Events and Public Programs

Explore the diverse natural history of Santa Cruz with the Museum through a variety of programs — from lectures and workshops at the Museum to guided hikes and Mobile Museums around Santa Cruz County. Gain insight, build new skills, share your stories, and befriend fellow naturalists.


Seminar: American Indian Art

Saturday, November 23 | 1-4 p.m.
Pre-registration required

Join Dr. Rebecca Hernandez for an in-depth exploration of American Indian art through conversation and artifact exploration. Learn more.

First Friday: Seasonal Crafts and Gifts

Friday, December 6, 5-7 p.m.
Free Admission

Give the gift of nature! Join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for a free and festive First Friday event. Explore the Museum, create nature-inspired gifts, and enjoy a storewide sale. Learn more.

Winter Open House

Dec. 6, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 & 8, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m

Give the gift of nature! Join the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for a free and festive weekend celebrating the changing of the seasons with free admission to the Museum, nature-inspired crafts, and a storewide sale all weekend long. Learn more.

From the Vaults: Collections and Disasters

Sunday, December 8, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Pre-Registration Required

From photographs of earthquakes to fragments of the Donner Party’s cabins, this From the Vaults presentation by our Collections Manager, Kathleen Aston, will explore how collections document, define, and are defined by disaster. Learn more.

Workshop: Eco-Friendly Gift Baskets

Thursday, December 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Pre-Registration Required

This giving season, share the gift of sustainability. Learn new skills and practice limiting waste as you create a variety of eco-friendly products to include in a gift basket for an important person in your life — or treat yourself! We won’t tell. Learn more.

Rockin’ Pop Up

Monthly, 4th Saturdays | 10 a.m. – noon
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 these 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! Note: Limit of three rocks per visitor.


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. Learn more.

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

CLICK HERE to view Past Events.