• 5790 Armada Drive,
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • (760) 438-5996

The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California, is an excellent addition to any San Diego vacation itinerary. This engaging music history museum is only 35 miles (56 km) north of San Diego and is a great stop during a California road trip. 

The Museum of Making Music (MoMM) takes a hands-on approach to learning with interactive exhibits that highlight American music products industry history and showcase the evolution of musical instruments.

MoMM lets kids and adults try their hand at banging the drums, playing piano, and strumming guitars. There are plenty of exotic instruments from all genres, including ukuleles, phonographs, accordions, a rolmonica, and more, that’ll capture the attention of all music lovers in the family. 

With instruments from 1890 to today, this very fun museum is a wealth of musical inspiration. Give yourself about two hours to explore the newly renovated exhibits, play with instruments, and browse the gift shop. 

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Highlights: Musical Instruments and More

Here are some of the highlights of the museum: 

  • Four newly renovated galleries: Explore how various instruments get made, how they get distributed to musicians, history-making instruments, and how music can catalyze social change in four freshly renovated galleries.
  • Exclusive interviews: The MoMM has videos with never-seen-before interviews featuring world-renowned composers, musicians, and instrument artisans. 
  • Interactive exhibits: Enjoy a hands-on experience as you touch and play instruments or watch engaging videos about an instrument’s history on touch screens.
  • Makes learning a blast: The MoMM makes learning about music history a fun experience with an immersive panoramic video gallery, thought-provoking displays, and real instruments from throughout the ages. 
  • Fantastic gift shop: The gift shop at the MoMM is a must-visit, with a nice selection of music-themed souvenirs, books, and more. 
  • Engaging staff: The MoMM has knowledgeable and engaging staff that are ready to answer even the most obscure music questions.
  • Extremely family-friendly: This museum is for all ages with kid-friendly exhibits that’ll engage all audiences. Plus, kids ages three and under get free admission with a parent. 

Things to Know Before Visiting the Museum of Making Music 

Before visiting the MoMM, check out essential details like hours, ticket prices, nearby food, gift shop, and parking. 

Tickets & Hours 

The Museum of Making Music is open every day except on Mondays. Visitors can explore the MoMM between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Remember, the MoMM is closed on holidays like New Year’s Day, US Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

General admission is $15 for ages three to 59. Students, seniors, and active military personnel get a $5 discount on admission. Meanwhile, children three and under and MoMM and NAMM members get in free of charge.

Two Discounted ticket Options

Buy a discounted single-day ticket or bundle admission with over 50 other San Diego attractions.

Go San Diego Pass

The All-Inclusive sightseeing pass includes MoMM and over 50 other San Diego attractions.

Use promo code GOSDO5LJM for 5% off.

aRes Travel

Save on single-day admission for seniors, adults, and children over age 3.

Cafe & Restaurants 

If you get hungry during your visit to the MoMM, you’ll have to go offsite for food. Luckily, there are plenty of places to grab a good meal near the museum. Head to Ruby’s Diner, the Karl Strauss Brewing Company, or Blaze Pizza for a quick bite.

Gift Shops 

The gift shop at the Museum of Making Music is worth scheduling time for in your travel itinerary. Give yourself and your kids time to explore the music-themed things for sale. From nick-nacks to playable instruments, the MoMM gift shop is a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs for music lovers. 


The MoMM has free parking available to all museum visitors, whether you’re coming in a car, RV, bus, or electric vehicle. 

Park your vehicle free of charge in the spacious parking lot behind the museum entrance. Inquire with the friendly staff at the front desk about using charging stations during your visit to the museum. 

Private Tours

Schedule a private tour or group tour two weeks in advance to get even more personalized attention and detailed explanations about the displays and interactive exhibits.

We appreciate their flexibility with group sizes that range from 10 to 75. Smaller groups can book private tours just for the family, though they won’t get the group discount. 

Guitars inside the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad
Photo courtesy of San Diego Museum Council

Top 5 Unique Facts About the Museum of Making Music 

Discover more about the Museum of Making Music with these interesting facts about this family-friendly San Diego attraction

1. It’s a Not-for-Profit Organization 

The MoMM was founded in 1998 and officially opened in March 2000. MoMM is a division of the NAMM Foundation and gets its funding from them as well as donations and sales.

MoMM redistributes earnings through community programs, scholarships, grants, and updates to the museum.

2. Enjoy Special Events 

After taking in the exceptional ocean views by the MoMM, stay awhile for the special events hosted regularly by the museum.

Enjoy musical performances, captivating roundtable conversations, and inspiring experiences by purchasing tickets for upcoming events.  

3. Secretly Learn About Science, Technology, & Math 

When you play with and learn about music making, you’re actually learning about science, technology, and math.

This hands-on experience teaches kids and adults about vibrations and sound waves, technological advances in speakers, and the mathematical precision involved in making instruments.

All the while, you’ll be having fun and forget that you’re in a museum. 

4. Close To Other Great Attractions 

The Museum of Making Music is within a short drive of some other awesome attractions that are likely already on your travel itinerary. Some of the nearby attractions include the following: 

5. It’s a Place of Innovation  

One of the core missions of the MoMM is to make music opportunities so that musicians can hone their skills and learn from others, to further the development of musical history.

With lively roundtable discussions, educational programs, and displays of innovative musical technology, this music museum is more than just sharing history, it’s also enriching future generations of musicians. 

Why We Love The Museum of Making Music 

There are many reasons to visit the Museum of Making Music on a San Diego vacation. This small but well-distributed museum is easy to navigate, even with kids. Everything is family-friendly, and the staff is great with speaking to kids. 

If you think your kids might like to play a musical instrument, and you’re not sure which one piques their interest, you should definitely bring them here to give a few common instruments (and maybe some that are not so common) a try.

The MoMM supports the local community with musical programs like the New Horizons Band or the North Coast Strings. These opportunities teach and expose musicians to a range of instruments they might never have had the opportunity to try playing before.

With an ever-changing menu of events, there’s never a bad time to visit. Check the schedule for concerts, lectures, and other special exhibitions before you go.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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