Visiting with Kids

The Museum is a great place to bring older and younger children for educational fun. Below are suggestions to get the most out of your visit with children and to be their super smart teacher.

Scavenger Hunt (All ages)

The hunt is on! Ask for a Scavenger Hunt list from the front desk or lobby and begin the adventure. Search the Museum galleries for a whale eyeball and other oddities. Look for opportunities to touch actual specimens like baleen and fossils. Find everything on the list and each child can turn in their completed list for a free surprise in the Museum Store. 

Monarchs Gallery

  • Trace butterflies on a light table. Bring your picture home or pin it up for display in the gallery. (age 4+)
  • Look at real, living monarch chrysalises. If you're lucky, an adult butterfly might emerge while you're watching! (age 2+)
  • Learn about the monarch life cycle by sorting felted pillows that show an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and pupa. Put them on a wheel, then turn. (age 2-8)

Birds (All ages)

The Museum's comprehensive collection of Monterey County birds allows for an up close and personal experience. This extraordinary taxidermy collection came to the Museum in the late 1800s, early 1900s, when scientists used the specimens to study animals. Measure your arms compared to that of a California condor and make tracks in our sand display!

Predator or Prey (All ages)

Directly on your left as you enter the Heritage wing is a great little display of predator skulls. Notice how the predator skulls allow for both eyes to face forward. This helps with depth perception to catch prey. Notice the black-tailed deer to the right. Their eyes are on the sides of the face to be able to see animals coming their way to protect themselves. Look in the mirror on the wall. Where are your eyes located?

Fossil Dig Pit (All ages)

Each week we seed our pebble pit with real fossils. Children love looking through the pebbles to find the fossils and each child can take one fossil home. (ADA Note: The dig pit has two raised bowls at differing heights for digging through pebbles looking for fossils.)

Spirit Nest (All ages)

Climb inside our Spirit Nest. Children love to pretend they're birds, hibernating bears, or some newly discovered species. (ADA note: The Museum's Willow Tunnel is another great place to hide and pretend you're in a nest. Can you think of different types of bird nests made of different materials?) 

Surrounding Area

Across from the Museum is Jewel Park, complete with a little gazebo, and one block up on Lighthouse Avenue be sure to grab lunch from a variety of restaurants in historic downtown Pacific Grove. Walk two blocks to the water and enjoy a child-friendly beach, Lover's Point, or walk the recreation trail looking for seals, otters, and birds. A fresh water child's pool, open to the public during the summer in the afternoons, can also be found at Lover's Point. $2-$4 per person; check The Stillwell Children's Pool for details. (The Child's pool is ADA accessible.)