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Parks & Recreation

Parks & Recreation Frequently Asked Questions


What is there to see and do in Balboa Park?

Balboa Park offers a variety of museums, restaurants, special events and attractions.

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What forms of payment is accepted for Programming and Permits?

Beginning Friday, October 4, 2019, the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department will no longer accept cash or personal checks as payment for obtaining park permits, participation in recreation leagues, class registration, weight room fees/memberships, multi-day pool passes and merchandise sales. All fees will include the standard 3% processing fee.

To pay for permits and programming, the City will accept the following forms of payment: Credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards City accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Electronic Check Processing (ECP) from customer’s checking account. Customers may enter their bank routing and account number for online transactions. On-site transactions require copy of a check (to verify the account number) and a valid form of identification. Cash will continue to be accepted for daily pool admissions, snack sales and event admission.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we make this transition. If you have any questions about this new policy, please contact Recreation Center staff. 

How can I find more information on Park hours?

Certain parks and parking lots are closed at night in the City of San Diego during various times throughout the year. Please continue to check back as park hours may change.

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Can I have a wedding ceremony/reception in Balboa Park or Presidio Park?

• Yes, every year hundreds of couples get married in Balboa and Presidio Parks. You will need to get a permit ahead of time to have a wedding in Balboa Park or Presidio Park. This page also lists specific park locations available for weddings.

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Does the City have any campgrounds?

Yes, at Mission Trails Regional Park. The Kumeyaay Campground is open for day use.

We also have a youth campground on Fiesta Island that features campsites for 400 youth with barbecues at each site, modern restroom facilities and an amphitheater overlooking the bay. Contact the Park Ranger office at 858-581-7655 for more information.

Reserve a site today!

What is the contact number for...?

The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department operates several divisions which allow staff to provide accurate information and exceptional customer service to the public. Contact information can be found by visiting our Centers and Pools information site, or you may visit our division contact and information reference.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, let us know at Ask Parks


Ask Parks

Is there a sports league I can join in my area?

The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department offers a wide variety of sports for youth and adults. Also, many independent sports groups and organizations such as Little League, Pop Warner, Bobby Sox and AYSO utilize the Park & Recreation Department facilities for their sports leagues.


Learn more about sports activities

Are there parks and beaches where I can walk my dog leash-free?

We currently have several Designated Dog Off-Leash areas.There is currently three in Balboa Park and two near Mission Bay. For those parks that have been designated dog off-leash areas, dogs must be leashed until inside the posted boundary for the off-leash area.

Learn more about Your Dogs and City Parks


Am I allowed to have alcohol at pools, recreation centers, in parks and on the bay or beach?


  • Pools - No alcohol is allowed in the pool area at any time. Also, anyone considered to be under the influence of alcohol will be denied access to the pool facility.
  • Recreation Centers - Alcohol is allowed at some recreation facilities and is prohibited at others. Call the recreation center for details.
  • Parks - Some parks allow alcohol during designated times and in designated areas, while other parks do not. Call the park's division office to inquire.
  • Beaches and bays - Alcohol is prohibited on San Diego's beaches and Mission Bay Park. Alcohol is also prohibited in parking lots adjacent to beaches and beach parks. Posted signs provide rules regarding alcohol policies.