Outdoor Nature Lab


Outdoor Nature Lab: Access the Outdoor Nature Lab from downstairs on C level. Walk past room E and the restrooms to find the entrance to the Outdoor Nature Lab.

Explore nature and connect with the various organisms that call our backyard "home," in this outdoor experience at The Lawrence.

Follow Your Curiosity

Follow wherever your curiosity takes you and get hands-on with the local flora and fauna. From birding with binoculars to observing the bees and other pollinators, you will learn about skills and tools that can help you observe nature anywhere there is a patch of green.


Nature Mystery Experience

Become a Nature Detective and investigate a mystery that has occurred within the Outdoor Nature Lab! Put your observation skills to the test as you analyze 3 pieces of evidence to try and determine which animal (or animals?!) are to blame for the mystery.

A group of young people are observing nature using binoculars in the Outdoor Nature Lab

Birding Scavenger Hunt

Hidden around the lower level of the Outdoor Nature Lab are 6 birds waiting to be found and identified by YOU!  Grab a Bird ID guide, a birding sheet, and a pair of binoculars to start your adventure and see if you can find them all.  (Changes seasonally)

Up Close Viewers

You can use our bug-catchers to put natural artifacts inside for closer examination and discovery.  Anything can go into these viewers except for flying insects (such as bees, wasps, butterflies, etc.). They can examine flowers, acorns, leaves, fungus, lichen, and more!

A young person is observing nature in the Outdoor Nature Lab

Hand Lenses

Grab one of our hand lenses of assorted sizes to observe our natural world up-close. Choose any of our hand-lenses and practice making observation, looking for patterns, asking questions, and uncovering the hidden secrets of nature.

Two girls and a staff member investigate flowers in the Outdoor Nature Lab

Collect Scientific Data for Climate Ambassadors

Have you ever wanted to participate in a crowd-sourced science project? Teen scientists from our Climate Ambassadors program are asking visitors for their help gathering data for their research project! These passionate teens are studying the biodiversity of the Outdoor Nature Lab and the impact of native versus non-native plants. The Climate Ambassadors will be at The Lawrence to connect with visitors on March 24, from 2:30–3:30 p.m. and April 14 from 2:15–2:45 p.m.

Watercolors and Nature

Try your hand at one of the unique ways to connect to the outdoors–through watercolors. Borrow a water-coloring kit to use anywhere in the Outdoor Nature Lab, or sit at our table station and create your own inspired masterpiece. Once finished, you may donate it to our shareback wall and become part of our living art installation.

Sensory Discovery Hunt

Bring your little explorer and experience the Outdoor Nature Lab through your sense of touch, smell, sight, and sound. Listen to a Red-Tailed Hawk call in the sky, compare the scent of a Black Sage and Lavender leaf, feel the ridges of a Coast-Live Oak acorn, and look for all the colors of the rainbow.

Local Fauna

The Outdoor Nature Lab is a living ecosystem home to native plants and animals. Here are a few animals you might spot when exploring our backyard!

Anna’s hummingbird
(photo credit: Berkeley student Cleo Lu)

Western fence lizard

Acorn woodpecker
(photo credit: Berkeley student Cleo Lu)

Monarch butterfly

Coming Soon

Ohlone Language & Traditions

As part of the ‘ottoy initiative, new signage will soon be added to the Outdoor Nature Lab in the native Ohlone language Chochenyo, the first language spoken in the East Bay. Visitors will be greeted by a land acknowledgment in Chochenyo. Additional new signage will share the Chochenyo words and traditional uses for various native plants in our pollinator garden.

Who are Robert and Elizabeth Karplus?

The Outdoor Nature Lab is named in honor of Robert & Elizabeth Karplus. Learn more about their legacy and connection to UC Berkeley and The Lawrence Hall of Science.


Sundays, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Through August 13

Join us each Sunday this summer to create art using the power of the sun! Harness the power of UV light to create a collectible image that you can take home and share with family and friends.  Kits are also available to purchase in our Discovery Store during normal business hours, as well as our online store.

Plan Your Visit



Age 3+: $20

Kids under 2: FREE

Members: FREE

Learn More >

3D Theater

$4 + Admission


$4 + Admission

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