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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Natural History & Natural Science Museums

Mission: CuriOdyssey, formerly Coyote Point Museum, is a science museum and native animal zoo recognized locally and nationally as a leader in informal science education. Our mission is to educate and inspire people to take care of the earth wisely. Since 1953, we have connected children of all ages to the wonders of the natural world. Today, we continue to spark the curiosity and imagination of more than 100,000 children and families each year through interactive science exhibits, exciting animal encounters, and engaging school and public programs.

Target demographics: Children between 5-10 years old.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Wildlife habitats:curiodyssey houses nearly 100 animals - from golden eagles to river otters - which put children up close with nature. All of our animals are non-releasable, meaning they have been injured or imprinted and would not survive if returned to their natural habitats. Once they are at curiodyssey, we care for them for the rest of their lives. Most of our animals are native to california, although we do house some non-native animals in our animal ambassadors program. All of our animals reinforce the organizations mission to help children acquire the tools to deeply understand the changing world by taking center stage in our wildlife habitats, school-based programs and public programs. Many of our animals live in our naturalistic wildlife habitats, through which visitors can wander. The habitats include a 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary, which houses approximately twenty-four native birds. Visitors can explore the wildlife exhibits on their own where they encounter the animals up-close and learn about their special features, adaptations, and native habitats. Each of the 25 habitats is individually designed to accommodate the particular needs of the animal or animals that live there. Curiodyssey is accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums (aza). Fewer than 10% of zoos and aquariums nationwide are accredited by aza.

changing exhibits/public programs:science exhibitions - we develop our exhibits in-house: our team creates innovative exhibits that you won't see anywhere else. Everything is designed to reinforce in children their own, natural inquisitiveness and build their powers of investigation and understanding. Camp - camp curiodyssey engages campers in an immersive journey exploring natural phenomena through science and the outdoors. The camp program fosters creativity, imagination and appreciation for nature. Each camp provides personal, interactive experiences for preschool through 8th grade youth.

community outreach/guest services:our community outreach is realized through advertising, promotions, and public relations. This marketing plays a vital role in informing not only the general public, but also teachers, parents, and children about our educational programs and exhibits. Curiodyssey's rental spaces provide a natural setting for a variety of events, including birthday parties, weddings, company retreats, and other celebrations. For evening events, guests have access to our beautiful gardens and our main building, which houses a variety of fascinating interactive exhibits. With prior arrangement with our wildlife department, guests may include an up close encounter with one of our many animal ambassadors.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am writing in praise of the excellent learning opportunity provide to children through the Growing Scientist classes at Coyote Point Museum. My son, Tommy, was three-years-old when he began taking the Growing Scientist class. Tommy is the kind of child who needs extra time to become comfortable in new settings and with new people. He is particularly shy around other children. He is a bit hypersensitive to certain things (smells, touch, noise) and becomes very upset when his hands get dirty. I have been enrolling Tommy in different classes to help desensitize him and to help him learn to socialize, but the class that has made the most impact on him is the Growing Scientist class. On our very first day in the Growing Scientist class the kids examined dirt. That is to say, the other kids examined dirt. Tommy just glanced at the bin and asked if class was over. But Teacher Cat had made magnifiers available, and that, along with some half-eaten worm food, sparked an interest. Tommy stopped asking if we were going to go home. Over the last few months Tommy has had several opportunities during class to examine insects, reptiles and amphibians in their natural environment. Tommy still refused to touch dirt with his hands, but I could sense he was becoming more comfortable with the idea. Imagine my surprise this past weekend when he actually brought me 2 earthworms he had found, and he was carrying them in his bare hands! One of our first experiments in the Growing Scientist class involved dropping different objects into buckets of water. Tommy became almost frantic when some of the objects began to sink, because he is afraid of losing things. He has now observed and/or participated in enough experiments to become fairly comfortable with the idea of things sinking, changing form, etc, yet I still expected him to become upset when Teacher Cat brought out the Alka-Seltzer rockets. I thought he would panic when the “rockets” shot into the air, but he actually helped to make the rockets and really enjoyed watching them. One series of classes was devoted to animals such as mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Teacher Cat brought out different animals for the children to touch and examine. By the end of this session Tommy was enthusiastically touching anything that was offered to him. I didn’t realize that this would carry over into another of his classes. I had enrolled Tommy in Spanish classes around the same time that he started the Growing Scientist classes. He liked his Spanish class except for one thing: the puppet show. Each week they would use different puppets to help teach new words. Tommy has always been afraid of puppets. Then one day we were watching the puppet show and a huge, hairy tarantula puppet came out. The kids all became very upset, with one little girl even breaking into sobs. Tommy just sat stoically on my lap, and I wondered what he was thinking while I reminded him that spiders are our friends. The teacher stopped the class and asked if anyone wanted to come up and touch the spider. The kids became even more upset. She asked again but the kids were visibly shaken. I asked Tommy if he wanted to touch the spider. He said yes and jumped up, walked up to the puppet and petted it several times. When the other kids saw this they calmed down and some of them became brave enough to pet the spider as well. As Tommy walked back to me, he had a huge smile on his face. He knew he had done something that none of the other kids could do. I know that some of the improvements that Tommy is making are due to the normal developmental process. However, I fully believe that many of the changes I am observing are a result of Tommy’s experiences in his Growing Scientist classes. Teacher Cat’s gentle encouragement and the enthusiasm of the other children have made Tommy feel safe to explore, to create and to experience new ideas and activities that he could not or would not do otherwise. I am so happy that we have found such a great learning opportunity, and you could not have a better teacher than Catherine Brett . She is outstanding. With her creativity, patience, flexibility and gentle nature she truly is an asset to the early education program at Coyote Point.


Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has participated in Coyote Point Museum camps for three years now and every year they get better. Last summer he went to 3 different sessions - Jr. Keepers, Earth Explorers, and Gadgets & Gismos - and loved every single one of them. The Camp Leaders are exceptional in their interactions with the kids and really encourage the kids to explore, even if that means spending extra time on each activity. They really want kids to think and come to their own conclusions about how things work, while providing supportive guidance for the kids in the quest for understanding. The Museum's camps were the only ones my son was adamant about signing up for this summer. I know that when I send him to Camp Coyote he is going to be well cared for, learn a lot, and most importantly, have a blast. I highly, highly recommend Coyote Point Museum's camps!



Rating: 5

I began volunteering at CPM with my then-high-school-aged daughter. She found the TWIG program and asked me to volunteer with her. We spent many memorable weekends volunteering -- showing native animals, engaging with visitors and generally enjoying this gem of a museum. We love the


Board Member

Rating: 5

Our family LOVES it here... my kids (and I) have been inspired by summer camps, love the hands on activities and are refreshed by the museum's new direction focused on family fun!


Board Member

Rating: 5

A wonderful place for all ages to enjoy the new exhibits, the wildlife show, the animals and birds, with experienced handlers to tell all about them. A spectacular view of the Bay.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Every time I go back there is something new to see. New exhibits seem to be out once a year. wildlife show is full every time Ive been there.