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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 due to COVID-19, but we are currently taking bookings for onsite learning to occur. Please see the list below for the onsite options available throughout the school year. 


Tours and Education Programs

VIP Tour – For Smaller Groups

Book a private tour of Mission San Juan Capistrano with your smaller school or household group. Our VIP tours allow small groups of either up to 4, or up to 8, to book a private experience and explore the Mission grounds. Go into the wine vat, visit the private Sacristy of the Ruins, or touch the historic Mission bells. This is the up close experience our visitors truly appreciate.

On this tour, guests are led by a guide, with a special transmitter to ensure safe touring. This exclusive tour also includes gifts for each guest in the group, including hand sanitizer and drinking water. Pricing for a group of four begins at $75. These tours are available by reservation only. Contact the Group Bookings Department to learn about more or to add a Mission Matters class to the experience (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: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Capacity: Up to 4 and up to 8
Cost: $75 (up to 4) and $140 (up to 8)

Guided Tour – For Larger Groups

Led by trained Mission guides, this tour leads guests on a journey through Mission history and highlights important features and architecture including the Serra Chapel, exhibits, gardens, and the Ruins of the Great Stone Church (Tour aligns with CA HSS 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Offered: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Duration: 1 hour
Capacity: Up to 20 people per Mission guide
Cost: $13 per person
*Previously called “docent-guided tours”

Group Audio Tours – For Larger Groups  

Available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian and 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 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
Duration: Check out for 2 hours
Capacity: Up to 150
Cost: $12 per person

Mission Matters: Adobe Brick Making *LIMITED CAPACITY

Join us as we explore historic life at the Mission in this hands-on program where students use their senses to dive into the past and learn about jobs and duties that were an important part of building the Mission. The adobe walls tell the story of the Acjachemen. Students will have a greater appreciation of our Indigenous people’s contributions. Students will each make their very own adobe brick to bring home (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: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Duration: Up to 30 minutes
Location: Picnic Area, unless raining
Capacity: 15 people min. to 70 people max.
Cost: $5 per student
*Call for special pricing if group is smaller than 15 people.


Educating with Partner Programs Onsite

Seismic Shake Up Presented by Discovery Cube Orange County – Available November 2021

Join Discovery Cube educators as we explore the forces and processes that shape the Southern Join Discovery Cube educators to explore the forces and processes that shape the Southern California landscape.  Students will engage in hands-on activities as they discover engineering solutions used to help humans live in such a dynamic location.  The presentation and activities will also investigate how these forces have affected the Historic Mission while students build arches, test model buildings, and analyze maps (Workshop curriculum correlates with NGSS Earth Science 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-2, 4-ESS3-2 Engineering Design 3-5 ETS1-2, Physical Science 4-PS4-1).

Offered: Tuesdays & Fridays
Duration: 1 hour
Start Time: 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.
Location: West Gardens, unless raining
Capacity: 15 people min. to 120 people max.
Cost: $6 per student/chaperone

Journeys to the Past Presented by Jacque Tahuka Nunez, Native American Educator – Available Spring 2022

Featuring Native American history and storytelling, Orange County Educator of the Year for 2009, Jacque Tahuka Nunez, takes 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 environmentalism and what it means to be “keepers of the earth” (Presentation aligns with CA HSS 3.21., 3.2.2 and 4.2.1).

Offered: February 16, March 10, April 13 and May 12, 2022
Duration: 1 hour
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Central Courtyard, unless raining
Capacity: 15 people min. to 120 people max.
Cost: $5 per student/chaperone
Program not guaranteed to be private or exclusive to one school.

California Journeys Presented by Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Featuring Native American history and storytelling, Orange County Educator of the Year for 2009, Jacque Tahuka Nunez, takes students on a journey into the lifestyle of the early indigenous The Philharmonic Society of Orange County offers memorable learning experiences combining Mission history and with the music of early California. Please contact the Philharmonic Society for more details at (949) 553-2422.


Field Trip Chaperone Policy

The Mission requires 1 adult for every 10 students who come onsite. These adults are admitted to The Mission requires and limits its chaperones to 1 adult for every 10 students who come onsite. These adults are admitted to the Mission for FREE with their onsite field trip group. In accordance to our student safety policy all adults with a school group will be given a special sticker indicating that they are part of a school group as either a teach/aide or chaperone. 

Teacher/Aide – Free with students

Chaperone – 1 chaperone for every 10 students. No more chaperones will be permitted above the ratio of 1:10.


Payment Information

Group Tours/Field Trips: Full payment or purchase order must be received at least 30 days in advance of the tour date or upon booking for any reservation made less than 30 days in advance. All field trips and tours are tentative holds until payment is received to complete a guaranteed reservation. At 30 days out, tentative holds will be released if no payment is received.  Please send check by mail, email purchase order, or call Group Bookings at (949) 234-1306 to pay by credit card. Make check payable to Mission San Juan Capistrano. 

Cancellation/Late Tour Policies

Onsite Field Trips
Cancelling tours requires speaking or emailing directly with the Group Bookings Department at (949) 234-1306 or emailing bookatour@missionsjc.com. Cancellations must be completed no less than 30 working days in advance in order to receive a refund. Late cancellations due to weather will not be refunded but may be rescheduled. A $25 rescheduling fee will be assessed for administrative work. In the event that your program cannot take place due to the COVID-19 restrictions, field trip funds will be reallocated toward a distance learning program, Mission Store merchandise, or toward a rescheduled onsite field trip for the following school year. Otherwise, all payments are nonrefundable. Schools will be charged for 100% of any tours and education Cancelling tours requires speaking or emailing directly with the Group Bookings Department at (949) 234-1306 or emailing bookatour@missionsjc.com. Cancellations must be completed no less than 30 working days in advance in order to receive a refund. Late cancellations due to weather will not be refunded but may be rescheduled. A $25 rescheduling fee will be assessed for administrative work. In the event that your program cannot take place due to the COVID-19 restrictions, field trip funds will be reallocated toward a distance learning program, Mission Store merchandise, or toward a rescheduled onsite field trip for the following school year. Otherwise, all payments are nonrefundable. Schools will be charged for 100% of any tours and education programs that are cancelled the day of the tour resulting from a late-show. Programming may be cancelled if arrival is more than 30 minutes later than scheduled start time. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled start time for check in. In addition, the Mission does not provide any day of arrival adjustments or refunds based on number of attendees. If student count is lower than purchased amount, vouchers for free admission will be provided to all students that were paid for but did not attend. 

Distance Learning Field Trips
All Distance Learning programs are nonrefundable. Rescheduling is permitted when done at least 30 days in advance of the scheduled program.


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

JESSICA CROSSMAN  Education Program Director jcrossman@missionsjc.com | (949) 234-1320
Ms. Crossman has worked as an educator for non-profits and museums such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and most recently The Audubon Society of Rhode Island. With Bachelor of Arts in both Biological Anthropology and Communications from University of California San Diego and a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Jessica combines her knowledge of science and social science together with a unique sense of storytelling to bring educational experiences to life.

MEGHANN YAN Group Bookings Manager myan@missionsjc.com | (949) 234-1306
Mrs. Yan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with an emphasis in Geography from California State University, Fullerton.  She contributes greatly to the teacher arrival process at the Mission through her extensive customer service experience, allowing for everything to run as smoothly as possible on the front line.

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 - 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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