Confined to plutonium-powered DeLoreans and unwieldy telephone booths, time travel is a dangerous and mischief-baiting activity. Instead, let history repeat itself as often as you can stand it with today’s Groupon to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Choose between the following options:
- For $9, you get two adult admission tickets (an $18 value).
- For $17, you get an individual Mission Preservation Society membership (a $35 value).
Dubbed the “Jewel of Missions,” Mission San Juan Capistrano is a visual testimony to more than 230 years of Californian history. Built as a cultural and community center by Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s, the mission flourished at the start of the 19th century and was rediscovered in the 20th century by artists and photographers. Today, visitors roam the mission’s 10 acres of museums, fountain-studded gardens, and original adobe architecture to absorb history more easily than swallowing a textbook. Each adult admission ticket includes an audio tour, which provides music, history, and stories in six languages to accompany visitors as they move through the grounds. Tickets also guarantee admission to changing exhibitions and events, such as daily koi fish feeding and Living History Day, a theatrical performance in which a group of volunteers dramatically recreates the historic life and traditional musical numbers of the mission.
Those opting for the individual membership join the ranks of the Mission Preservation Society, which funds the continued protection of Orange County’s only Spanish mission. Besides single adult admission for a year, member benefits include one complimentary guest pass, a quarterly newsletter, and free summer activities for children and polite, clothes-wearing dogs. Browse for mementos with a gift-shop discount, enjoy discounted or free admission to signature events such as concerts and festivals, receive advanced invitations to exhibit openings, and enliven bare refrigerators with the Society’s annual report recognizing your contribution.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
When soon-to-be canonized Father Junípero Serra founded Mission San Juan Capistrano on All Saints Day in 1776, he created the 7th of modern California's 21 missions, which were intended to serve as epicenters of Christianity and Spanish culture in the New World. The mission system fell into disarray and disrepair during the war for Mexican independence and the Mexican-American War, but San Juan Capistrano remains, standing as a relic of that era and a testament to California's historical mélange of European and Native American cultures.
The mission invites visitors to learn more about the region’s history by exploring 10 acres of preserved adobe architecture, fountains, and gardens. Audio tours give groups a unique insight into the site's stories, and rotating exhibits feature artwork as well as historical and religious artifacts from San Juan Capistrano. Hands-on activities allow guests to recreate the experience of centuries-old mission life by making adobe bricks, panning for gold, crafting arrowhead necklaces, or connecting computers to dial-up modems.