Half Time

By Catlin Dorset

America's Finest museums are once again offering half-off admission throughout February. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, San Diego Museum Month - established by the San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) in 1989 - draws tens of thousands of visitors to the county's 44 local museums each year.

"From the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park to the Oceanside Museum of Art, there is a museum that will pique everyone's interest," says SDMC president Danielle Susalla Deery.

Taking advantage of the 50-percent discount requires a free Museum Month pass, which can be picked up at any San Diego-area Macy's location. Each pass admits up to four guests at a time and can be used over and over again, all month-long.

One new exhibit set to shiver some timbers is "Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship," arriving February 8 at the San Diego Natural History Museum. This National Geographic special engagement showcases treasure chests, jewelry and more than 200 other artifacts recovered from a slave ship that became a pirate ship before sinking in 1717. Purchase tickets (exhibition runs through September 1) at sdnat.org/realpirates, or get half off admission at the door by using a Museum Month pass during February.

2/1-28: San Diego Museum Month
Location: Museums throughout San Diego
Admission: Half off regular prices
Info: sandiegomuseumcouncil.org

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Culture Club

If a month of discounted museum admission isn't enough, save big all year with a Balboa Park Explorer pass, offering 12 months of unlimited access to all 17 museums within Balboa Park for $129 per adult. Purchase passes at balboapark.org/explorer, the Balboa Park Visitors Center or any participating museum.

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