Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Part natural history museum and part dynamic activity space, the Wilson Family Naturalist Center is packed with resources to explore. From a real dinosaur bone to a variety of books and hands-on activities, the opportunities to investigate are endless. Come in any time during open hours and discover the splendor of the natural world.
Now through December: As part of Steinhart Aquarium's centennial, view objects, artwork, and technology from the aquarium, including historic tiles and bronze decorative elements from the original 1923 building; a vintage underwater camera used by former Curator and Superintendent, Dr. Earl Herald; specimen skulls; historic documents and illustrations, and more.
Please note: Naturalist Center will be closed for maintenance Tuesday, February 27.
A wolverine's soft pelt, a false trumpet's spiraling shell, and so much more—hundreds of specimens pack the shelves of the Naturalist Center, ready to be explored.
Curious about California?
Get an up-close view of some of California’s native species beautifully displayed in a specimen cabinet as you enter the Naturalist Center.
Discover it yourself
From classics like The Origin of Species to a quirky roadkill field guide, the Naturalist Center offers a selection of books, magazines, and guides to fuel your curiosity and help you find answers to your California biodiversity questions.
Activities and more
With games, Mystery Boxes, scavenger hunts, and more, the Naturalist Center never stops in its mission to help visitors of all ages connect to the natural world.
The Naturalist Center is open 11 am-4:30 pm daily. Last entry is 4:15 pm. Find it on the third floor of the Academy—take the main stairs or elevators (located near the Café) and follow the aerial walkway.