Cachuma Lake Nature Program Programs & Activities

Click here for the Monthly Nature Program Flier    

Weekly Programs:

Nature Cruises 

  • Let a Park Naturalists guide you on a 2-hour Lake Cruise aboard the Osprey. A 30-passenger pontoon boat with a canopy for shade and swivel style seats for easy wildlife viewing and personal comfort. The tour is an exploration of the lake as a Park Naturalist follows nature's serendipity to reveal the abundant natural and cultural riches.
  • Please Note: All cruises are canceled on Christmas Day. 
  • Click Here for complete information

Junior Rangers

  • Saturdays 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Ages 3 and up can learn about Cachuma Lake wildlife and earn a cool badge! Parents are invited to participate too. Kids under the age of ten must be with an adult. To help earn your badge, bring a bag of litter or recycling collected from Park grounds.  
  • Groups bringing over 10 participants are asked to call in advance. (805) 688-4515. Limited to 30 participants, first come, first served.
  • Fee: $3
  • For more information, go to the Junior Ranger Program
  • To schedule a Jr. Ranger session outside of the regularly scheduled time (depending upon staff availability), please call (805) 688-4515.

Nature Walks

  • Saturdays year-round: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Occasional Sunday walks are sometimes scheduled, please visit the Calendar of Events page to check. 
  • Meet at the Nature Center 10:00 a.m.
  • Free with Park Entry Fee.
  • Join a Cachuma Lake Park Naturalist or trained interpretive guide for an easy-paced 1/2-mile walk exploring the oak woodland and lakeside ecology. Bring water, hats and a sense of adventure. Pets are not permitted.
  • Groups bringing over 10 participants are asked to call in advance (805) 688-4515. Limited to 20 participants. First come, first served.
  • Private nature walks can also be arranged on different days or times (depending upon staff availability) by calling the Park Naturalist to make arrangements.
  • For more information, call the Park Naturalists at (805) 688-4515.

Arts and Crafts: Nature Sun Prints

  • Specially scheduled dates (check the Calendar of Events page to check) or by appointment, call (805) 688-4515 to set up a date and time. 
  • Meet at the Nature Center picnic tables.
  • Free with Park Entry Fee.
  • Native plants and other objects will be discussed, gathered and arranged on photosensitive paper to make a print. 
  • Appropriate for ages 4 and older. 
  • The activity size is limited to 20 participants on a first come, first served basis. 
  • For more information call the Park naturalist office at (805) 688-4515.

Summer 2019 Programs

  • Summer Evening Fireside Programs: Fridays and Saturdays (plus occasional Sunday) beginning, Friday June 21 and going through Saturday, September 7, 2019, at the Fireside Theater. The full summer line-up will be posted below in the spring of 2019.
  • We offer a variety of fun-filled evening entertainment. Join us under the stars for a movie night, live music, storytelling, or an interactive natural history presentation by a Santa Barbara County Park Naturalist or special guest presenter. 
  • Free with $10 per vehicle Park Admission
  • Astronomy Nights aka "Star Party": Join the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit for a stellar presentation on celestial highlights at the Cachuma Lake Fireside Theater. Telescopes will be available at the Dakota Plains for viewing the night sky after the program. For more information call (805) 688-4515.
  Date    Event 
Friday, June 21 Movie Night
Saturday, June 22 Live Music: The Vineyard Byrds 
Friday, June 28 Movie Night
Saturday, June 29 Live Music: The Vineyard Byrds 
Friday, July 5 Movie Night
Saturday, July 6 Star Party
Friday, July 12 Movie Night
Saturday, July 13 Live Music: The Vineyard Byrds 
Friday, July 19  Movie Night
Saturday, July 20 Star Party  
Friday, July 26 Movie Night
Saturday, July 27 Star Party  
Friday, August 2 Movie Night
Saturday, August 3 Star Party 
Friday, August 9 Movie Night
Saturday, August 10 Live Music: The Vineyard Byrds 
Friday, August 16 Movie Night
Saturday, August 17 Star Party
Friday, August 23 Movie Night
Saturday, August 24 Live Music: The Vineyard Byrds 
Friday, August 30 Movie Night
Saturday, August 31 Star Party 
Sunday, September 1 Live Music: America's Apostrophes 

BONUS FIRESIDE PROGRAMS:

Friday, May 24: Movie Night

Saturday, May 25: Star Party

Sunday, May 26: Live Music with America's Apostrophes

Saturday, September 7: Star Party 


Annual Events & Field Workshops

Creepy Creatures of Cachuma Lake 

2019 Date: TBA, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. . Location: Lawn at the Neal Taylor Nature Center. Free with $10 per vehicle Park Admission

The Cachuma Lake Recreation Area and Neal Taylor Nature Center conspire to offer this wonderfully creepy event! Fall under the spell of living owls, bats, spiders, snakes, and scorpions. Touch a collection of skulls and bones that will rattle your bones! Enjoy enchanting live music, make a mask, and get a face painting.  Witches will lurk on the sidelines with punch and popcorn. This event wouldn't be possible without our special guests: Alice Abela with her menagerie of insects, snakes, and spiders; Santa Barbara Audubon's Eye's in the Sky program, including Max the owl; Todd Baron the magical Balloon Man, and Nammy Jammy and the Captain with lively acoustic music. A mini-garage sale, which includes a variety of small treasures, including used books, will also be open in the nature center garage from 10:30-1:30. For more information call county Park Naturalist Rosey Bishop at (805) 688-4515, or email rbishop@co.santa-barbara.ca.us


The Neal Taylor Nature Center

  • A visit to the Nature Center alone is a worth a trip to Cachuma Lake. The Center is a private, non-profit organization full of interactive exhibits for children and adults about Cachuma Lake, the Santa Ynez River Watershed, and local cultural and natural history. Santa Barbara County Parks at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area works with the assistance of the Center on several popular programs. For full information about the Neal Taylor Nature Center, their hours and programs, please go here.