The Robert and Elizabeth Karplus Outdoor Nature Lab

Tuesday - Sunday

All Ages


Explore nature in our backyard in this all-new outdoor experience at The Lawrence! Begin a journey of discovery in nature that you can follow wherever your curiosity takes you. From nature journaling to binoculars, you will learn about skills and tools that you can use to observe nature anywhere there is a patch of green.

Follow your curiosity

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Self-Guided Activities

Grab one of our Self-Directed Activity Guides to explore and discover at your own pace. Each activity is outlined in a step-by-step format that encourages engaging and connecting with nature both here at The Lawrence and in green spaces everywhere.

  • Lichen Explorations
    What’s that weird green or yellow stuff that grows on trees and rocks? Why does it sometimes seem scabby and other times seem hairy? You’ll use a hand-lens to observe lichen growing on logs and branches, and learn about what lichen is and how it grows!
  • Nature Journaling: Scavenger Hunt
    How to create your own nature journal? We have suggestions for objects, colors, and experiences you can find nearby. Through the use of observations, colored pencils, and hand lenses, you can record your findings in words or drawings!
  • Nature Photography: Macrobands
    Cameras, even the one on a cell phone, can be a powerful way to explore natural phenomena. Try adding a macro lens with our flexible, elastic macrobands to reveal detail that your naked eye might have missed!

Facilitated Activities (When Available)

If you are looking for a more in-depth experience with one of our educators, facilitated activities are available! Step up to one of our state-of-the-art high definition spotting scopes and learn from our staff how they work and what you can use them for when making nature observations. Plus, participate in a guided exploration of nature artifacts ranging from sticks and leaves to bark beetle galleries and more. Practice asking questions and making observations about the natural world around you.

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.

Plan Your Visit



Age 3+: $20

Kids under 2: FREE

Members: FREE

Learn More >

3D Theater

Admission + $4

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