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All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning.

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A Wave of Jazz 2017

Purchase Tickets Today!

The Ocean Institute turns 40 this year so we hope you will help us celebrate with two nights of exciting musical entertainment from Michael Paulo, Ray Parker, Jr. and more!

FRIDAY MARCH 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Join us for a delightful evening of the finest local restaurants, fantastic jazz, delicious food and wine, craft beer, and auction!


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


Public Closed Dates

Due to special events happening at the Ocean Institute, we will be closed the following days to the public. 


Whale Watching Cruise

Join Ocean Institute scientists on a Whale Watching Cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer to view the wildlife that make the coastal waters of Dana Point their home. Includes hands-on activities for kids. Each ticket also admits one to our Ocean Education Center, which includes aquariums and more activities for the kids! *Good for the same day as the cruise*


Art & the Sea
Inspired by the Ocean Institute's Living Collection

Eventbrite - Art & the Sea

Join the Ocean Institute for a one-of-a-kind paint class with Motif Paint Events! Inspired by our adolescent gray whale skeleton, GraySea, artists will create their own canvas painting to take home.

Ideal for ages 6-13 years old. 


Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program
Mighty Mariners

Scott Schmitt

Tuesdays, April 4 - May 9 | 9:00am – 10:15am

Join us for this six-week, maritime themed series of exploration and play. Stretch your child’s imagination through creative play that supports language development, social interaction, and problem solving.

Suitable for children ages 2 to 3 years; must be accompanied by an adult. 


Earth Day 2017

Ocean Institute invites you celebrate Earth Day with us, April 22, 2017! Events are happening all day long! 

Paint the Earth Day: Tie Dye Workshop

Tie dye a reusable shopping bag using Native American techniques and natural dyes. This workshop is being offered only for Earth Day 2017- sign-up now as spots are limited!

10:30 am
12:30 pm 
2:00 pm 

Workshop Fee: $5.00 (in addition to Ocean Institute Admission)

Eventbrite - Paint the Earth Day: Tie Dye Workshop 


Bioluminescence Night Cruise

There’s a luminous underwater world just waiting to shine! Learn about the remarkable ability of some marine animals to glow in the dark and witness this curiously beautiful phenomenon.*



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