Fieldtrip Information


View all Santa Cruz area State Parks school programs at a glance here!

Teachers: Look below for descriptions of our Mission Day and Ohlone Lifestyle programs. If you would like to request a reservation, please fill out the form. The calendar will help you in requesting available dates. If these program options do not meet your needs, we will do our best to accommodate your group.

Adult groups, tour buses, scouts & clubs, etc:  We offer guided tours and tailored programs to organized groups. Please fill out our Fiedtrip Request form or call us at 831 425-5849 and we will be glad to discuss program options.

Mission Day Program

The Mission Day is a full day Environmental Studies Day (ESD) program. We take participants from an Ohlone village to the life of a neophyte in the Santa Cruz Mission, comparing and contrasting the two cultures and discussing what happens when they come together in the context of the Mission System.

The day includes a mixture of information, demonstration, and hands-on activities. It is geared towards 4th graders, and meets California Curriculum standards for 4th grade Mission Studies.

The time is from 10AM–2PM. The program works best with groups of 10 – 30. For larger groups we may be able to make special accommodations. Parent chaperones play a key role in facilitating the craft rotations. We request a donation of $1 to $5 dollars per student.

Components of the program may include:

  • Welcome: Introduction to the concept of Culture and overview of the day.
  • Touch Basket: Students are introduced to pre-contact Ohlone culture through an hands-on small group activity involving reproduction artifacts.
  • End of the Old Way: Story about the coming of the Spanish and the founding of the Missions, and the choices available to Ohlone villagers.
  • Lunch: Students eat, and usually have time for a teacher-led activity – often this is a running game in the courtyard. Parent chaperones are trained in Crafts in order to lead rotations.
  • Building Tour: Guided tour of the Adobe building museum including a diorama of Mission Hill in the early 1800s, a re-creation of neophyte living quarters, and an exploration of various work performed by Native People in the mission.
  • Craft Rotation: Students break into small groups for their “work assignments”. They will be able to take home their creations.
  • Conclusion: Summary and acknowledgement of descendants in contemporary society.

Curriculum Standards
California History / Social Science Content Standards for 4th Grade 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.5, 4.2.6

Groups are welcome to arrive early and eat a snack on the patio and use restrooms.  Groups bring bag lunch and eat in our outdoor patio. Restrooms and water fountain are on site. The museum, grounds, and restroom facilities are wheelchair accessible. We will gladly accommodate your group in the Park Store if you wish. This often works best towards the end of the day. (Proceeds from Park Store sales support educational programs such as this one.) Most of our day is spent outdoors. Students should dress accordingly.


Ohlone Lifeways Program

Precontact lifeways of local California Indians is explored through demonstrations and hands-on activities .

Program Components may include:

  • Exhibit tour
  • Hot Rock Cooking Demonstration
  • Storytelling and song
  • Traditional California Indian Games - staves, walnut dice, or peon
  • Skills practice - hoop and spear, tule crafting, basket weaving, or shell drilling
  • California Indian Trade Game

The program typically runs about 2 hours, and may be followed by lunch on site. There is a patio, water fountain, and restrooms. Most of the program occurs outdoors.

Curriculum Standards
This curriculum is designed for 3rd grade groups. It meets California History & Social Studies Content standards for 3rd grade. 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4 


Other Programs

If our existing programs don't fit your needs, please submit a request form and we will get back to you. We will do our best to accommodate your group.


Availability Calendar

Please note that this calendar is updated periodically, but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Field Trip Request Form

Click Here to fill in our online form for program requests through August 2019.

Click Here to fill in our online form for requests from Sept 2019 through August 2020.