Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

Phone Number

(831) 425-5849

Park Hours

Call the park to confirm.
Monday, Thursday - Saturday from 10am-4pm;
Sunday 12pm-4pm
Closed Christmas, Dec. 25

Driving Directions to Santa Cruz Mission SHP

The historic park is in downtown Santa Cruz; take Mission Street to Mission Plaza. The adobe is located one block off the plaza on School Street.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Archeologists

Calling all Archaeology Enthusiasts..

Summer Archeology Project

Mondays from June 24 through August 26 from 10 am to 2 pm
Join Santa Clara University in partnership with California State Parks in gaining hands on experience in treatment and identifying archeological artifacts. Volunteers are needed to sort and process artifacts from the 2-year archeological excavation at the Mission Santa Clara, conducted by Santa Clara University. Volunteers will receive formal lab training and will gain a clear understanding of California Mission life, based upon this latest research. Lab work will occur at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. For more information, contact Julie Sidel with the Mission Santa Cruz State Historic Park (831) 425-5849 or email jsidel@parks.ca.gov. For more information, Click on our Volunteer Opportunities page!

Summer at the Mission

Summer Events

Summers at the Santa Cruz Mission SHP feature free activities for Families and Children!

Old Fashioned Campfires: Invite friends and create community at these relaxed family friendly gatherings. Live music, hand-made tortillas, and campfire magic. Featured Bands include Robby and Friends and Mosaic. Click here for our next event

Junior Rangers: a statewide program for 7 - 12 year olds. We offer a different program every week. Historic games, crafts, and cooking are among the hands-on STEAM activites for this summer's programs. Click here for more details. Reservations are recommended. Reserve online or by calling (831) 425-5849.

Living History Demonstrations, Drop-In Crafts, and Guided Tours:  for more information on summer offerings click on the Summer at the Santa Cruz Mission sidebar.

Click here for a downloadable brochure of summer activities at the Santa Cruz Mission.

Click on our Summer at the Mission page for all the details!

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.

Mission Exhibits

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. 

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. 

  • Literature:
    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.  Visit the online store by visiting www.thatsmypark.org.

An Old Fashioned Campfire for the Whole Family

Friday, July 12th, 2019
5:30- 8:00 PM

Bring:

  • Picnic dinner
  • lawn chairs or blankets 
  • tortilla toppings to share

5:30 - 6:45

  • dinner
  • tortilla making on the comal
  • and live music by: Peter Weiss & the Earth Rangers 

6:45 - 8:00

  • storytelling and songs around the fire for the whole family