Tuesday – Friday| 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Holiday Closures: 
New Years Eve, New Years Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day


Adults: $5
Seniors (60+): $3
College Students: $3
Youth (under 18): Free
Members: Free

Admission is free the First Friday of every month, with special hours 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. April-October.

Plan Your Visit


The Museum’s exhibits highlight the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities from the shoreline of Monterey Bay to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Live animals and hands-on exhibits invite learners of all ages to connect with science and the natural world. Explore our Exhibits page to see what will be on view during your visit.

Getting Here

Parking is available on Pilkington Avenue or in surrounding streets. Be Green! Consider walking, biking, or carpooling to visit the Museum. Bike parking available. Plan your trip on the bus. 1 hour parking permits will be issued to visitors if parking on the Museum-side of Pilkington.


Due to the small size of the museum, reservations are required for group visits of more than 10 people, even on Free Days. If you’d like to make a special request to visit, explore our Group Visit page. To learn more about our school tour programming, visit our Education page.

Facility Rental

Enjoy our unique venue for your next meeting or event with friends, family, or colleagues. Learn more.


The Museum is committed to ensuring accessibility for all visitors within our facility. To learn more about mobility, sensory considerations, and more, visit our Accessibility page.


Visitor safety is of the utmost importance to the Museum and all County health guidelines will be observed Museum staff will be sanitizing public objects regularly, and hand sanitization stations are available as you enter and exit.


Photography is welcome in our galleries! Consider tagging the Museum on social media (@santacruzmuseum). Artists may sketch museum specimens on exhibit, and we are happy to provide chairs or stools for your use. To sketch specimens from our collections that are not currently on exhibit, please contact collections@santacruzmuseum.org.

Blue Star Museums

Free admission for active duty military personnel (with valid ID) and their families, Armed Forces Day through Labor Day.

ASTC Passport Program

Free admission is available to families with a membership card from a reciprocal science museum featuring the ASTC logo. Your participating museum must be located more than 90 miles from the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History for the discount to apply. Learn more.

Museums for All

We’ve reduced the cost of admission so you and your family can enjoy all the magic and wonder here. If you have an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card, simply show it when you arrive to receive free admission. Through Museums for All, we’re partnering with museums across the country to make sure everyone can experience the best museums have to offer, all for the lowest and most-affordable prices ever. To find other participating museums, visit: www.Museums4All.org.

Museum Store

The Museum Store is a great resource for unique nature-themed gifts, scientific illustration, and natural history books and field guides. 100% of your purchase supports our mission to connect people with science and nature.

Our Online Museum Store features a selection of our most popular items, as well as merchandise from the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Shipping and pickup available for all orders.


1305 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 420-6115