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Family Days

Come take a journey through this amazing place we call home!

Join us for monthly Family Days at theNAT, September through May, as we celebrate the natural world and our Museum. Each month has been uniquely themed to allow us to explore nature’s wonders, participate in hands-on activities, and create crafts to take home.

Highlights: This year we will recreate our popular Critter Cave on Halloween Day and explore the lives of whales in honor of our upcoming special exhibition, Whales: Giants of the Deep , which opens March 19, 2016.

  • Family Days are included with general admission and are always free for members.
  • Each Family Day runs from 11 AM to 3 PM. 


Halloween Family Day
Saturday, October 31

What lurks in the night? Celebrate bats and other nocturnal creatures at this annual Halloween-themed event. Grab a flashlight, visit the Critter Cave, get a tattoo, and make a bat craft to take home. You can also stop by and visit us out on the Prado Walkway as we’ll have a booth set up for the Park-wide Halloween Family Day festivities..

Fall Frenzy Family Day
Saturday, November 14

Celebrate the fall season! Grind acorns like a Kumeyaay Indian and learn about the plants and animals that are vital to their survival and way of life. Get a tattoo, make a craft to take home, and travel back in time to learn about the harvest.

Mysteries of the Maya Family Day
Saturday, December 12

Join us once again as we celebrate our current special exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed .  Rediscover this ancient civilization through hands-on activities and a craft to take home. Maya closes January 3, so you won’t want to miss this final Family Day especially themed for the exhibition.

Rock On Family Day
Monday, January 18

Get ready to rock out and delve into the fascinating world of rocks and minerals. San Diego is one of the most famous gem-producing regions in the world, but where do these minerals come from and how are they formed? We’ll perform experiments, learn about different rocks and minerals, and make a craft to take home. Get ready to rock!

Reptile Round-Up Family Day
Monday, February 15

What’s as old as a dinosaur and more diverse than any mammal? Why, reptiles, of course! Discover the lives of these incredible creatures and take part in activities and crafts that celebrate these interesting animals. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet special guests from our Herpetology Department.

Whale of a Time Family Day
Sunday, March 20

Every year from December through April, magnificent gray whales pass through San Diego’s coastal waters on their way to and from their breeding grounds. The gray whale makes the longest migration of any mammal on earth traveling 10,000 to 12,000 miles each year. Learn more about these fascinating mammals and visit our special exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep . We’ll have whale-inspired activities and will make crafts to take home.  

Flower Power Family Day
Saturday, April 23

Spring is in the air! Become a junior botanist and celebrate the beauty and power of flowering plants during the lushest of all the seasons. We’ll learn the science of plants, grow and dissect seeds, and make plant-inspired crafts for you to take home.

Dino-mite Family Day
Monday, May 30

Explore your love for all things dinosaurs. Go on a scavenger hunt, try your hand at our dinosaur science games, and create dinosaur-inspired art to take home. It’ll be the most fun you’ve had in 75 million years!