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Monday, Thursday - Saturday from 10am-4pm;
Closed Christmas, Dec. 25
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Looking for your next adventure?
California State Parks Backpacking Adventures offers naturalist-led backpacking trips through the Santa Cruz Mountains each summer. Online registration opens February 1 at 9am.
Visiting the Santa Cruz Mission
The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park sits atop Mission Hill offering a patio, gardens, and excellent views of the city. The park features the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791. Restored to its original appearance, the austere single-story adobe was once housing for the California Indian residents of the Mission. Exhibits inside tell the story of the mission through the lens of the experience of the Ohlone and Yokuts people.
This portion of the adobe, built in the early 1800’s, is the only surviving building from Mission Santa Cruz. Archeological excavations in the 1980’s revealed that this had been Indian family housing, the only example of its kind still standing in California today. The story of the Ohlone and Yokuts Indian experience at the Santa Cruz Mission is depicted through exhibits and a wall-sized movie projection. These are featured on guided tours, and may also be viewed at leisure on self-guided tours. The 7-room building also includes information about Ohlone lifeways prior to European contact, archeological excavations and Rodriguez and Neary family histories.
The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park offers school group programs on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the school year. We are currently taking reservations for the 2019-2020 school year. Click here for more information on school field trips and a description of a Mission Day program. You can fill in a field trip request form online.
4th Grade Mission Projects
The park offers many resources to support students studying the missions, and their families.
- Tours and Events:
Guided Adobe Tours and Living History Demonstrations are great opportunities for in-depth study and hands-on experiences. You can also enjoy a self-guided tour whenever the park is open. Please click here for dates and more information.
- Junior Ranger Activity Guide:
Junior Rangers is a statewide program for 7 - 12 year olds offered in the summer season. During the school season, our self-guided booklet is a fun and thought-provoking way to explore the museum. Kids receive a logbook and can earn a badge and prizes!
- Mission Building Game:
Gather round the table to play this board game set in Spanish Colonial California. Spend reales and roll the sheep's knucklebone to determine the fate of your mission. This is an exciting interactive way to learn about mission history. Geared for families, 8 yrs and older. Please click here for dates and more information.
Pick up a copy of "Information about Mission Santa Cruz" at the Visitor Center, or call our office to have it sent to you by mail
- Books, kits, cards and more:
The ParkStore offers a variety of materials to extend your experience and assist with your project. Peruse the online store by visiting www.thatsmypark.org.