What’s your rank? Summer Intern or Park Ranger? Think you know Balboa Park? Test your park knowledge with our insider- approved Stuck-At-Home, Whaddya-Know-About-Balboa Park Quarantine Quiz. Score yourself with the answer key below.

  1. City Park, which later was renamed Balboa Park, began when 1,400 acres of land were set aside by San Diego civic leaders in:
  1. 1868 
  2. 1850
  3. 1882
  4. 1915


  1. Planting 100 trees a year in the park, as well as 300 trees a year in other parts of San Diego, who is known as “the Mother of Balboa Park”?
  1. Ellen Browning Scripps
  2. Maureen O’Connor
  3. Kate Sessions
  4. Audrey Geisel


  1. When San Diego was set to play host to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, Park Commissioners announced plans to re-name City Park. Potential names proposed by the public included: 
  1. San Diego Park
  2. Silver Gate Park
  3. Horton Park
  4. All of the above


  1. The world-famous San Diego Zoo was established in the second year of the Panama-California Exposition (1916). Dr. Harry Wegeforth came up with the idea of starting a zoo after hearing the roar of a lion, one of the wild animals displayed in cages at the Exposition. That lion’s name was:
  1. Howard
  2. Sir Fuzzybutt III
  3. Cecil
  4. Prince


  1. Zoro Gardens, located just east of the San Diego History Center, was created as an adults-only attraction for the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition. This was because:
  1. Their new artwork featured garden nymphs in shocking states of undress
  2. The stairs leading down to the gardens were deemed too risky for children
  3. They housed a nudist colony
  4. Alcoholic drinks were served at one of their concession stands


  1. Alcazar Garden, designed in 1935 by San Diego architect Richard Requa, is so named because its design is patterned after:
  1. The palace gardens of the Shah of Iran
  2. The gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain
  3. Al Kazzar’s Gardens of Pleasure attraction in Las Vegas
  4. The Alcazar Gardens in Tangier, Morocco


  1. During World War II, most of the buildings on the Central Mesa of the park were taken over by the U.S. Navy as extensions of Balboa Naval Hospital. In addition to the Lily Pond famously being used as a rehabilitation pool for wounded soldiers, 400 hospital beds were placed in:
  1. The San Diego Museum of Art
  2. The Natural History Museum
  3. The Museum of Man
  4. The Botanical Building


  1. The San Diego Junior Theatre, the oldest youth theater program in the United States, was established in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado in 1948. Which of these famed actors/directors is NOT among its alumni? 
  1. Annette Bening
  2. Dennis Hopper
  3. Raquel Welch
  4. Gore Verbinski


  1. Which of these activities does NOT have an area specifically designated for it in Balboa Park?
  1. Frisbee golf
  2. Archery
  3. Petanque
  4. Skateboarding


  1. Which of these bands has NOT performed in Balboa Park?
  1. The Rolling Stones
  2. The Eagles
  3. The Beatles
  4. The Village People


  1. Which of these Balboa Park experiences is NOT a common rite of passage for San Diego children growing up in the city?
  1. A week at “Dirt Camp” (aka Camp Cahito) 
  2. Climbing fig trees on the West Mesa
  3. Picking flowers in the Rose Garden
  4. A performance at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater


  1. The perimeter boundary of the entire 1,200-acre park forms essentially this shape:
  1. A rectangle
  2. A square
  3. A hexagon
  4. A rhombus


  1. Who said of the Cabrillo Freeway that runs through Balboa Park, “It’s the most beautiful highway I’ve ever seen”?
  1. President Lyndon B. Johnson
  2. First Lady Barbara Bush
  3. President John F. Kennedy
  4. TV producer Merv Griffin


  1. The city of San Diego’s oldest public school, located inside the boundaries of Balboa Park, is:
  1. Roosevelt Middle School
  2. San Diego High School
  3. Marston Elementary School
  4. Kate Sessions High School


  1. Nate’s Point is the name of an area of Balboa Park designated for:
  1. Model sailboats
  2. Remote control cars
  3. Dogs off-leash
  4. Kite flying


  1. The approximate total number of trees located within Balboa Park is:
  1. 10,000
  2. 15,500
  3. 600
  4. 7,500


  1. Balboa Park took its name from:
  1. Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a Spanish adventurer and the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean from North American shores
  2. Rocky Balboa, famed fictional prizefighter
  3. Anna de Figueras y Balboa, powerful widow of the first governor-general of the colony of San Diego 
  4. “Balboa Jim” Higgins, wealthy developer who established the first brothel in the Stingaree district of downtown San Diego


  1. Which of the following is NOT an event you can attend in Balboa Park:
  1. Blessing of the Pets on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi   
  2. Bicycle races at the Velodrome 
  3. Badminton and ping-pong tourneys at the Activity Center 
  4. Annual butterfly release in Zoro Gardens


  1. “Blessed Are the Weird People—the poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters and troubadours—for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” Where in the park can you find this quote?
  1. Alcazar Garden
  2. Zoro Gardens
  3. Museum of Photographic Arts
  4. Spanish Village 


  1. What is the minimum donation amount required to become a member of the Balboa Park Conservancy, the public-private partnership that advocates for the greater good of the park?
  1. $5 per month
  2. $0 
  3. $100 per year
  4. $20 per month


Score yourself!

0–5 correct: SUMMER INTERN — It’s time to dig in and get serious about this project. Go cruise balboapark.org for more fun facts.

6–10 correct: PARK LOVER — Well done! Time to plan some new adventures for yourself, and explore the hidden treasures of our 1200 acres. 

11–15 correct: FRIEND OF KATE — You may be a descendant of Kate Sessions, Mother of Balboa Park. We challenge you to share with your great knowledge with your friends and family.

16–20 correct: PARK RANGER — Wait, do I know you? Do you work here? 



  1. a
  2. c
  3. d
  4. d
  5. c
  6. b
  7. a
  8. a
  9. d
  10. b
  11. c
  12. a
  13. c
  14. b
  15. c
  16. b
  17. a
  18. a
  19. d
  20. b