at Turtle Bay Exploration Park

More than 14,000 visitors a year experience our school tour programs, from northern California, western Nevada and southern Oregon, to learn about the Sacramento River region, science, art, history, forestry and horticulture. You can make the most of your visit by choosing an option that best works for you: a basic self-guided experience, or enrich your visit with an interactive Exploration Class. Groups may also want to consider a stroll on the Sundial Bridge and through the Botanical Gardens. To schedule a field trip call 530-242-3108.

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Independent Exploration

  • August 30, 2017 – June 6, 2018 (Park closed Mondays & Tuesdays Sept. 5, 2017 – April 30, 2018)

Explore the galleries and grounds in small, chaperone-led groups. Engage your students with the many animals in our live animal collection. Explore all the connections to the natural world by visiting our botanical gardens. Discover the people who have called - and still call - this region their home. Visit our two changing exhibit galleries to see traveling exhibitions.  

Nature Explorers Backpacks

Grades PreK-6

  • August 30, 2017 – April 27, 2018

A great supplement for Independent Exploration! With a variety of exciting tools and activities, discover the nature around Turtle Bay’s campus using the Nature Explorers Backpacks. Teachers will be sent standards-based lessons that provide everything to create an exciting, interactive tour tailored to their students’ needs.  

Materials included: 20 backpacks each containing binoculars, bird identification book, thermometer/compass, window weather frame, journal, magnifying glass, bug jar, eye scope

Fee: $10 per 20 backpacks

Enrich Your Visit:

Exploration Classes offer interactive, informational and experiential opportunities that are designed to inspire your students. All programs are 60 minutes, unless otherwise stated. Your group may stay and enjoy the rest of the Park before or after your class. A minimum of 10 students is required for an Exploration Class.  Click here to download our 2017-18 school brochure. This document is not available yet.

  • Exploration Classes are offered 9 a.m. – Noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays from August 30, 2017 – January 25, 2018 and March 14, 2018 – April 26, 2018 (unless otherwise noted).

Animals! Animals! Animals!                 

Grades K-12

  • Offered 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Fridays

  • September 29, 2017 – February 2, 2018

Is it a predator or is it prey? Does it live on land, in water, or in the air? How do animals survive life in the wild? Unlock the mysteries of animals as we explore their incredible world. Get an up-close and personal look at the animals of Turtle Bay with this staff-led program. The Animal Care staff will be happy to customize this program to fit your curriculum on any animal related topic you are studying. Classes will be tailored to each grade level.

Light & Sound

Grades K-1

Learn about light and sound waves in this fun and hands-on program. Students will conduct experiments to discover the behavior, and effects of light and sound waves. Experiments will focus on different types of energy and how energy affects our daily lives. 

Matter Matters

Grades K-2

Discover the many qualities of matter in this exciting and hands-on program. Students will use the scientific method to investigate the states of matter and they will conduct experiments to build on their understanding of why matter really matters.

Life Cycles

Grades K-2

Metamorphosis and more! From the simple life cycles of mammals to the more complex life cycles of insects and amphibians, students will learn about different life stages through hands-on activities. Use this great program as a springboard to start your life cycle unit or as reinforcement at the end.

Exploring the Forest

Grades K-3  

Discover a forest’s history by learning about tree "cookies”. How old are the trees, and what types of challenges have they faced? Uncover a world of forest wildlife that sometimes goes unseen and discover the relationships between producers, consumers, and decomposers in the forest. This class provides hands-on activities from the Project Learning Tree curriculum and utilizes forest biofacts. 

Wintu Ways    

Grades 2-6  

Did you know that Turtle Bay sits on what was once Wintu territory? Sit in the replica Wintu bark house and discover how the Wintu used to use natural materials for shelter, food and tools and learn how they continue to use these materials for baskets, regalia and more, today. This class will bring to life traditional and contemporary Native American life ways with artifacts and hands-on activities.

Aqua Ecology

Grades 2-6

Water is one of the most necessary and life-supporting resources found on our planet. Students will conduct a simulated bio-assessment of a stream by sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates. By learning the process by which macroinvertebrates are assessed, results are recorded and pollution tolerance indexes are determined. Students are given the opportunity to learn monitoring techniques of local waters.

Earth Rocks!

Grades 3-4

Students will engage in activities designed to help them understand the characteristics of the three main rock types and the rock cycle. Students will have the opportunity to discover the natural history of Redding and experience a variety of Earth’s processes.  

Exploring Nanoscience

Grades 3-6

Students will learn the “Ins and Outs” of Nanoscale Science, scientific research that happens at the scale of atoms and molecules. They will discover that some things have different properties at a smaller scale, which allows scientists and engineers to create new materials and devices. Students will investigate how nano can already be involved in our everyday lives through various hands-on activities. 

Forest Ecology

Grades 4-6

Forests around the world are so much more than just trees! Using hands-on activities, students will learn about forest biology, the flow of energy, and the cycling of matter throughout the ecosystem. Students will also get a chance to see forest biofacts and learn all that tree rings can tell us about the forests of yesterday.

Planetary Process

Grades 5-6

Volcanoes and earthquakes are the movers and shakers of this class as students explore different processes that shape and mold the earth. Students will participate in hands on experiments and activities as well as observe examples of some of these ongoing processes. 

REU’s Energy Experience at Turtle Bay…“It’s My Planet”

Grades 3-5

  • September 1, 2017 – April 27, 2018

  • 9 a.m. – noon, (90 minute program) Fridays

FREE to schools in the Greater Redding area!  

$5 student fee and transportation fee underwritten by REU for the following areas:

  • All schools 3rd – 5th grade within the Redding City limits

  • Schools North to Mountain Gate

  • Schools East to Shingletown

  • Schools West to Old Shasta

  • Schools South to Cottonwood

Redding Electric Utility offers an “electrifying” education program on energy conservation and electrical safety presented by REU staff. Some of the areas covered are electrical safety, energy conservation and saving tips, renewable energy, and an exciting demonstration of the power of electricity performed by experienced REU linemen. After your electrifying REU program stay and explore all of Turtle Bay.

3rd Grade Museum Art Gallery Experience (MAGE)           

  • January 31 – March 8, 2018

  • Offered 9 a.m. – Noon, Wednesdays & Thursdays

FREE for Shasta County 3rd grade students!

Students will enjoy a docent-led tour of Art Exposed: Turtle Bay’s Permanent Collection followed by a hands-on art project designed to foster creativity. The tour and art project are aligned with 3rd Grade Visual Arts Content Standards.  

Generously sponsored by Jack and Kristen Schreder


All school programs must be registered at least two weeks in advance. After you register, you will be emailed a confirmation of your reservation, information to prepare for your field trip, driving directions, and a chaperone guide. With less than 48 hours’ notice, there is a non-refundable $50 charge for cancellations. To schedule your field trip, please call 530-242-3108.

Field Trip Fees

Independent Exploration

  • Students $4

  • Additional Chaperones $8

Animals! Animals! Animals!:

  • Student $6

  • Additional Chaperones $8

Other Exploration Classes:

  • Students $5

  • Additional Chaperones $8

FREE for: Teachers, Required Chaperones, Adult Members

Required chaperone ratio: Please determine designated chaperones and chaperone-led groups in advance of arrival and distribute chaperone guide to all adults attending. 

  • 1 adult chaperone per 2 students for preschool

  • 1 adult chaperone per 5 students for kindergarten and 1st grade

  • 1 adult chaperone per 8 students for 2nd grade and up

  • Teacher and required chaperones are admitted free.

  • Teachers are not included in the chaperone ratio

  • Teachers’ Aides are considered additional chaperones.


    Payment for your visit is due upon arrival by check, credit card, or purchase order.