Taking time out from your routine once in a while and taking a family day trip somewhere is an amazing bonding and educational opportunity. California has so much of such nearby places to offer, so take advantage of it and travel with your partner and with your little ones, discover new things, and make some precious memories.
Mission San Juan Capistrano is a great place to spend a family day – beautiful, historic, educational, and relaxing. You can marvel at stunning authentic Spanish architecture all over the city of San Juan Capistrano. The mission definitely was a big influence on surrounding area’s culture and religion.
You should not experience any problems with your car, because unlike many places in California, Mission has plenty of free parking spaces all around, making it very convenient for the guests. The best lots are just South and North of Ortega Highway and El Camino Real.
The total of nine missions was founded in 1776 by Saint Junipero Serra. This Mission is the seventh of them. California has 21 missions overall. Just like all other missions, it was established to spread the Catholic faith among new settlers.
It is interesting to know that the Serra Chapel is the only California chapel that remains intact where Saint Serra held Mass. This is of great significance to the religious community. It is the reason why the church is visited by millions each year. The Mass service at the main Basilica is usually busy, so try finding out times and information ahead of time and plan around it if you want to participate.
Mission visits are a great opportunity to experience some hands-on learning about the culture and the past. Children’s audio tour is amazing. Kids will enjoy listening and seeing everything at the same time. The map is also provided, so you will know where you are and what numbers to choose on your device. The tour resembles a scavenger hunt and what kid doesn’t love those? The story on the audio is kid-friendly, so very easy to keep up and understand.
The mission museum offers many activities for kids. Some of them might take some time, but they all together fit in a day’s time, so definitely worth trying. If you like to plan your day very precisely, you can check the times for each activity on the website and figure out your schedule. A few activities are not available every day, so make sure you look at their calendar. Here is a list of 10 activities for the whole family to enjoy:
- Take the audio tour
- Explore the Mission Clubhouse
- Observe butterflies and koi pond fish
- Visit the living quarters of Padres and soldiers
- Learn about Acjachemen Indian basket making techniques
- Visit the demonstration gardens and curiosity carts
- Do gold panning, make Adobe bricks or craft your own necklace from arrowheads
- Check out summer camps for kids
- If you are a scout, get a badge
- Listen about Adobe house and stroll doll making
The Mission hosts many activities for kids throughout the year. They also have very exciting summer camp opportunities, like Adventure Sleepover or Ceramics Camp. During the Sleepover Camp families come with their sleeping bags and spend an adventurous night in the historic facility. What an awesome family fun is that!
The Mission holds a key to the history of faith and culture of early settlers. It is famous for world renowned swallows. San Juan Capistrano Mission was built on and for faith and to this day serves the purpose and is an active place of worship. It is wonderful for learning and even better for those family bonding times. Photography is allowed and encouraged, so take pictures of the beautiful grounds, gardens, architecture, and most importantly, you and your loved ones.
The swallows come back to the Mission every year, so the town of San Juan Capistrano holds an event to celebrate their return on March 19th, the day of Saint Joseph. The famous birds spend their summer and raise their young here, and then leave for Argentina in October. The birds have done this migration for hundreds of years and are very significant faithful travelers and residents of the most famous Mission in California.
The Mission is sometimes called the “Jewel of Missions” and will not disappoint you. The visit here might ignite a life-long passion for history and culture in your kids, so bring them here, and bring them often if you have a chance.
The Mission is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day, except major holidays.
The fee for adults is $9, kids over 3 – $6. This price includes audio tours.
Please use this coupon for your next trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano has a Resident Appreciation Day
Every Wednesday San Juan Capistrano residents can visit Mission San Juan Capistrano for free, I.D is required
You also get a free admission to Mission San Juan Capistrano when a $10 purchase is made in the Mission Store.
Address: 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
For more free admissions to museums and attractions please see Free Admissions to Museums