Fundraising events are held year round to help support a number of causes. Come and join the fun!


Holiday Lights Viewing Party
During the Annual Dana Point Parade of Lights

Join us this holiday season for a night of mermaids, merriment and more!

Eventbrite - Ocean Institute Holiday Lights Viewing Party

From story-time with a live mermaid, to pictures with Santa on the Spirit of Dana Point Tallship, we truly have something for everyone. Sip on gourmet hot chocolate and enjoy a beautiful light display in Dana Point Harbor while being serenaded by carolers all evening. And don’t forget to swing by the Laurena G. Chambers Gift Shop to purchase a discounted, limited edition 2016 Ocean Institute ornament as a keepsake from this beautiful night.


Whale Watching Cruise

Join Ocean Institute scientists on a Whale Watching Cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer to view the whales and dolphins that make the coastal waters of Dana Point their home.

Year-round sightings include Fin whales, Minke whales, Bottlenose and Common dolphins. Other marine mammals can be seen during their annual migrations.


Mermaid Under the Sea Holiday Tea
Join us for Tea, Treats, and Amazing Mermaid Feats

A special holiday tea with our favorite Mermaids, will make this holiday season extra sweet! 

Eventbrite - Mermaid Under the Sea Holiday Tea Saturday December 10th, 2016

Join us for a late morning tea including finger sandwiches, specialty teas, hot chocolate bar, and cupcake decorating. Our favorite mermaid friend, Catalina, will join us for a meet & greet, story time, and a swim! 


Mermaid Swim Shows
See our Mermaids Swim in this special Holiday Show!

Join us on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 for two special 20 minute Mermaid Swim Shows at 1:30 and 2:30! 

Tickets include admission to the Ocean Institute for the day of your swim show purchase. 

Pricing: $12.50 per child/$15.00 per adult
*Free member admission is not valid for this special event.

Tickets are limited so please purchase in advance. Ticket show times cannot be switched or cancelled. 


Holiday Parade of Light Cruise

Join us aboard the R/V Sea Explorer for a festive holiday cruise around the beautiful Dana Point Harbor during the annual Parade of Lights! Guests will enjoy holiday mood music as well as wine, sweets, and hot beverages.

Eventbrite - December 10: Holiday Parade of Lights CruiseEventbrite - December 16: Holiday Parade of Lights Cruise

Enjoy the holiday season aboard this festive cruise!


Tidepool Hikes
Explore the world between tides!

Join the Ocean Institute for a tidepool hike lead by one of our expert naturalists.The hike will take us into the rocky Marine Protected Area located directly behind the Ocean Institute. Families can explore the area and search for snails, crabs, sea stars, and other animals that make the tidepools their home.  The winter months are the best time to explore these majestic marine ecosystems!



Making Waves

Ocean Institute programs have succeeded brilliantly in the most important mission: reaching and actively engaging the imagination of American youth.
- Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education