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

Campers draw inspiration from nature through exploration and hands-on investigation! They make new friends at this day camp featuring walking field trips, Museum exploration, science projects, and nature-inspired art.

We invite kindergartners and first graders to come observe, explore, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world here in our backyard as well as in the Museum’s collection. With the inspiration of our spring “Art of Nature” exhibit, we will explore what nature reveals to us everyday through a variety of individual and collaborative art projects. Every camper will create artwork to take home, make scientific discoveries, and most importantly, create memories, friendships, and a personal connection to the unique nature of the Santa Cruz coast.  

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 will 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. ENROLLMENT WILL OPEN FEB 1 at 9 am. CLICK HERE to ENROLL

Dates: April 1 – 5
Times: Drop-off 8:30 – 9 am | Pick-up 3 – 3:30 pm
Grades: Campers currently enrolled in K-1st grade (5-6 years old)
Prices (includes materials and daily snacks): $275* non-members | $250 Family membership and up | Siblings get $20 off
Ratio: 15 : 2

ENROLLMENT WILL OPEN FEB 1 at 9 am. CLICK HERE to ENROLL

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

Daily Schedule:

Monday: Nature and Art
Main location: Tyrell Park (by Museum)
Welcome to camp! The first day will focus on the patterns of Nature that surround us. Campers will make art inspired by Nature and make new friends while exploring the park and museum. Everyone will get to make music and even paint signs for the garden. Kids will use their senses to study the natural world and translate their observations into art. Then everyone will get a chance to make a natural sculpture around the museum garden for all our visitors to enjoy!

Tuesday: Playing with Plants
Main location: Tyrell Park
Activities on this day will be centered around plants and their amazing properties. Kids will use plants in their art projects and investigate them close up. They will learn about plant parts and how they manage to survive in different habitats and create plant projects to take home and share. Kids will also study seeds and how they travel around the world, while making their own fun project to help spread some of those seeds themselves.

Wednesday: All About Animals
Main location: Seabright Beach and Tyrell Park
Kids will spend the day learning about the animals of Santa Cruz and the things that make them unique. Campers will get a chance to explore Tyrell Park and Seabright Beach in a quest to discover wildlife in the neighborhood, from the smallest of insects to the biggest of whales, and learn about the natural world that they live in. At the beach campers will learn how to track animals and have a chance to do their best animal impressions, plus of course getting an opportunity to make some animal art projects in the sand.

Thursday: Ocean Explorers
Main location: Seabright Beach
Bring a hat because Ocean Explorers Day is all about the beach! Campers will be visiting Seabright Beach and learning about the beautiful Monterey Bay. Kids will learn about whales, crabs, seals, fish, birds, plants, and all of the amazing creatures that are our ocean dwelling neighbors. Everyone will get to use binoculars to study the migrating birds and magnifiers to study the small things.

Friday: Ohlone People Day
Main location: Museum and Tyrell Park
For the final day of camp kids will learn all about the native people that have called Santa Cruz home for thousands of years. Campers will learn what it was like to be a kid in Santa Cruz hundreds of years ago and what the world of the Ohlone people was like. Everyone will get to play traditional games and hear Ohlone stories while learning about the past. The day ends with an open house where kids are invited to take guests on a tour of the museum to show off their projects from the week. Please join us for our closing story at the end of the day!


Cancellation Policy: All cancellations will incur a $15 processing fee. Cancellations at least 2 weeks before the start of camp will be refunded. Cancellations within 2 weeks of the start of camp may not be eligible for refund. If the Museum cancels camp for any reason, you will be fully refunded.

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

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