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We offer a wide variety of guided tours and education programs for student groups to explore the Mission and its rich history. All onsite tours and education programs are subject to change. Please see the list below for the onsite options available throughout the school year. 

Tours and Education Programs

Student Audio Tours “If These Walls Could Talk” For Field Trips 

Available in English (Spanish version coming Spring, 2024)

The Mission invites your learners to experience our new self-guided audio tour, “If These Walls Could Talk” which was designed for California students working on their mission studies.  The new audio tour takes learners to 23 stops to learn about the early history of the Mission. Listen to the grandmotherly, “Mission Wall” who introduces them to indigenous builders, soldiers, padres, and more.  (The tour aligns with CA HSS 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.4, 3.3.1, 3.3.2; 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Offered: Daily
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Duration: 80 minutes
Cost: $14 per student
Chaperones: 1 free chaperone for every 10 students. Additional chaperones can be added to the reservation and will receive a discount by booking in advance at $16 each. Chaperones without a reservation are charged $18 each at the Gate House upon arrival.  

Guided Tours For Field Trips

Led by trained Mission guides and volunteer docents, these special tours take learners on a journey through Mission history while visiting the Ruins, Serra Chapel, original buildings and gardens.  (Tour aligns with CA HSS 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Offered: Tuesday through Friday
Times: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: $16 per person/includes use of transmitter and complimentary earbuds
Chaperones:  1  free per 10 students. Guided tours are limited to 1 adult chaperone per every 10 students.  For groups with large parental involvement, we recommend reserving our brand-new audio guided tour, “If These Walls Could Talk”, where there is no limit on the number of parent guests. 

Mission Matters: Adobe Brick Making *LIMITED CAPACITY

Join us as we explore life at the Mission in this hands-on program where students use their hands to dive into the past and learn about the jobs that the original Acjachemen builders did, including building the Mission with adobe bricks.  Students gain a greater appreciation of the Indigenous people’s contributions in building the missions.  In this experience students also learn about precious resources while being instructed in making their very own adobe brick.  (Presentation and activities align with CA HSS 3.2.4, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.5) and NGSS (Earth Science 3-ESS3-1, 4-ESS2-1). 

Offered: Monday through Friday
Times: 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Duration: 30 – 45 minutes depending on class size
Location: Picnic Area, unless raining. Subject to cancellation if weather conditions are unsafe.
Capacity: 15 student minimum
Cost: $5 per student
*Call for special pricing if group is smaller than 15 people.

Notes: This program is not guaranteed to be private or exclusive to one school. Gloves are available on a limited basis for sensory sensitive learners if mud play is not suitable. Be advised, students will get their hands dirty.  Hand washing stations are provided. 

Educating with Partner Programs Onsite

Animal Tracks: Animals and the Acjachemen People
Presented by Discovery Cube Orange County

Discovery Cube takes you on a journey to the past with an interactive program that introduces students to the kinds of animals that were important to the Acjachemen people and their way of life. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, students will explore the biodiversity of animals, understand their cultural significance, and investigate the interdependence between animals, the Acjachemen, and the environment. Each participant will learn about animal adaptations while creating their own Animal Track casting to take home (Workshop curriculum aligns with NGSS: 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 5-LS2-1).

Offered: Tuesdays and Fridays
Duration: 60 minutes
Start Time: 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Location: West Gardens, unless raining. Subject to cancellation if weather conditions are unsafe.
Capacity: 30 people min. to 90 people max.
Cost: $6 per student/chaperone

Note:  This program is guaranteed to be private and exlusive to one school.

Illuminating the Past: Candle Making in the Spanish Missions
Presented by Discovery Cube Orange County

Join Discovery Cube on a quest to learn about candle making during the time of the Spanish Missions in California. Students will engage in discussions and participate in hands-on activities to understand light sources during the early years of the Spanish Missions and the importance of candles for illumination. In their exploration of scientific concepts related to energy transfer, light reflection, and patterns, students will create their own candle with personalized decorative features to take home (Workshop curriculum aligns with NGSS: 4-PS3-2, 4-PS4-2, PS4-3).

Offered: Tuesdays and Fridays
Duration: 60 minutes
Start Time: 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Location: Picnic Area, unless raining. Subject to cancellation if weather conditions are unsafe.
Capacity: 30 people min. to 90 people max.
Cost: $6 per student/chaperone

Note:  This program is guaranteed to be private and exlusive to one school.

Journeys to the Past
Presented by Jacque Tahuka Nunez, Native American Educator

This special program founded by Native American history and storytelling, Orange County Educator of the Year, Jacque Tahuka Nuñez, will take students on a journey into the lifestyle of the early indigenous people of California. Children experience lively music, storytelling, songs, games, and dance with opportunities to participate. Students leave with an appreciation of and what it means to be “keepers of the earth” (Presentation aligns with CA HSS 3.21., 3.2.2 and 4.2.1).

Due to Jacque’s desire to cut back and enjoy a partial retirement, this program may feature Jacque’s son Jackson Tahuka Nuñez, a next generation Acjachemen storyteller who is trained and endorsed by Jacque herself, also a proud mother!

Dates Offered in 2024: April 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and May 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th
Duration: 1 hour
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Central Courtyard, unless raining. Subject to cancellation if weather conditions are unsafe.
Cost: $6 per student/chaperone

Note:  This program is not guaranteed to be private or exclusive to one school.

Field Trip Chaperone Attendance Policy

The Mission requires, and generally limits its chaperones, to 1 free adult for every 10 students. All adults with a school group will be given a special sticker indicating they are an approved part of the school group as either a teacher/aide or chaperone. 

For audio tour field trip parents, guests over the 1:10 free attendance ratio wishing to accompany the group may and should book in advance to get a discounted admission rate.

Due to space limitations on our guided tours, additional parent chaperones over the 1:10 ratio will not be allowed. This will be strictly enforced.  For groups that want to have more parent involvement, we recommend reserving our audio guided tour. Teachers and Teacher Aides are always free!

Audio Tours Chaperones
• Assign 1 free teacher or chaperone for every 10 students.
• Teachers and chaperones must help check-out, distribute, and return the audio players.
• Teachers and chaperones are responsible for damaged or lost audio players.
• Audio tours will be made available to adults if there are devices in stock. 

Guided Tours Chaperones
• Teachers may divide student groups evenly into groups of no more than 30 guests for the guided tour (this includes chaperones and students).
• Please assign 1 free teacher or parent chaperone for every 10 students/maximum 3 per tour group.

Helpful Tips for Chaperone Involvement
• Prior to arrival, give your chaperones a role to make your field trip run smoothly.
• Designated chaperones should be assigned to lead a group by the teacher prior to the visit.
• Ask them to set an example for students by listening when Mission staff, volunteers or education partners are speaking.
• Ask chaperones to always stay with students and not let them wander off.
• Ask chaperones to turn off or mute their cell phones during the tour.
• Have them help manage students who are having attention or behavioral issues.
• Let us know of any concerns immediately. 

Payment Information

Ways to Pay for Your Field Trip – Ask About Adopt-A-Class Funding!

• Please send check by mail, email purchase order, or pay with a credit card online.  
• Make your check payable to: Mission San Juan Capistrano at
  26801 Old Mission Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA  92675
• All field trips and tours are tentative until payment is received to guarantee a reservation.  
• Full payment or purchase order must be received at least 60 days in advance of the field trip date.
• At 45 days out, tentative holds will be canceled if payment has not been received. 
• For assistance, call Group Bookings at (949) 234-1306.  

Field Trip Cancellation, Late Arrival Policies, and Refund Policies

• Cancellations must occur 60 days in advance of the reservation date in order to receive a refund.
• Cancellations within the 60 days window will not be refunded. The funds will be directed to the
Adopt-A-Class Scholarship Program.  
Payments are nonrefundable, but may be transferrable given unique, approved circumstances.
• No shows or tours cancelled on the day of arrival are not eligible for a refund and will not be rescheduled.  
• Programming may also be cancelled if a group arrives more than 30 minutes after the scheduled tour without good reason or notification.   
• The Mission is not able to guarantee same day arrival adjustments, changes or refunds based on the number of attendees that actually show up. If student count is lower than purchased amount, vouchers for free admission will be provided to all students that were paid for but could not attend.

Program Pricing

Content Standards

Mission San Juan Capistrano is dedicated to providing students with the highest quality, standards-based field trip experience. All of our distance learning and onsite programs support the California History-Social Science Content Standards and Framework (CA HSS). In addition to this, many of our education programs also align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our educational experiences are geared toward 3rd and 4th Grade learning, however, they can be adjusted to be appropriate for any grade level if you let our staff know when you book your field trip. To learn more about our standards-based field trips please look at the chart below:

OC Superintendent of Schools Endorses Mission Programming

“With its rare artifacts and treasures, Mission San Juan Capistrano serves as a connection to Orange County’s historic past and a symbol of its enduring and multicultural character. Year after year, this venerable landmark presents our students with rich educational experiences and memories that will last throughout their lives.”

Al Mija​res, Ph.D.
Orange County Superintendent of Schools​

Educational Staff

KENDRA FLUHR Group Bookings Manager
Phone: (949) 234-1306

JANE TACKETT Group Bookings Coordinator and Educational Outreach
Phone: (949) 234-1358

GUEST SERVICES Gate House and Field Staff
Our friendly and knowledgable staff help facilitate a positive field trip experience, welcome students and review safety expectations.  They will be available to help you find your way around the Mission, and have an inspired learning experience. Our staff is committed to ensuring an excellent guest experience through service, stewardship and safety.

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Museum Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 5PM

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Closed for Annual Gala on September 13, 2024.
Closed early on Good Friday.
Hours subject to change


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26801 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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