Indoor Activities

Although most visitors consider Point Reyes National Seashore to be primarily a park at which to enjoy the outdoors, there are three Visitor Centers in which one can find shelter and learn more about Point Reyes during inclement weather. In the Visitor Centers, one will find informative exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Point Reyes area. Please see our Visitor Centers page to learn more about the Bear Valley, Kenneth C. Patrick and Lighthouse Visitor Centers. Or visitors with an appointment are welcome to check out the artwork that is on display in the Red Barn Classroom.

During inclement weather, visitors may also wish to visit the Jack Mason Museum in Inverness or the Bolinas Museum in Bolinas. There are also numerous art galleries in the vicinity.

Visitors may also request and view a number of audio-visual programs at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.


Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium

Now Showing:

  • "Point Reyes: The Point of Kings" - Point Reyes Orientation (16 minute video)
  • "Enchanted Shore" - Inspiring Images of the Seashore (20 minute slide presentation)
  • "Something Special" - Point Reyes Orientation and Introduction (22 minute video)
  • "On a Barren Rock" - Point Reyes Lighthouse History (11 minute video)
  • "A Spark of Life" - 1995 Vision Fire (12 minute video)
  • "Welcome to Kule Loklo" - Coast Miwok Indians (20 minute video)
  • "Cordell Bank: Blue Water Oasis" (15 minute video)
  • "Life at the Ocean's Edge" - Natural history of the threatened snowy plover and least tern (21 minute video)
  • "A Sheltered Sea - The Journey of the California Marine Life Protection Act" (23 minute video)
  • "This is America" - Preview of Ken Burns' 12-hour mini-series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" which was broadcast on PBS in September 2009 (45 minute video)

Audio-visual programs are shown on request. Inquire at the desk about additional offerings.

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Ranger giving a presentation to visitors using the Science on a Sphere.

Science On a Sphere

Attend a presentation of the park's Science On a Sphere® (SOS) at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. SOS presentations may be offered as a "Ranger's Choice" program at 1:30 pm on weekends. Check the program schedule on our Schedule of Events: Weekend Ranger Programs page, or stop by or call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 to learn when the next SOS program will be offered. We also have a variety of SOS films which can be viewed at other times of the day.

Science On a Sphere® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed SOS® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

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Red Barn Art Exhibitions

In 2003, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) established the art gallery in the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore. Rotating painting, photography, and educational exhibits several times a year, themes of the selected shows reflect the natural or cultural aspects of the Seashore and surrounding area. PRNSA sponsors the Art Exhibitions and handles all art show sales, a portion of which supports the Point Reyes National Seashore Museum and Archives Research Services. For art sales, contact the PRNSA Business Manager at 415-663-1200 x302 or by email. If you are interested in exhibiting your art work in the Red Barn, download and submit the Red Barn Art Gallery Guidelines for Artists and Application for Exhibit (116 KB PDF).

The Red Barn art gallery is open by appointment only, daily, 9 am to 4 pm; closed holidays and as otherwise noted. Please contact Carola DeRooy at 415-464-5218 or by email to schedule an appointment or for more information. For most exhibitions, there is also an accompanying artist reception, which is open to everyone.

To get to the Red Barn Classroom, follow the directions to Point Reyes National Seashore. As you proceed up the access road toward the Bear Valley Visitor Center, turn left at the sign for the Red Barn Classroom.

Painting: "View from Chimney Rock" by Lissa Nicolaus.

"BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes"
Photo opportunities: August 8 and 22, 2015;
Artists receptions: September 5 and 6, 2015;
Exhibition: September 5 through October 11, 2015.

Marin County's BayWood Artists will present an exhibition and sale of landscape paintings at two West Marin locations beginning on Labor Day weekend. "BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes" features recent paintings of Point Reyes National Seashore, as well as depictions of the town of Point Reyes Station. The exhibit will take place at the park's Red Barn Gallery and at Toby's Feed Barn Art Gallery in Point Reyes Station. The artists will donate up to 50% of the proceeds from "BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes" to Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) for restoration and preservation of the national seashore. Prior to the benefit sale and show, the public can observe the artists at work in various locations in West Marin creating paintings en plein air that will be for sale at the “BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes” exhibits. (See times and locations below.)

Photo opportunities:

  • Saturday, August 8: A group of the BayWood Artists will be painting en plein air in various locations around downtown Point Reyes Station beginning at 9 am.
  • Saturday, August 22: A group of the BayWood Artists will be painting en plein air at the Bear Valley Visitor Center in Point Reyes National Seashore beginning at 9 am.

Opening Receptions and Exhibit Locations:

  • Saturday, September 5: The exhibit at the Red Barn at Point Reyes National Seashore opens with an artist reception and light refreshments from noon to 5 pm on Saturday, September 5. The exhibit at the Red Barn will also be open from noon to 5 pm on weekends through October 11 (except on Saturday, October 10, when the Red Barn exhibit will be closed). Visitors can also view and purchase a selection of the artists' works in the Bear Valley Visitor Center on Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, and on weekends and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm. Visitors may also view the paintings in the Red Barn Classroom on weekdays BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Contact Carola DeRooy at 415-464-5125 or by email to schedule an appointment.
  • Sunday, September 6: Concurrently, the group will exhibit work at Toby's Feed Barn Art Gallery in downtown Point Reyes Station. An artist reception will be held there on Sunday, September 6, from noon to 4 pm. The art can be viewed daily for the month of September during Toby's regular business hours.

BayWood Artists is a group of professional Northern California artists dedicated to helping preserve and protect areas recognized as particularly beautiful and important to future generations. Since its founding in 1997, the BayWood group has partnered each year with a Bay Area nonprofit environmental organization to produce a show illustrating their passion for preserving the landscape and to raise funds for important conservation causes. This year the sale of paintings by this remarkable group of artists will benefit the Point Reyes National Seashore Association to ensure that this uniquely beautiful area of parkland open space will be preserved for generations to come.

According to BayWood Artists spokesperson Zenaida Mott, "We in Marin and the greater Bay Area are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of our protected open spaces. But we also recognize that this amazing heritage and its protections are fragile. So through our paintings, we strive as a group and as individual artists to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of those lands with the hope that they may be passed down to future generations to enjoy."

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Earlier Red Barn Art Exhibitions have included:

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