There’s listening to live music, and then there’s listening to waltzes and show tunes on 32-foot-tall outdoor pipe organs at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. A San Diego landmark since 1914, it’s the perfect spot for kids to soak up music that goes beyond The Fresh Beat Band.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Explore the Organ
This one-of-a-kind organ contains 4,530 pipes ranging in length from mere inches to 32 feet tall, and weighs more than 100,000 pounds. It’s been entertaining audiences for the past 90-plus years with internationally acclaimed organists (like Dr. Carol Williams, the resident Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society) and featured guests including the San Diego Children’s Choir. This is a great way to get your kiddos introduced to live music performance.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Attend a Concert
One of the best things about Spreckels Organ Pavilion is that it provides incredible entertainment for free. Every Sunday, from 2-3 p.m., your family  can make your way to Balboa Park and not only witness an invaluable piece of San Diego history, but partake in music styles ranging from classical to contemporary.

The other awesome thing about the Pavilion is the summer concert series. There are free concerts from June through August, with visiting musicians featured every Monday evening starting at 7:30 p.m. (opening night of the 27th Annual International Summer Organ Festival is Monday, June 23). If you want weeknight entertainment, stop by Tuesday through Thursday for the Twilight in the Park concert series, starting June 17. These evenings tout a variety of bands that will remind you why live music is always a good idea.

Another reason we love the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is its beautiful outdoor space. Kids can pretend to be stars on the big stage (when there’s not a concert happening) while parents can relax in the Pavilion benches.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Hot Tip
Be sure to check out the Sunday concert calendar to view the upcoming afternoon lineups, and then start planning your family’s summer nights by visiting the summer events schedule.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion
1549 El Prado
Balboa Park
619-702-8138
Online: sosorgan.org

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Have you taken your kids to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion? Tell us about the experience in the Comments!

— Krista Morgan

Photos courtesy of Robert Lang, Spreckels Organ Society