chorus in spectacular costumes, watch the backstage set transformations and, on occasion, be introduced to some of the performers and crew who make the productions possible....And as with all San Diego Opera productions, English translations projected above the stage let you follow every detail of the action. The audience will see the operas in their entirety.

San Diego Repertory Theatre

San Diego Repertory Theatre produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre.We promote a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul.

San Diego Symphony Young People's Concerts

San Diego Symphony offers a creative learning opportunity in a concert format especially for elementary and middle school students as a fieldtrip experience! Teachers and students are invited to attend these 50-minute concerts at the Jacobs Music Center designed to introduce schoolchildren to the world of classical music. Tickets are only $5 per person! Most appropriate for students in grades 2-8.

San Diego Zoo Field Trips

Admission is FREE to the Zoo for all students in San Diego County during the traditional school year. Non-San Diego County schools and qualified youth groups receive a reduced admission fee of $10 per student. All schools and qualified youth groups pay $10 per person on weekends, holidays, and during winter, spring and summer school breaks. During October, in-county and out-of-county school groups, grades pre-K–12, are admitted free, but must make a reservation.

Southern California Ballet

Southern California Ballet was founded in 1983, and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the joy of dance into the community through dance education, outreach programs, and public performances. Each December, SCB offers four daytime performances of The Nutcracker as part of its Outreach program for school groups to experience classical ballet for just $5 per ticket. If you’re interested in bringing your class to see The Nutcracker, please call (858) 674-1006.   


Available Performances are December 12 & 13, 2019 at 9:15 am & 11:15 am (four performances total).

The New Children's Museum - Downtown San Diego

At The New Children’s Museum, we believe play and art-making promote the skills that our future leaders need: creativity, confidence, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, collaboration and optimism.

The Old Globe Theater

Globe for All is both a core value and a core Arts Engagement program that reimagines authentic, participatory engagement beyond conventional output of theatrical productions. A decade from now, the Globe will be known as a creator of world-class theatre productions and equally as a hub for participatory art-making, fostering cross-cultural and intergenerational shared experiences that traverse socioeconomic and geographic boundaries. 

Thinkabit Lab

The Thinkabit Lab provides students with a unique, hands-on STEM experience and exposure to careers they may not know exist, and it provides an opportunity for educators to learn best practices for teaching STEM. In the lab, both students and educators engage in hands-on engineering activities that involve problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. With the Thinkabit Lab experience, we are inspiring a new generation and these students will be the engineers and developers who will build on the foundation of 5G, to invent the unimagined, inventing amazing new thing that will change the world!

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