Summer Camp: Santa Cruz Safari

Dates: June 29 – July 3
Times: Drop-off 8:30 – 9 am | Pick-up 3 – 3:30 pm
Grades: Campers entering grades K-2 (5-7 years old)
Prices (includes materials and daily snacks): $295* non-members | $275 Family membership and up | Siblings get $20 off
Ratio: 10 : 2
Registration: HERE

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is proud to present an inspiring week of nature exploration!

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

Campers observe, explore, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world here in our backyard as well as in the Museum’s collection. Every day they create artwork to take home, make scientific discoveries, and most importantly creates memories, friendships, and a personal connection to the nature of Santa Cruz.  

Each of the five days will focus on a different theme that will guide a variety of art projects, science investigations, supervised explorations, and games. “Leave no trace” ethics and safety in nature will be emphasized throughout the week so that campers leave equipped with a better understanding of how to responsibly interact with the natural world.  Join us to build connections to nature and stewardship for our world. 

*We have limited scholarships to support families with demonstrated financial need. CLICK HERE to apply for a scholarship. 

Daily Schedule:

Monday: Magnificent Mammals
Main location: Museum and Tyrrell Park
Welcome to camp! The first day focuses on our furry friends – mammals like us. Campers make arts and crafts inspired by nature and make new friends while exploring the park and museum. Campers learn how animals survive by playing fun games, exploring outside, and studying the Museum’s mammal specimens up close. 

Tuesday: The Best of Birds
Main location: Museum and Tyrrell Park
Santa Cruz in the spring is an incredible place to study birds that are migrating through! Campers study birds using binoculars and do up-close examinations of nests, feathers, and more. We play bird games and have lots of feathery fun learning about the birds of Santa Cruz.

Wednesday: Only Ocean Animals
Main location: Museum, Tyrrell Park, and Seabright Beach
The ocean is the biggest and most diverse habitat on the planet! Campers visit Seabright Beach and learn about the beautiful Monterey Bay and the animals that call it home. They study whales, crabs, seals, fish, birds, plants, and other amazing ocean-dwelling neighbors. At the Museum campers make ocean-inspired art and explore the tide pool and the animals in it.

Thursday: Incredible Invertebrates
Main location: Museum and Tyrrell Park
The world is home to millions of species of animals with no backbone. From the mightiest mollusks to the most humble of hermit crabs, the world of invertebrates is truly amazing! Campers learn all about their surprising strategies for survival through close observation and hands-on exploration. We will wiggle like worms and march like ants in our studies of the incredible invertebrate world.

Friday: Really Awesome Reptiles and Amphibians
Main location: Museum and Tyrrell Park
On the final day of camp, learn all about reptiles and amphibians. Campers make reptile art and amphibian crafts and play games inspired by our scaly friends. Our day will end with a special guest who will teach us even more about reptiles. The week ends with an open house during which campers take their guests on a tour of the museum. Family are encouraged to join us for our closing story at the end of the day!

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.

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

CLICK HERE to view Frequently Asked Questions on our main camp page.