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Ocean Institute
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The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental and ocean education and maritime history programs. More than 115,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute's 61 award-winning, immersion style programs. To learn about ocean facts, sea creatures, oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales on our Dana Point whale watch cruises, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them. On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners! We welcome you to come explore our world and plan your next visit to the Institute.
  Columbus Day Celebration
October 12th, 10am-3pm

Learn about the age of explorers and how Columbus sailed the seas with fun activities in honor of Columbus Day. Celebrations include making your own Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria recycled ship models, learning about native plants and cultures, fish dissections, tall ship tours onboard the Pilgrim, re-enacting life onboard the Santa Maria with activities on our MJSLC Wharf, and trivia games.

Join in this fascinating part of American history.
More Info >

Blue Whale Discovery Cruise

As seen in the June issue of Westways magazine!

Come along in the search to find these magnificent creatures in our local waters. Our scientific staff will guide your adventure and offer plenty of information while you enjoy your time on the R/V Sea Explorer - witnessing the largest animal ever to inhabit planet Earth!

Click here to learn more.


Field Trips at the Ocean Institute

It’s time to let us do the teaching! Whether it’s investigating the digestive system of a mackerel, hiking through a new ecosystem, setting sail on the high seas, traveling through California history or becoming a marine biologist onboard a research vessel, the Ocean Institute has a program for YOU!

Click here for more info.

Teacher Days

Saturdays, 10am – 12pm

Educators are invited to meet members of our Education team, learn about our diverse educational experiences, and tour our facility including the new Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. To attend, please RSVP by calling Jonathan Witt at (949) 496-2274 x330.

Bring your family for free admission into the facility to enjoy fun, hands-on activities!

Oct. 11: Kindergarten - 5th Grade Programs
Oct. 18: 6th - 12th Grade Programs


Featured Events & Updates

Public Visiting Hours
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 3:00 PM
Members are FREE

Click here for Fees and More Info

View Full Calendar of Events >

Fall Flyer >


Wednesdays in October
It's Your Money - Free financial workshops
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Weekends in October
Red Ribbon Month – Free admission with Red Ribbon wristband and student ID.
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Saturday, October 11
Teacher Days – Grades K though 5
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Sunday, October 12
Columbus Day
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Saturday, October 18
Teacher Days – Grades 6 through 12
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Thursday, October 23
Laguna Beach Gold Coast Raffle – FINAL DEADLINE
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Saturday, October 25
Weekend Program is closed for Docent Day; Facility Tours available at 10:30am and 11:30am for $2/person.
More Info >

Sunday, October 26
Tidepool Terrors
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