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Public Programs

Upcoming Programs


Headlands and Beyond: A Hands-On Exploration
Open to the public 7 days a week!
We are proud to present Headlands and Beyond: A Hands-On Exploration, a new exhibit that is open to the public seven days a week. These hands-on exhibits complete the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center project and highlight the underwater world just beneath the Dana Point Headlands.

Explore our marine-themed atrium and whale court while participating in fun, family activities designed to indulge your ocean curiosity. On weekends, we continue to offer a site-wide, immersive journey into the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean.
Click here for complete info.

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August is Shark Month

Celebrate Shark Month with shark-themed activities during our Weekend Public Program. Determine what is myth vs. fact and learn about shark conservation efforts. Activities are included with general weekend admission.

On Saturday, August 22 at 12pm Dana Roeber Murray from Heal the Bay will host a presentation on conservation and Heal the Bay's Shark Ambassador Program.

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Family Science Nights
Tuesdays at 6pm

Spend a summer evening with local scientists. Each experience will include a presentation by a guest speaker with alternate activities for kids, followed by a lab program for your whole family.

  • July 21: GRUNION RUN with Karen Martin
  • August 4: WATER CONSERVATION with Dyana Peña Find out what you can you do to conserve this critically scarce California resource with Coastkeeper's Education Director.
  • August 18: ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE with Terri Hernandez Come meet our live animal guests in this special presentation.
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31st Annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Sunset Parade Sail – Sept. 11
Tall Ships Festival – Sept. 12 & 13

Join us in celebrating our 31st year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. Explore the majesty and wonder of life at sea through the sights and sounds of working tall ships. Interactive living-history encampments, including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, knot tiers, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers, are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages.

Cannon Battle and Sunset Sail ticket sales are now open for Members. Ticket sales to the general public open June 15th. Click here for complete information and to purchase tickets.

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Ocean Education Center Exhibits and Visiting
Public Hours
Weekdays: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Weekends: 10:00am to 3:00pm
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Ongoing Programs

Sailing Tallships and Sailing
Join the crew or simply sit-back and enjoy the majesty of sailing the seas aboard a tallship.

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R/V Sea Explorer R/V Sea Explorer and Cruising
Cruise with our experienced and knowledgeable staff on a variety of programs.

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ABTS Kids Members-Only Events
Unique events just for our members including Parade of Lights Viewing Party, Cruises and more!

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Sailing Toshiba Tall Ships Festival
This year, the Ocean Institute is celebrating its 30th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival! Come and explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships.
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At Sea

Educational Programs for Schools/Small Groups

On weekdays, students participate in our innovative and award-winning educational programs.

Ocean Institute Representatives will come to your school and meet with you.

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Birthday parties & Special Occasions
Celebrate a birthday in our ocean-themed facility. For events of 40 – 60 people during our Weekend Program hours, we offer several packages to help
you host a memorable event.

Basic Birthday – Starting at $350
Includes a private room, admission to the Ocean Institute during our public visitation hours, and a personal guide.

Deluxe Birthday – Starting at $450
Includes the Basic Birthday package, plus themed crafts and activities (select one):
Under the Sea • Fantasy • Nautical

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General Information

Contact Information

Ocean Institute
24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
Dana Point, CA 92629
Phone:(949) 496-2274
Fax: (949) 496-4296
email: oi@ocean-institute.org

Office and Registration Hours

8:00am to 5:00pm

9:00am to 4:00pm

Gift Shop Hours

9:00am to 5:00pm

Public Hours

10:00am to 4:00pm

10:00am to 3:00pm

Admission Fees

Members & children under 2: FREE
Guests: $5.00

Members & children under 2: FREE
Adults (13-64): $10.00
Seniors (65+) & Youth (2-12 years): $7.50