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Mission San Juan Capistrano has developed tools and resources that can serve both educators and students who are currently impacted by school closures. As the Mission has traditionally been a rite of passage field trip for fourth grade students, many of these resources have been designed in support of fourth grader learning standards, however we also have virtual tours and activities to be enjoyed by all ages. Mission San Juan Capistrano is dedicated to posting new content to support our teachers, parents, and students throughout the community and offer fulfilling digital educational experiences.


Virtual Tours and Experiences

Live Online Guided Tour

Explore the Mission’s beautiful grounds and historic past with an expert Mission guide. From the cultural traditions of the local Acjachemen people, to the picturesque gardens, and one-of-a-kind Serra Chapel, there is something for everyone. This interactive virtual experience is perfect for adults and children of all ages to enjoy together.  To book, please call (949) 234-1306, online booking currently not available. Booking reservations are good for up to four devices, so book today and share this tour experience with three other friends by providing their email addresses upon booking! 

Offered: Fridays at 3:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Platform: Zoom
Cost: $45 for up to 4 devices (must provide email addresses for all devices upon booking)

* Registration is required at least 72 hours in advance. Program subject to availability. This program is not private and is open to anyone who has reserved a spot. Not applicable for school groups or learning pods.

Looking for a virtual experience for your school group? Learn about our distance learning programs.

Live Online Summer Art Lesson: Watercolor Painting

Gather your watercolor painting supplies together for this special watercolor class! The subject of this painting will be the Mission’s resident koi fish, who live in the fountains onsite. To paint along with this livestream, we recommend the following supplies: watercolor paints, paint brush, watercolor paper, pencil, any black marker, and water for dipping your paint brush.

Online Summer Art Lessons are led by Mission Staff Artist in Residence Melanie Rayburn. These classes are designed to be enjoyed with the family and is accessible to people of all ages and levels of experience and are a fun, interactive learning activity for students on summer break.

Date: August 10, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE! Online event – Register for this class by clicking the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UHzvlJ6FSamyae3hBCQL-Q

360° Architectural and Historical Views Video Series

Experience the history and beauty of the Mission as if you were standing here! From 360 degree sweeping views of the Mission grounds to up close, never before seen views of architecture and artifacts, you’ll see the Mission from every angle in 28 video clips. These can be viewed on a computer, mobile devices or VR headset.

Duration: Approimately 3 minutes (per video clip)
Platform: Vimeo
Cost: FREE

Looking for a virtual experience for your school group? Learn about our distance learning programs.

Online Audio Tour

The online audio tour features music, history and storytelling bringing to life the “Jewel of the Missions.” Tour aligns with CA HSS (4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Preview the Audio Tour (English):

How to Use the Audio Wand
Stop 1

What is a Mission? — Founding Document
Stop 2 Additional Information

Mission Agriculture — Olive Millstone
Stop 3


Digital Lectures

Junípero Serra: The Myths, the Man, and the Statues
Presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

Run Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes  

This special digital lecture presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz, a professor emeritus of History at Santa Clara University, tells the multifaceted story about Junípero Serra, his history, and delves into why he is still a topic of conversation today. In developing our more inclusive historical perspectives and interpretive efforts, we rely on such impressive advisors such as Robert Senkewicz and all academics who have researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. We believe inclusivity will allow our visitors to draw their own conclusions of what it felt and meant to be a priest, a soldier, a Native American, a post-secularization Catholic, a man, a woman, or child of that time.


Online Resources

At Home Lessons, Crafts and Activities

Fourth Grade History and Social Science Lessons and Activities

The following lessons and activities are aligned with the California History-Social Science Framework and Content Standards but are appropriate for all elementary aged students.

All about Cattle Brands

Activity: Make Your Own Cattle Brand
Reading: Dig Deeper Into Cattle Brands

All about Plein Air Art

Activity: Make Your Own Plein Air Art
Reading: My Plein Air Story


Mission Passport

A children’s educational tour booklet produced by Alphabet House Publications, which features a walking map, interesting historical facts, and games that teach about Mission history. This learning tool is included for free with all student tours and features a guide that students can work from during their visit. Available for purchase at the Mission Store in person or online.


Mission Report Resources

Educational resources are available to teachers, students, and parents who want to learn more about the California Mission system and the crowning “JEWEL,” Mission San Juan Capistrano. Supplement your learning experience with our interactive and informational guides, specifically tailored to meet California History-Social Science Standards, the Next Generations Science Standards and California’s Common Core State Standards for 4th grade history.


Educational Events

Mission San Juan Capistrano is pleased to offer both onsite and virtual events for a day of learning and fun for all ages. Join us online for a virtual Earth Day from butterflies and bees, to gardening, and celebrating Native American traditions, there’s something to learn for everyone or plan to visit us in person in the fall when we recognize Indigenous People’s Day and celebrate the history and culture of the local Acjachemen people by ringing the historic bells. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to view livestream events or explore our past digital events in our video collection.


Educator Newsletter

The Mission has developed a new newsletter for educators to help with tips for learning remotely, learning onsite, and extending the learning impact for educators all year long. Sign up to receive our educator newsletter by emailing myan@missionsjc.com.

Past Issues
June 2021
April 2021
January 2021
November 2020
September 2020


Additional Resources

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Museum Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 4PM

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Closed early Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
Hours subject to change

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26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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