The Naturalist Center is home to hundreds of specimens and hands-on activities for all. Whether you're 9 or 90, curiosity is always welcome.  

Part natural history museum and part dynamic activity space, the Wilson Family Naturalist Center is packed with resources to explore. From a real dinosaur bone to a variety of books and hands-on activities, the opportunities to investigate are endless. Come in any time during open hours and discover the splendor of the natural world.

A small human skulls on a shelf in the Naturalist Center.

Hands-on Exploration

A wolverine's soft pelt, a false trumpet's spiraling shell, and so much more—hundreds of specimens pack the shelves of the Naturalist Center, ready to be explored.

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An Academy naturalist talks to a visitor about a specimen.

Curious about California?

Get an up-close view of some of California’s native species beautifully displayed in a specimen cabinet as you enter the Naturalist Center.

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Books on a wide range of natural science subjects are available.

Discover it Yourself

From classics like The Origin of Species to a quirky roadkill field guide, the Naturalist Center offers a selection of books, magazines, and guides to fuel your curiosity and help you find answers to your California biodiversity questions.

 

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An Academy naturalist works with a young visitor to identify a butterfly.

Activities and More

With games, Mystery Boxes, scavenger hunts, and more, the Naturalist Center never stops in its mission to help visitors of all ages connect to the natural world.

 

 

 

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Experience the Wonder

Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

Hours

The Naturalist Center is open Monday-Thursday, 12 pm-4:45 pm, and Friday-Sunday (and select holidays), 11 am-4:45 pm.

Naturalist Center Location

The Naturalist Center is located on the third floor of the Academy—simply take the main stairs or elevators (located near our Café) and follow the aerial walkway.