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“Kid centered visitor center”

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Ranked #27 of 92 things to do in Santa Cruz
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Owner description: This museum's exhibits feature Ohlone Native American artifacts and local flora and fauna.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Ok, it is small in space, but it is packed with exhibits. Hands on touch pool for kids. Docents that are knowledgeable and friendly. Beautiful setting a block off the beach. Reserved parking on the street, but, if youvisit the museum, you can leave your car and walk to the beach. $4 to get in, I think reasonable. Nice little bookshop inside. Stop in,

1  Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 25, 2013

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History may be small. But the allure of it is that, in such a small space, they present so much information that is interesting and exciting no matter what age you are. They have a variety of interactive exhibits, such as a touchtank filled with tidepool critters, and art station where visitors can be a naturalist and sketch natural items, an encased beehive, and a microscope zone where one can view bugs in close detail. They also have an extensive collection of skeletons, taxidermied animals, and live animals, such as a few snakes! The Museum always seems to have interesting new exhibits, such as “Keen Eyes and Curious Minds,” a look into the lives and works of naturalists and local heroes Daniel Miller and Randall Morgan. They rotate exhibits a lot too, so there is always something fresh and new to see.
My favorite thing by far though is their preserved tapertail ribbonfish specimen.
Tapertail ribbonfish are rarely-found pelagic fish with impressively huge eyes and long, (like their name states) tapered bodies.
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History also has a huge field program that runs trips to Sandhills Natural Reserve and Neary Lagoon, and loads of fun events for the whole family, like science fiction movie nights, book readings, and hikes with the museum staff.
Getting people interested in science and the world doesn’t and shouldn’t involve having a huge space to do it in or having lots of money. Museums should be about presenting interesting and relevant information in ways that leave visitors talking about their experience for days after it is over. This museum’s goal is to connect people with nature, and I think that it does just that, and gets both the young kids that visit it on school tours, and all the guests who visit during the normal hours excited about science and wanting to learn more.

2  Thank Leslie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

While other cities build exciting science or natural history museums, this small institution struggles on, mainly as a place to take students on field trips. They do offer some special events and exhibits of local animals (stuffed, skeletons, etc), plants and sea life, but it's a shame the organization who runs it has not been able to generate funding to upgrade the place.
I believe there's also a library in the dingy basement area. The annual spring exhibit of nature illustration is always good.

2  Thank judiriva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We try to visit natural history museums wherever we find them. This one is a true delight. The exhibits are wonderful, the staff is helpful and interested in making the experience memorable. It seems to give a good overall picture of the natural history of the area, including a mountain lion, owls, raptors, hummingbirds and so much more. It's surrounded by the beach as well as a great park with a creek running through it.

Thank M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 10, 2012

Make the time to visit, relax, and enjoy a little bit of culture and art. Robbie Schone, the curator of the museum, brings a unique flare to any exhibit. The integrity and skill that he puts into his work speaks for it's self. Santa Cruz is lucky to have this museum and Robbie over seeing the details.

1  Thank Beachmomma831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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