Kids get the chance to touch a rosy boa at the Naturalist’s Cabin at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. (Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)

Let your kids be curious this summer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Nature Adventures Camps! With hands-on exhibits and the chance to run around in the museum’s backyard, Nature Adventures allows kids to explore the natural world and inspires wonder.

“Instead of a ‘look and don’t touch’ experience, we invite kids to a ‘look and please touch’ environment,” nature education manager Justin Canty explained.

One of the best places for children to try out this “look and please touch” philosophy is the Curiosity Lab. This ever-changing exhibit showcases the museum’s latest research and encourages kids to engage with the material in front of them.

They can go on a Curiosity Lab scavenger hunt, draw animal skulls, or participate in an activity through which they can smell what ants smell.

Kids can also look at and touch bugs and reptiles in the Naturalist’s Cabin in the museum’s backyard at 2559 Puesta del Sol.

“A lot of kids are afraid to touch bugs,” Nature Adventures manager Ty Chin-Eddy said. “We also encourage them to touch kelp. It’s kind of slimy, you know. Lots of these experiences are firsts for the kids.”

By presenting these exhibitions and experiences, Canty and Chin-Eddy hope that children will learn to ask their own questions about what is in front of them, and grow in a unique educational environment.

“Our philosophy is hands-on and inquiry based,” Chin-Eddy said. “The sooner you plant the seed in (the kids), the more inquisitive they become.”

Along with increasing their exposure to the outdoors, Nature Adventures allows for lots of play time for children. They play in the backyard, which is equipped with climbing rocks in Boulder Alley and also contains a pathway with willow arches, a creek to splash in and tree stumps to jump on.

“We find that kids don’t get a lot of outdoor time,” Chin-Eddy said. “So we always try to put a lot of activities outside so they can get fresh air.”

In Nature Adventures, kids will not only spend lots of time outdoors, but have the opportunity to ask questions and develop a passion for learning in Santa Barbara’s ultimate playground.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Nature Adventures Camps.

(Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)

(Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)
(Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)

(Frankie Victoria / Noozhawk photo)