Mission San Juan Capistrano is a great place for all ages to enjoy. Explore the grounds together and get the whole family excited about history and culture. Explore the lush gardens and feed the friendly koi. Enhance your visit with a VIP Guided tour or the multi-language audio tour available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. Experience basket weaving demonstrations every third Wednesday of the month. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Central Courtyard surrounded by historic arches, hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. At California Landmark #200, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
VIP Guided Tour
Book a VIP guided tour and explore the Mission grounds. Explore the wine vat, visit the private Sacristy of the Ruins, and touch the historic Mission bells! This is the up close experience our visitors truly appreciate.
On this tour, participants are led by a guide who will provide audio transmitters to each guest. This exclusive tour includes gifts for each guest in the group (adults receive a pin and children receive a bracelet). Our hands-on brick making program, Mission Matters, is also available as an add-on (as available). Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen for your tour.
These tours are available in advance by reservation or onsite at the Gate House.
Offered: Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Size: Maximum group size 25 *Not private
Cost: $35 (per adult); $30 per child
*All tour and education program availability is subject to change
Available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. It features music, history and storytelling bringing to life the “Jewel of the Missions.” Small group audio tours available for groups of up to 4 or up to 8 people at a time. Tour aligns with CA HSS (4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).
Duration: Check out for up to 2 hours
Cost: Free with paid admission, no reservation required
In Tribute Bell Ringing
The historic bells ring 7 times each day at 9:00 a.m. to honor the legacy of its founder St. Junípero Serra, who founded Mission San Juan Capistrano as the 7th of his 9 California missions and on special occasions throughout the year. For more information, please visit our calendar.
Koi Fish Feeding
Did you know you can feed the Koi fish in the Mission’s fountains? The Mission is a great place to bring the kids to not only learn history but also be inspired the beauty and natural life. Join us at the fountain Tuesday through Sunday at 12:45 p.m. to feed the koi fish or purchase koi food at the Gate House and feed the friendly koi on your own! Fun for parents, teachers and kids alike!
Mission Scavenger Hunt
Download our brand-new FREE winter themed scavenger hunt to see how many treasures you can find all while learning about California history while you explore the Mission grounds.
Hand-on Activities include:
• Life Size Basket Weaving: Weave a Basket like the Native Americans
• Job Wheel: Spin the wheel and discover your Mission job
• Build a Roman Arch: Like a Mission architect
• Word Play: Practice grammar in a silly way
Visit the Mission Clubhouse and receive a Mission Clubhouse ID card! Make sure to spin the wheel of jobs and write down your Mission job.
The Mission Clubhouse is a space for kids to learn and participate in hands-on activities such as weaving a Native American basket using a basket model that is as big as a kid!
Other hands-on activities include spinning the Wheel of Mission Jobs, where kids will discover their role in the Mission community. Every individual worked or completed chores to help keep the Mission running. Padres and soldiers taught the Acjachemen new jobs like farming, ranching, candle making, leather making and many more jobs.
Visitors can also build roman arches with miniature blocks. Arches are a main part of Mission history and can be seen along the corridors, within the Great Stone Church, and above the bell wall. The Mission Clubhouse is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Follow the Swallow Sticker Tour
“Follow the Swallow” around the Mission and look for items important to its history. As you find each item, add the correct sticker to the sheet. After you find all items, show your completed sticker sheet to a staff member at the Mission Store to redeem your “Follow the Swallow” prize. The new sticker tour is available for purchase onsite or online for only $9.99, fun and educational for all ages!
Native American Basket Weaving Demonstrations
Native American traditions are alive and well at Mission San Juan Capistrano thanks to a small group of Native Americans who have maintained — and some might say “perfected” — the art of basket weaving. Teeter Marie Olivares Romero, Ellen Sue Olivares, Susie Fimbres, and Wanda Jo Gennaro demonstrate the art of basket weaving on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Mission. It has become an integral part of the Mission’s efforts to preserve the history and traditions of the area. This event is free with paid admission to the Mission and can be viewed in the Front Courtyard.
4th Grader Package
Ideal for fourth graders working on their Mission Report, this Mission San Juan Capistrano Student “Package Experience” includes youth/student admission, a Remember the Builders bracelet and Mission San Juan Capistrano resource book. Purchase this package onsite at the Gate House for $16.47 or online. This package is not applicable to field trips.
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Member benefits include free daily admission and other exclusive perks.: Join