Explore Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

Overlooking downtown Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park features the only building left of the twelfth California Mission, founded in 1791. The restored adobe was once housing for the California Indian residents of the Mission. The park interprets the story of the mission through the lens of the experience of the Ohlone and Yokuts people. Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park offers several unique field trip options where students will delve into the complicated history of the site through exhibits and activities.

Please note: The themes and discussions that we approach in our program with students may be challenging for some communities or individuals.

In-Person Programs

Register for an In-Person Field Trip!

Program Options: 

Mission Day: The Mission Day program takes your students from the life of the Ohlone people in their village to their life in the Santa Cruz Mission with the Spanish. Students will understand how the California Mission System changed traditional Indigenous life forever. They will consider ways in which Native People responded to this change resulting in cultural continuity and cultural change. This program has a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 39 students. We have a required total of 6-9 chaperones for this field trip event.

This Environmental Studies Day Program (ESD) includes a mixture of highly interactive discussions, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and an adobe tour. We recommended this experience for fourth grade students and above. When registering for your program, please indicate how we can support learning in the classroom during your field trip. For questions or concerns, please contact us at (831) 425-5849 or santacruzmission@ports-ca.us.

Mission Rotations: If you require a large group (40+ students) and you aren’t able to participate in a Mission Day, Mission rotation programs are designed for fourth grade teachers and students with a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 90 students. During this program, you and your students will participate in several stations illustrating daily life in the Santa Cruz Mission, including an adobe tour. To book a Mission Rotations Program, please call (831) 425-5849 or email santacruzmission@ports-ca.us.

Virtual Programs 

Ohlone Lifeways and the Mission: In this 45 minute interactive program we will introduce your students to the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. We will  give a brief overview of how the daily life of the indigenous people from this area dramatically changed as they navigated life at the Santa Cruz Mission, and then discuss some of the lasting cultural impacts of the resulting aftermath.

Register for a Virtual Field Trip!