Camps that connect kids to nature!

Through exploration, experimentation, and experiences outdoors the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History hopes to inspire future scientists during our weekly day camps. 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: Ages 5-7

Nature Detectives
April 4 – 8

Registration Open February 1

Times: Drop-off 8:30 – 9 am | Pick-up 3 – 3:30 pm
K through 2nd grade (ages 5-7)
Price: $275 | $20 Sibling Discount | $25 Off for Members (family and above)

Are you a super sleuth when it comes to nature? Join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History to solve the 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. 

**Nature Explorers camps will run in compliance with state and county guidance for health and safety. Registration will close 2 weeks prior to camp for health screenings**

Kid holding up a magnifying glass to a live snake

Camp Details

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.


To receive your Member Discount (Family-level and above) when registering, please sign in to the ticketing site. After registering for your first camp you will receive a discount code via email which you can apply to another registration.

Special Precautions

The health and safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance. We have made adjustments to camp activities and procedures to meet or exceed guidelines by the county and state, including but not limited to: 

  • Campers will be outdoors for activities during the Museum’s open hours from 11-3. 
  • Groups are limited to 10 campers, 2 instructors and an additional supervisor.
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted daily.
  • Campers will have their own set of “exploration tools”, including art supplies, binoculars, hand lenses, bug boxes and other supplies that will be used exclusively by them for the whole week. 
  • Any shared items will be sanitized between use.
  • Staff and campers are required to wear facial masks.
  • Additional guidelines for drop-off and pick-up will be outlined for camp families. 
  • Campers will need to complete at-home health screenings two weeks prior to the start of their camp.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations will incur a $15 processing fee. We recognize the unprecedented challenges to families at this time, and are waiving our policy that cancellations within 2 weeks of camp are non-refundable. If your child must stop attendance because they or someone that they have come into contact with feels ill, you will be refunded a pro-rated amount. We do not want financial considerations to interfere with making healthy decisions for your family.  

If the Museum cancels camp before it begins, you will receive a full refund. If camp must be cancelled after beginning, you will receive a pro-rated refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should my camper bring every day? Please send your camper with: LUNCH AND SNACKS, 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. To reduce unnecessary exposure we will no longer offer snacks. Please provide your own snacks–there will be a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break every day. 
  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? All field trips are all within walking distance. Previous field trips have been modified to eliminate the need for transportation. 
  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
  8. How can I learn more details about the camp schedule? You will receive your “Camp Handbook” two weeks in advance of camp with more detailed information about field trips, daily themes, and what to bring.

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 education@santacruzmuseum.org.

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