Talks, Classes, and Films

The Museum offers talks, classes, film festivals, and other informal learning. Nat Talks, made possible with support from presenting sponsor The Downing Family Foundation and media partner KPBS, feature museum staff and outside experts and authors from around the country speaking on an array of topics, including the latest in scientific research, history, conservation, and the natural world. Nat Talks and film events take place in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater.

Tickets to all events may be purchased online, at the Museum, or by calling 877.946.7797.

If it's our regular, daily schedule of 2D and 3D films you're looking for, please visit our Giant Screen Theater page. Films are included with paid admission.



Upcoming Events


Nat Talk: Native Plants for San Diego Gardens

Monday, September 23, 2019 7 PM

Native plants fell out of fashion during the Victorian era when new exotics from around the world arrived in California. Now California gardeners are rediscovering the beauty and diversity of our native flora. And it’s about time! Local author, TV presenter, and gardener Nan Sterman, will discuss how native plants are absolutely the best-suited plants for San Diego gardens. They need little if any irrigation, are low maintenance, and are easy to grow once you discard everything you thought you knew about gardening. In this talk, Nan discusses what makes a native plant native, the habitats that native plants come from, which are easiest to grow in San Diego’s gardens, how to grow them, how to use them in the garden, and how to mix them with other plants. 

Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk. After the talk, join Nan for a signing of her book, Hot Color, Dry Garden, available for purchase at the Museum store.

Purchase Tickets



Banff Mountain Film Festival Spring Showings

Saturday, September 28, 2019 7 PM

Ignite your passion for adventure, action and travel! The Banff Mountain Film Festival FALL Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories. Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters and climb the highest peaks.

All new films!   Films from the Banff Spring showing are NOT duplicated.  All locations and dates will be showing the exact same films.  View film list.

Tickets are available in Adventure 16 stores and on Adventure 16’s website . Please note that tickets are not available through The Nat.

Tickets are $22 per person, per show, while supplies last.  There will be a $1 online service fee per ticket if you buy online.  Ticket limit is eight tickets per transaction. No refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases. Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the films.

Presenting Partners: Rab and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism brought to you by Adventure 16 and The San Diego Natural History Museum. For Banff Mountain Film Festival related questions, please email:  banffshows@adventure16.com

Purchase Tickets




Banff Mountain Film Festival Spring Showings

Sunday, September 29, 2019 7 PM

Ignite your passion for adventure, action and travel! The Banff Mountain Film Festival FALL Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories. Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters and climb the highest peaks.

All new films!   Films from the Banff Spring showing are NOT duplicated.  All locations and dates will be showing the exact same films.  View film list.

Tickets are available in Adventure 16 stores and on Adventure 16’s website . Please note that tickets are not available through The Nat.

Tickets are $22 per person, per show, while supplies last.  There will be a $1 online service fee per ticket if you buy online.  Ticket limit is eight tickets per transaction. No refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases. Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the films.

Presenting Partners: Rab and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism brought to you by Adventure 16 and The San Diego Natural History Museum. For Banff Mountain Film Festival related questions, please email:  banffshows@adventure16.com

Purchase Tickets




Nat Talk: Remarkable Universe of Fungi

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 7 PM

Mycologist and author Lawrence Millman would rather gaze admiringly at a mushroom than pick it and sauté it. With a recent spike of interest in all things fungal, more people are eating mushrooms and using them medicinally, experts like Millman are willing to offer their expertise on fascinating fungus.

In this talk, Millman discusses how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on anything from cockroach antennae to leftover radiation. He will also share how he got interested in mushrooms through his travels in the Arctic and, likewise, from an epiphany in the mountains of North Carolina. After the talk, join Lawrence for a signing of his book, Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore, available for purchase in the Museum store.

Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk.

Purchase Tickets