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The Museum Backyard

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  The Museum Backyard
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Naturally Different

Explore and discover the wonders of nature in The Museum Backyard. Climb boulders,  build a fort, search for bugs and small critters, create mudpies, explore the water course, perform on stage, and so much more.

Meet other families and make new friends.  Enjoy being outdoors in The Museum Backyard.


Backyard fun outdoor 805

 Creek side explore Build camp enjoy outdoor 

The Museum's Backyard is the place for nature exploration. Guests can BUILD an outdoor fort; SEARCH for invertebrates in the mulch pile; EXPLORE a recirculating outdoor waterway, CREATE a mudpie; OBSERVE Audubon Society's "Eyes in the Sky" birds of prey;and LEARN and PLAY in our inviting oakwoodland cooridor. The Nature Club House is also open periodically Tuesday-Sunday (see below for times and details).


Guests are invited to enjoy the Backyard during regular Museum hours. The Nature Club House is a space where guests can get hands-on with live animals, insects and specimens found in the oakwoodland.

All guests must enter through the main Admissions Office. Guests are welcome to explore the Nature Club House when it is open and staffed by a Backyard Naturalist.

Club House hours change from week to week. Hours are posted each week outside of the Admissions Office and on the deck of the Club House.

Nature Club House Hours

Tuesday, March 21: 10:00AM-Noon

Wednesday, March 22: 10:00AM-Noon

Thursday, March 23: 10:00AM-Noon

Friday, March 24: 10:00AM-Noon

Saturday, March 25: 10:00AM-1:00PM

Sunday, March 26: 10:00AM-1:00PM

Monday, March 27: CLOSED

Tuesday, March 28: 10:00AM-Noon


Eyes in the Sky (EITS) has been Santa Barbara Audubon’s (SBAS) key wildlife education program since 2000. It features seven birds of prey that serve as education ambassadors. All were rescued and rehabilitated but, due to permanent disabilities, can no longer survive in the wild.  

In March 2011 all birds moved from the EITS Director's residence to the Museum's Backyard. SBAS/EITS continues to run the raptor education program, and both organizations are benefitting; the Museum has gained an enhanced educational experience to offer its visitors, and SBAS has gained permanent and secure housing for the birds.

For more information on Audubon Society and Eyes in the Sky, visit: 

Museum Programs:

Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 2:00-4:00PM
Meet Eyes in the Sky Raptors at the Museum Oak Tree (next to Broder Bridge).

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2:00-4:00PM
Meet Eyes in the Sky Raptors in the Museum Backyard.

Tuesdays 2:00-4:00PM
Meet Eyes in the Sky Owls in the Museum Backyard

(Photo Credits: Red-Tail (Zoe Stevents); Great-Horned Owl (Gabriele Drozdowski); Kestrel (Lois Haymes); Barn Owl (John O'Brien)


Practice your Naturalist skills and check out one of our Nature Exploration Packs from the Curiosity Lab to use in the Museum Backyard. Adults will be asked to leave a photo ID with the Naturalist upon check-out.


Birding Pack: Spot the birds of the Backyard. Pack comes with bird identification guide, notepad and binoculars.

Invertebrate Pack: Rummage through the SEARCH pile and find invertebrates. Pack comes with magnifier, trowel, invertebrate identification guide, collection cup and notepad.

Creek Pack: Explore Mission Creek. Pack comes with aquatic invertebrate guide, collection cup and net.


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