Education FAQ

[framed_box rounded=”true”]


You can contact the museum at 619.338.9888 or via email at education@sdchm.org. Please have the following information ready:
[list style=”list1″]

  • Date(s) you would like to schedule the program(s) and at least two alternate dates
  • Time(s) you would like to schedule the program(s)
  • Grade level/age of participants
  • Number of participants (maximum 30 for CEPs and Museum Tours, maximum 15 for APHD and Downtown Exploration tours)
  • Your school/organization
  • Name of contact person
  • Contact phone number
  • Contact fax/email
  • Mailing address
  • Physical address of school/organization (if program will take place at your location)



Please send your payment to the museum before the program date. The museum accepts cash, check or purchase orders. Make checks payable to: San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. Payment should be mailed to: San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, 404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.


If your group must cancel its visit, the museum requires a minimum of 24 hours advance notice or you will be subject to a fee of 50% of the program cost.
*Please Note: In case of severe weather, the Museum reserves the right to reschedule or change a program.


If the maximum number of participants is exceeded, we ask that you make arrangements to divide your group and schedule two (or more) separate tours.

[toggle title=”What should I expect when I visit the museum with my class?”]

During the Museum & Garden Tour, your students will be introduced to the history of San Diego’s historic Chinatown and Chinese immigrant community as well as broader aspects of Chinese history, art, and culture as they are led on a docent guided tour of the museum’s permanent collection housed in the historic mission building. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the museum’s Chuang Garden, which houses several sculptures and a koi pond. Students will have the option of bringing a sack lunch to enjoy in the garden. The final portion of the tour will include a visit to the museum’s Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension Building featuring the museum’s latest temporary exhibit.

If your visit to the museum includes a Classroom Exhibit Presentation (CEP), this will take place in the museum’s Chuang Garden where chairs and work tables will be set up for students.  One of the museum’s instructors will give an interactive presentation about a topic related to Chinese history, art, or culture.  The presentation will include colorful visuals, a chance for students to interact and participate in the presentation (through Q&A, interactive storytelling, learning Chinese words and pronunciation, etc.), and hands-on activities (papercutting, calligraphy, brush painting, activity worksheets, etc.).  We offer CEPs suitable for all ages from preschool through high school, college, and adult audiences.  For a listing of our various CEPs and other programs, please visit our website’s School or Adult Programs page.

[toggle title=”I don’t want a tour. Do I have to make a reservation, or can I just show up at the museum with my group?”] Reservations are required for all groups to ensure that there are no conflicting events or tours on that day. [/toggle]
[toggle title=”How long will the museum visit/program last?”] Please refer to the descriptions of our various programs and tours on the museum’s School or Adult Programs page.  The lengths of some of our programs can be modified on a case-by-case basis.  [/toggle]
[toggle title=”Are there any pre or post-visit activity ideas to prepare my students for their visit to the museum?”] Please see the Education Resources section of the museum’s website. [/toggle]
[toggle title=”Parking & Transportation to the Museum”] For those arriving to the museum in private vehicles, two-hour metered parking is available in front of the museum. Parking lots (fee required) are located nearby: 2nd and J Street, 6th and Island, 6th and Market.

For those taking public transportation, the Convention Center Station (the orange trolley line) is two blocks southwest of the museum.  You can use the MTS Quick Trip Planner to plan your trip.

Arts Bus Express provides grants to schools in San Diego for field trips that offer cultural experiences.  For more information or to apply for a bus grant, visit their website. [/toggle]
[toggle title=”Where can we have lunch on our trip to the museum?”] Many groups bring sack lunches to enjoy in the museum garden. For groups of up to 40 who are partaking in museum tour(s) or lesson(s), there is no fee for use of the garden for a 30-minute lunch.  For self-guided groups, there is a $25 fee per group.  Please remember that no food or drinks are allowed inside museum buildings. There are also a variety of restaurants two blocks away on Fifth Avenue and a food court in nearby Horton Plaza shopping center. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”Can my group use the museum garden to host their own activities before or after participating in the museum program?”] If a group would like to conduct activities at the museum or in the garden before or after participating in a museum program, groups may reserve a space (subject to availability) for a fee of $50 per hour for a group of up to 40 students.  [/toggle]

[toggle title=”What happens if we arrive late or if the class is not ready to begin the program at the scheduled time?”] Arriving late or not being ready to start when the museum educator arrives may impact your program or visit.  Due to a high demand for our Education & Outreach programs, the museum often schedules consecutive museum visits or on-site programs.  If the start time is delayed significantly so that it will affect another scheduled event, it may be necessary to reschedule your program.  If a program needs to be rescheduled under these circumstances, you will be subject to a fee of 50% of the program cost. [/toggle]

[toggle title=”What other types of kid or family friendly activities or events are available at the museum or in the community?”] In addition to class visits to the museum and our various education programs, the museum holds and participates in several events throughout the year that are of particular interest to our younger visitors and their families.

Chinese New Year Fair: January or February

The museum participates yearly in the annual Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair.  The festivities include lion and dragon dancers that parade through the streets and performances on the main stage, which include martial arts demonstrations, Asian Story Theater, Chinese Opera, and more.  There are also multiple food and vendor booths where visitors can sample traditional Chinese foods and buy a variety of Chinese and other wares.  For more information, visit the San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair website.

Downtown Multicultural Fair:  January

The museum participates each year in this free, family-friendly, fun festival with cultural entertainers, food, vendors, an entire children’s area, Global Villages and an education fair.  For more information, visit the CCDC website.

Dragon Boat Festival: May at Playa Pacifica, Mission Bay Park

Spend a day on Mission Bay either as a participant or spectator in San Diego Dragon Racing. The Festival is free and open to the public.  In addition to racing, visitors can enjoy the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival on land.  Try out Asian cuisines, shop for arts and crafts, and appreciate the works of Asian artists and craftspeople.  Entertainment, food, arts and crafts of Asian Pacific Heritage Festival continue all day.  For more information, visit the SD Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans website.

Family Moon Festival: September or October

Each year the museum celebrates the brightest full moon of the year during the Family Moon Festival.  Children have the opportunity to make their own mooncakes, and audience members help museum staff retell Chinese legends about the jade rabbit and fairy princess living on the moon. Festivities in the museum garden will include Chinese arts and crafts, a calligraphy demonstration and, a chance to sample various types of mooncake. For more information, please visit the museum’s website.  (Please note: information will be posted approximately one month before the event.)

Asian Film Festival: October or November

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest showcases of Pan-Asian cinema in North America.  For more information visit the Pacific Arts Movement website.

Fall Back Festival:  November

The museum participates each year in this children’s cultural and historic street fair.  The festival brings alive the history and culture of downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The event features entertainment, food, demonstrations and lots of fun for children and families.  For more information visit the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s website.

In addition to these regularly scheduled events, the museum holds and participates in various other events throughout the year such as children’s workshops, visits from children’s book authors, etc.  For information about all of our upcoming events, please visit the museum’s website. [/toggle]
[toggle title=”Where can I find resources on Chinese history, art, culture & language?”]

Please see the Education Resources section of the museum’s website. [/toggle]