Events and Public Programs

Upcoming Events

The Museum is excited to share opportunities to learn and explore, from evening lectures to guided walks and workshops.

Naturalist Night Lecture: Re-imagining Your Yard – Replacing Your Lawn on a Budget

Thursday, October 18, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Museum of Natural History
PRE-REGISTRATION RECOMMENDED | $12 General Admission | $6 Youth (under 18) | 50% off for Museum Members

Learn how to transform your yard — and save money doing it! It is time to think outside the green grass box and reimagine landscaping as a way to conserve wildlife, water and money. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Field Journaling in Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve

Saturday, October 13, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED | $15 General Admission* | $10 Children* | $5 off for Museum Members | *$8 Optional Materials fee

Explore an ancient seabed high in the Santa Cruz Mountains and make observations about its unique flora and fauna in this field journaling workshop. Field journals are important tools employed by scientists and naturalists to record their observations through a variety of techniques, including sketching, writing, and reporting on environmental conditionsCLICK HERE to learn more.

A series of programs sponsored by California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Guided Walk: Indigenous Land Stewardship at Quiroste Valley, Then and Now

Saturday, July 28, 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Quiroste Valley Cultural Reserve, Pescadero
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED | $15 General Admission | $10 for Museum Members

Take a trip through the Quiroste Valley, just north of Año Nuevo State Park, imagining what the landscape looked like in the past and learning why it looks the way it does now. On this short walk led by tribal representatives into the valley floor, we will visit what remains of a large Quiroste village to discuss the history of the land and its indigenous people, and what the future holdsCLICK HERE to learn more.

Workshop: Basketry – Then and Now

Saturday, September 22, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED | $20 General Admission | $5 off for Museum Members

Explore the history and art of basketry in California. View baskets in the Museum collection and practice basketry through this hands-on workshop. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Naturalist Night Lecture: Restoring Indigenous Stewardship,  The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust

Thursday, November 8, 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Museum of Natural History
PRE-REGISTRATION RECOMMENDED | $12 General Admission | $6 Youth (under 18) | 50% off for Museum Members

Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman Valentin Lopez will discuss the history of the tribe and how the Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT) was developed as a means to assist the tribe in their efforts to gain access to lands within their tribal territoryCLICK HERE to learn more.

Workshop: Native Crafts – Cultural Teachings of the Amah Mutsun

Saturday, November 17, 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED | $15 Adults | $10 Children | $5 off for Museum Members

Learn traditional skills and cultural teachings of our local Amah Mutsun tribal band. Create beautiful jewelry and crafts using traditional materials under the guidance of Amah Mutsun artisansCLICK HERE to learn more.

Rockin’ Pop Up

Monthly, 4th Saturdays 10-12
Museum of Natural History
FREE with admission

Have a rock that needs identifying? Want to learn more about the geology of Santa Cruz? Like digging for fossils? Join Gavin and Graham—also known as our “Geology Gents”—for our monthly rock-talk days. Every fourth Saturday of the month, these PhD students from UC Santa Cruz will be at the Museum, ready to ID your local (or not-so-local) geologic finds, as well as show off a rotating collection of specimens. So get ready to talk shop with these rock jocks!

Our Mobile Museum is on the move!

Peruse our specimens, chat about local wildlife, learn more about our awesome programs or just stop by to say hi!

Find us at the following dates and places…

10/6 | Wilder Ranch State Park: We’ll join Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in promoting the new book, When Mountain Lions are Neighbors, by Beth Pratt, California Director for the National Wildlife Federation.
10/14 | Open Streets: Ride your bikes, scooters, or roller skates to our booth on scenic West Cliff Drive; no cars allowed!
10/20 | Water Harvest Festival: Visit our Geology Gents at this fun water celebration in Heart of Soquel Park to learn about hydrology and the hidden world of groundwater.
10/24 | Downtown Farmers Market: Get a sneak preview of what’s to come at our Museum of the Macabre Halloween event. Hint: this year’s theme is “live” taxidermy!


Member Events

Member events provide our supporters with behind-the-scenes opportunities to connect with the Museum. Join our family of Members to receive invitations to Member events and other benefits. CLICK HERE to learn more.


Want to know more about our events or share your suggestions about potential topics? Email:

CLICK HERE to view Past Events.