School Tours | Speakers Bureau | Children's Programs


Rancho Adventure Program


This program is offered Fridays at 3:30, or by special arrangement
throughout the school year.

Please call for reservations for a group of 8-20. Fee is $3/child.

Program lasts approximately 90 minutes.


Rancho Los Cerritos has developed a new program for youth groups in the greater Long Beach area. This enrichment opportunity will expose youngsters to early California and Long Beach history in an entertaining and educational manner.


According to Rancho Los Cerritos Education Director Dr. Meighan Maguire, "The Rancho Adventure Program's engaging tour format--which adds historic chores and games to a fast-paced tour of the site's historic adobe house and gardens--will appeal to young visitors and allow them to better understand what daily life was like on a 19th century California rancho."


The Rancho Adventure Program is staffed in part by high-school students. "Our teen volunteers are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with scout groups, home schools, after-school clubs, and other youth groups interested in local history," Dr. Maguire said.


View The Flyer



Summer Adventures


This history-themed day camp is designed for children ages 6-10 years old.  Participants will learn about life in Old California through historic crafts, hands-on activities, games and stories. 


Programming will focus on daily life at the Rancho. Activities change from week to week, but participants may churn butter, dip candles, punch tin, tool leather, stomp mud and more!




There are four 1-week sessions offered:

Vaquero: July 18-22, ages 6-10, $115/week,10-2pm

Old Time: July 25-30, ages 6-10, $115/week,10-2pm

Adobe: Aug 1-5, ages 6-10, $115/week,10-2pm

View Flyer

Unplugged: Aug 8-12, ages 11-13, $130/week,10-3pm

View Flyer

Registration Now Open Spaces are Limited

Call 562-206-2040 to reserve a spot


School Tours


Offered October - June from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday Mornings

Adobe Days Revisited, an award-winning school program for local fourth-graders, supplements the state history curriculum with an educational adventure at one of California's best preserved 19th century ranchos!

When students arrive at the Rancho, they are asked to step back in time, to the year 1878, when the Bixby family operated a sheep ranch here. As our young guests tour the site and participate in various hands-on activities, their exposure to and appreciation of life in 19th century rural California is extended far beyond what they might learn from their textbook.

Jointly created by Rancho Los Cerritos and the Long Beach Unified School District, Adobe Days Revisited can accommodate up to 72 fourth-grade students per day. Tour groups are expected to arrive at the Rancho by 9:20 a.m. Rancho Los Cerritos has outdoor picnic tables, where students can enjoy their bag lunches after the tour.


View our Field Trip flyer

To request a tour, please complete and submit this form by mail, email, or fax:
Field Trip Application

For more information, please contact Jan Shafer, Director of Visitor Services, at 562-206-2042, or via email at

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Teacher Kit available for

4th grade classes!


KIT #1

"Handling History: Exploring Daily Life on the Rancho in the 1840s"

This teacher kit provides a rich understanding of daily life on one of Southern California's great cattle ranches during the 1840s. The "Handling History Curriculum Guide" includes five integrated, comprehensive units that focus on the daily activities or rancheros, ranch workers and their families at Rancho Los Cerritos during the 1840s, as well as the factors that helped speed the demise of the cattle ranching era in Southern California.


KIT #2

"Through Children's Eyes: Rancho Life with Harry and Sarah"

This unique educational outreach kit dramatically enhances student understanding of daily life on a nineteenth century Southern California Sheep ranch. By looking through the eyes of the rancho children-Harry & Sarah Bixby-students will learn about daily work and workers, domestic lifestyles, and the similarities and differences between their own lives and those of the Bixby family. "Through Children's Eyes" includes detailed lesson plans, creative classroom activities, a video, and a wide selection of artifacts and photographs. These provide classroom teachers with the tools they need to present interactive explorations of California's ranching history during the 1870s period.


After attending a training session, you will be eligible to borrow "Handling History" or "Through Children's Eyes." 4th grade teachers who would like to borrow this kit should contact the Rancho's Education Department at 562-206-2040.


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Speakers Bureau Programs

Speakers Bureau programs are available free of charge to groups of ten or more who meet within a reasonable driving distance of the Rancho. A minimum of two weeks advance notice is needed. To book a speaker, please contact the Rancho office at 562-206-2040.

Rancho Los Cerritos offers a variety of exciting speakers for your group's next program or meeting. Our informed presenters bring to life a bygone era with vivid images and lively dialog. Each program covers a different aspect of the Rancho:

Rancho Los Cerritos: The Roots of Long Beach (slides, 45 minutes). Trace the history of Rancho Los Cerritos from its origins as a Spanish land grant to its transformation into a historic site. This presentation touches upon the history of the Rancho, our current educational programs, and our plans for the future.

Rancho Los Cerritos: A Brief Overview (slides, 20 minutes). Find out why Rancho Los Cerritos is one of southern California's most important historic sites. This short presentation is designed for community-based groups that want to learn more about one of Long Beach's cultural treasures.

Return to Adobe Days: Memoir of a California Girl (slides & audio, 25 minutes). Explore early California through the eyes of Sarah Bixby Smith, who often visited the Rancho in the late 19th century as a young girl. In this presentation, Sarah's colorful words are paired with striking images of Rancho Los Cerritos during the 1870s.

All in the Families: A Tale of Rancho Los Cerritos (slides, 30 minutes). Rancho Los Cerritos was home to three prominent families between the 1840s and 1940s. Learn what brought these families out west, and discover how their efforts helped shape the destiny of Long Beach and other surrounding communities.

California Native Plants of Rancho Los Cerritos (slides, 40 minutes). This informative presentation discusses the native plants, while also calling attention to some of our earliest botanical immigrants. Discover how early settlers used these plants in their daily lives.

The Gardens of Rancho Los Cerritos (slides, 30 minutes). Rancho Los Cerritos was home to one of the earliest private gardens in southern California. Learn about the plants introduced in the 1850s by John Temple, who built the adobe. Trace the garden's subsequent evolution, including the major redesign by landscape architect Ralph Cornell, in 1931. Discover our plans for maintaining and restoring these beautiful gardens.

Voices from the Past (video, 18 minutes). Experience the sights and sounds of early California as your group explores the history of the Rancho through various eyes: a Chinese cook, an Irish foreman, a Mexican vaquero, and Mr. & Mrs. Jotham Bixby.

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