Updated November 20, 2020

Dear Museum Friends,


We were very excited to be open on Nov 14th and 15th, and it was good to see volunteers, visitors and hear the pitter patter of feet throughout the museum again.  Unfortunately, it only lasted a weekend. Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Kern county and change to purple tier, BVM had to close again.  We will be temporarily closed until there is a change in Kern County COVID status.  Our hope is that, as we do our part as recommended by the local health department, these efforts will help ensuring the health of our community.   

This COVID 19 pandemic is like nothing we have ever experienced. It has been a very tough time for so many individuals and businesses. The museum has survived the closing for 8 months. This was only possible because the museum was fortunate enough to receive the forgivable loans offered through federal PPP and Kern County Kern Small Business Recovery. Those funds have now been used up! However, during the past eight months, BVM was able to keep employees working. Even though the museum was closed to the public, much was going-on behind the scenes. Employees and volunteers were busy making science educational videos and getting many of our gift shop items ready for the on-line store. We were also busy making changes and freshening up many exhibits.  Also, a few major building repairs were accomplished during that time.

We are planning live ZOOM sessions, "Meet the Expert!" These sessions will be with a paleontologist, archeologist, geologist, our curator or other experts in the science fields. Watch for those dates to become available, and attendance will be limited.  If you are interested in a particular area, please Email info@buenavistamuseum.org to be added to the list. The museum and staff are committed to bringing new and engaging programs to our community.     

We thank all those who have continued to support the museum in so many ways during these challenging times.  We know a donation might not be possible for some at this time; however, if you are inclined to support the museum please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the museum. Every donation, every dollar all adds up!  

While we feel the struggle now, we will survive to be stronger. The museum is in its 25th year serving the community as an educational science resource.  We have many plans for the future!  Please know that our doors will be open to the public as soon as it is considered safe for all.  Our main concern at this time is that everyone stays healthy. 

Thank you for your continued support of the museum and our mission!  Please take care, and stay well. 



Koral Hancharick

BVM Executive Director

Updated November 12, 2020

Dear Museum Friends,

During the past 8 months the museum has been closed do to the pandemic.  This has been a tough time.  Although, I have been at the museum many days a week.  I have missed seeing our members, volunteers, visitors and even staff. Many times in the past few months the COVID status has looked like the museum might be able to open, but one thing or another kept us from opening.   At this time, I am pleased to announce that the museum will be opening Saturday Nov. 14th!  


To start, we will be open weekends only, Saturday 10am - 4pm and Sunday 12pm -4pm. 


With hopes of opening more days in the next few weeks and eventually back to our regular hours. This is all depending on the COVID Status of Kern County, our staff and volunteer availability.  


To protect everyone and slow the spread of COVID 19, we are requiring:

  • Masks to be worn when visiting the museum. 

  • Within the museum we will be practicing social distancing, and there are markers on the floors.

  • We ask that individuals and each family groups please help by staying a minimum of 6ft apart. 

  • Also, Our Oh! Zone (hands-on area) will not be available at this time. We hope to reopen this area and the i-sandbox when it is safe to do so.  


When visiting you will notice a few changes. One is the African and Asian animals display, as well as many other displays have received a fresh look.  The museum also has new security gates that I hope you will find entertaining too. They are a work in progress, and over the next month or so you will see them be completed. 

During the closure time, the museum volunteers and staff have been making educational videos.  These educational videos can be viewed by visiting our website.  Click on "Explore Videos" for fun science experiments as well as presentations on several of the museum exhibit areas and geology too. We also have a new online store with a few items and more to be added soon.


I thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time and your continued support has allowed us to be able to re-open.  We look forward to seeing you. Please take care and stay well. 



BVM Executive Director

Updated April 4, 2020

Dear Museum Members and Friends,
We hope this update finds you and your family safe and healthy. Currently, the museum and all scheduled events will be cancelled or postponed until further notice. We are carefully watching the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and like you we miss our daily routine. Typically, the month of April is one of the busiest times for the museum. With school tours almost every day, science enrichment sessions, fundraisers and special events! We miss it all!  Even though we are closed to the public, the Board and Staff are working on ways for the museum to survive this unprecedented time. Please be assured that we will open as soon as it is safe and healthy for all.  Until then, we are working on a series of mini lectures and science experiment videos that we hope to have available through our website very soon.  If this is something that interests you, for yourself and/or your children, please keep an eye on 

For our Members, please know while we are closed, your membership is on hold.  We appreciate your support and will be extending your membership for the time that we are closed. This will give you a little extra time to enjoy the museum after we reopen. If you are looking to support the museum by renewing or becoming a new member, you can do so by clicking here.  For new members, your membership will be effective on the date the museum reopens and you will also receive an additional month at no extra charge. 
We thank all those who have continued to send in your donations and provide support for the museum during these challenging times.  We have some GOOD NEWS! The Matching 25K Donor has extended the time through July. We know a donation might not be possible for some at this time, however if you are inclined to support the museum please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the museum during the matching grant challenge.  Every donation, every dollar all adds up!  Your donation will be matched doubling its value. Click
here to make a donation.
We love our museum and our community! While we feel the struggle now, we will survive to be stronger.  We are already planning fun things for the future. Please know that our doors will be open to the public as soon as it considered safe for all.  Our concern at this time is that everyone stays healthy and is enjoying the extra time with their families. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces when we reopen. 
I thank you for your continued support of Buena Vista Museum!
Take care and stay well.  
Koral Hancharick
BVM Executive Director 

Updated March 15, 2020

Dear Museum Friends,


The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science will be closed to the public from March 15 - April 14, 2020.


This decision was not made lightly, but on the recommendation from The California Department of Public Health regarding concerns to help limit exposure of the COVID 19 Virus.  We do not know of any staff or visitors who have been exposed. However, health and safety for all is our main concern. All events scheduled during this time through the museum will be cancelled or postponed to a later date. In addition, BVM will extend membership expiration dates for the closure period. We are taking this one week at a time. Please keep an eye on our website for further updates. We thank you in advance for understanding during unprecedented time.



Koral Hancharick

Executive Director for BVM