Camps that connect kids to nature!

Through exploration, experimentation, and experiences outdoors the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History hopes to inspire future scientists. Join us to discover a passion for nature, learning, and community. All Nature Explorers camps connect campers to their environment in fun and exciting ways that engage their natural sense of curiosity while supporting academic success.


*Spring Camp 2020 will open for enrollment on February 1st.
*Summer Camp 2020 will open for enrollment on March 1st.


Santa Cruz Safari
April 6 – 10
Grades K – 2

Calling young explorers and scientists curious about Nature! This spring, young naturalists join us on a journey to investigate the wildlife and habitats of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Coast. Spend the week exploring nearby beach, creek, and garden habitats, and learning about the wild world around us.

CLICK HERE for more information and to enroll.


Registration Opens March 1:


Entering grades K-2 (age 5-7)

Magnificent Museum” July 6-10
Are you curious about collecting? We invite you to join us this summer to learn about the natural world by studying museum specimens, exploring outdoors, and building a museum exhibit of your own.

Nature Detectives” July 13-17
Are you a super sleuth when it comes to nature? Join us this summer to solve puzzles and mysteries of the natural world. Campers will investigate phenomena and collect evidence to draw conclusions about the natural world around us while playing fun games and making great crafts and friends.


Entering grades 3-4 (age 8-9)

“Surviving Santa Cruz” July 20-24

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be able to live here in Santa Cruz? Join us as we investigate the plants and animals that call Santa Cruz home and learn how they manage to survive and thrive here. Campers will go on walking field trips to explore nearby habitats, build crafts, play games, and make new friends.

Entering grades 5-6

“Biomimicry Camp” July 27 – 31

Explore sustainable solutions by finding inspiration in nature! Campers will spend the week navigating challenges and engineering solutions that promote sustainable living. We’ll build connections to nature and practice stewardship for our future! Now with new field trips!

Camp Scholarships The Scholarship Fund is made possible by generous donations by members of the community. We hope to reduce barriers to enriching experiences such as our science camps for families in our community who would otherwise not be able to afford such opportunities. CLICK HERE to apply for a camp scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should my camper bring every day? Please send your camper with: LUNCH, layers, clothes that can get dirty during exploration, sturdy closed-toe shoes (no flip flops!), water bottle, hat/sun protection, medicine (see below). Please label your camper’s belongings so we can help them keep track of their things.
  2. Does the Museum provide lunch? The Museum DOES NOT provide lunch. We will offer a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Please provide a snack if your child prefers something specific.
  3. Should my camper bring medicine? If your camper needs to take medication during the day, please make sure that they have it with them including instructions that they can follow. Alert staff that your child has these. The Museum does not provide or administer medication of any kind.
  4. What if my camper has allergies? Please indicate your camper’s allergies and their severity (touch, inhalation, ingestion) upon registration. Include in your child’s daily pack any emergency medication as needed (anti-histamine, epi-pen, etc.) with clear instructions detailing symptoms and your preferred plan of action and doctor’s contact information. We may ask that all campers and staff restrict what they bring to camp if we find that we are unable to otherwise provide a safe environment according to the severity of a camper’s allergy.
  5. How will campers get to the field trip sites? Most field trips are all within walking distance. Biomimicry Camp filed trips transportation will be provided through a student transportation service. 
  6. Who are the camp staff? This camp has been developed by the Museum’s education team. The lead instructor is an experienced educator, camp leader, and environmental scientist. He is accompanied by other education staff and volunteers. All staff and volunteers have passed background checks. Staff are all CPR and First Aid certified. 
  7. Is there a Scholarship Fund? Yes! We welcome donations to support the scholarship fund. We offer full and partial scholarships to support families with demonstrated financial need. CLICK HERE to apply for a scholarship

Your feedback about the website, registration system, and camp are greatly appreciated. The Museum’s education staff has years of experience in environmental education, outdoor learning, and running camps at various outfits across the state and are eager to share their passion for the environment with your family. Feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, or questions with Creative Commons License The artwork on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.