ocean institute
Home About Us Events Teachers Public Programs Get Involved Membership Login Gift Shop Home Raffle
ocean institute
    dots Register for Spring/Summer Camp dots Learn More About Our Home Raffle dots
ocean institute programs
Online Reservations

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.

More >
The Day After Thanksgiving – We're Open!
Friday, November 27

Need something to do with your Thanksgiving guests? Visit the Ocean Institute! Activities for the day include tours of the Brig Pilgrim and the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, along with the new Headlands & Beyond exhibit area and experiments. General admission applies for the weekday exhibit area.

Extended activities:
For an additional $3/person, visitors can participate in the Masters of Disguise at 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm where they will dissect a squid, discover what a sea star feels like, and learn about camouflage techniques of the two-spotted octopus. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis.
More >
Holiday Lights Viewing Party
December 11; 6:30pm – 9pm
Celebrate the holidays with the Ocean Institute at our annual Holiday Lights Viewing Party for the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights. This year's Boat Parade of Lights theme is "A Galactic Holiday." Guests are invited to view the parade from our one-of-a-kind setting that only the Ocean Institute can provide!
More >
Holiday Cruises & Sails
December 12, 2015

Ho Ho Haul Away Sail 

1pm to 4pm
Sail aboard the Spirit of Dana Point with Santa, take a turn at the helm, watch the crew fire the gun and spend time with crew members making a holiday keepsake.

Parade of Lights Cruise 
7pm – 9pm 
Enjoy a harbor cruise, listen to holiday music and see the colorfully decorated boats cruising through the harbor. Wine, sweets, and hot beverages and will be served.
More >

Winter Break Programs
December 22 & 29, 2015

Sign the kids up for a day of fun during Winter Break. Programs include:

  • Jr. Oceanographer – Step into the fascinating world of a marine scientist by exploring the principles of marine biology.

  • Jr. Seahawks – Discover the life of a pirate during the Golden Age of Sail. Click here to register.

More >
Ocean Institute Jazz Festival
January 22 & 23, 2016
The Ocean Institute's popular Jazz Festival combines some of the jazz world's most renowned artists with elegant epicurean dining, cocktails and wine reception, as well as live and silent auctions. Come see Rick Braun & Friends: Richard Elliot & Larry Braggs at this year's Red Hot Jazz Festival.

Buy your tickets early for best seating! Ticket prices go up on December 1st.
More >
Ocean Education Center Exhibits and Visiting
Public Hours
Weekdays: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Weekends: 10:00am to 3:00pm
More >

Ongoing Programs

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

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

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

More >
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.
More >
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.

More >

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

More >

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