Teachers & Kids

Experience a variety of hands-on learning with our educational programs! Fourth graders will learn about California’s history in a dynamic way by examining the construction of the Mission in “Making the Grade” and adopting a new multicultural perspective in “Journeys to the Past.” Students will actively engage with history and gain a comprehensive understanding of the Mission’s role in shaping California today in “Mission Matters.” These programs meet California’s Science and Social Science standards and present school curriculum in a way that will complement the lessons in the classroom. To learn more about the program options for students on their tours, visit the links below:

  • Mission Matters
    A curriculum based program, offers a fun-filled presentation and hands-on activities that examine the daily lives of Mission Native Americans
  • Making the Grade
    Join the Discovery Science Center in investigating the building blocks of geology during this scientific exploration of the “Jewel” of the Missions.
  • Journeys to the Past
    Award-winning educator Jacque Nunez takes students on a journey into the life of a California Native American with her enchanting storytelling.

Save time and avoid the lines! We do the shopping for you!
Teachers! Turn in your “pre-shop forms” and receive a FREE membership with 10% discount all year long!

Download Student Pre-Shop Form
Students can shop while touring, leaving more time for learning! Give one copy to each student before the field trip, collect payment and give all forms to Guest Services staff upon arrival. Mission staff will deliver your item to you at departure.

Download Teacher Pre-Shop Form for Bulk Items
To buy any of the bulk “mementos” while you enjoy your field trip, simply fill out the form, and give to Gate House staff at check-in.  Place the total purchase amount in an envelope with your name and your school’s name. Mission staff will deliver your item to you at departure.

Hands-on Activities and Fun Things to do at the Mission

1) Take the audio tour

2) Visit the Mission Clubhouse

3) Try the Commemorative Penny Press

4) See where the Padres and soldiers lived

5) Learn how Acjachemen Indians make baskets

6) Visit the demonstration gardens and experience the curiosity carts

7) Pan for gold, make Adobe bricks or craft your own arrowhead necklace

8) View the koi fish in the fountains

9) Visit the Mission Treasures Exhibit

10) Visit the Legacy of Saint Serra Exhibit

What teachers are saying about their field trip experience:


  • “My students love the audio tour because it allows them the opportunity to truly understand the history of the Mission.”
    San Juan Elementary – Capistrano USD
  • “I love bringing my class to the mission and will do every year! ”
    Christ Church Day School
  • “Wonderful, educational experience for the kids. Your staff is very kind, patient, knowledgeable and helpful!”
    Paradise Canyon Elementary – La Cañada USD
  • “No matter how many years I go, I always learn something new from the tour. Today was no exception. Thanks for this wonderful program!”
    Brea Olinda USD
  • “We find this experience to be of the highest quality! We attend field trips at other locations and find this one the best one. We appreciate the organization—from greeting students at the bus, to the payment method, to gathering lunches to saying goodbye.”
    Chaparral Elementary – Capistrano USD

Mission Matters:

  • “Our Adobe Bricks Class is absolutely the highlight of the day. The speaker is always so entertaining and interesting.”
    San Juan Elementary – Capistrano USD
  • “This is the 3rd year we’ve done this, and we love it! The kids have a great time doing it and the instructor was terrific!”
    Nixon Academy – ABC Unified School District
  • “As always, it’s a blast to visit the Mission and see history come to life. The students enjoyed the Adobe class. All the workers were welcoming. Thank you.”
    Holy Spirit School

Mission Store:

  • “I thought it was very organized, both the process in checking out as well as how the merchandise was displayed. I’m glad there was merchandise that the students could afford.”
    Belvedere Elementary – Los Angeles USD
  • “The store was very nice, clean, and organized. The students enjoyed shopping. There was a wide variety of items to choose from. The prices were great and reasonable so thank you!”
    Concordia Elementary – Capistrano USD

Parenting OC - Readers Choice Award 2016 - MSJC

14th Annual Parenting OC Readers’ Choice Awards – Best Historical Site
Mission San Juan Capistrano
10 Year Winner