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Family Days

Come take a journey through this amazing place we call home!

Coast to Cactus in Southern California, our brand-new, permanent exhibition almost a decade in the making, is now open! To help celebrate this remarkable milestone, we are dedicating our Family Days through May to the exhibition by featuring a different habitat each month. Join us as we discover what makes southern California so incredibly special and unique.

  • Family Days are included with general admission and are always free for members.
  • Each Family Day runs from 11 AM to 3 PM. 


Crazy for the Coast! Family Day

Monday, May 25, 2015
Grizzly bears on the beach? Yes, until the early 1900s grizzly bears were spotted on our beaches. Today, we still have extreme survivors on our coasts such as the moon snail and innkeeper worm, which are much smaller and harder to see. Join us for activities and crafts as we get crazy for the coast.


Forest Fun Family Day

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Look to the east and you will see our beautiful mountain ranges. They are home to flora and fauna especially suited for life in the forest. We’ll focus on the mighty oak tree and its pivotal role in this habitat. We’ll also take a look at the mule deer, squirrels, and woodpeckers, to name a few. We’ll create crafts and share activities that celebrate the forest. 

In addition to all our forest fun, take advantage of two activities that let YOU play a part in our research projects and exhibits: 

Become a citizen scientist

Learn about science in our own backyard and how you can contribute to the Museum’s database of local reptiles and amphibians (a great day to do so since April 25 is Save the Frogs Day, the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action). It’s as easy as taking a photo and uploading it to our new web app, the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California. Our Herpetology team will show us the ropes and help us better understand the amphibians and reptiles from our region. These critters are plentiful in spring, so be prepared to make the next big discovery! 

Share your photos for our Coast to Cactus exhibition 

Our exhibits team will be hosting a photo crowdsourcing activity to collect photos that might be included in the Digital Scrapbook exhibit within Coast to Cactus in Southern California. Bring your favorite photos of trips exploring forests and mountains around southern California. Pine trees? Oak trees? Mt. Laguna? Mt. Palomar? Climbing on the rocks? Hiking the hills? All photos are welcome —  recent or old. Our exhibits staff will digitize your photo prints and place them on a keepsake thumb drive for you to take home.


Mysteries of the Maya Family Day

Saturday, June 13, 2015
Join us as we celebrate the opening weekend of our newest traveling exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. Walk in steps of the ancient Maya as we rediscover this ancient civilization. We’ll encounter the richness of this culture through hands-on activities and a craft to take home.

This Family Day is generously sponsored by the Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust.