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


Public Closed Dates
2017 & 2018

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


Whale Watching Cruise
An ecosystem excursion for all ages

Join the Ocean Institute’s marine educators in exploring the ocean from top to bottom, while searching for some of the world’s largest and smallest creatures during our 2.5-hour long whale watching program.


Painting by the Sea

Join us and OCDC Art & Design for a morning of learning and painting.

We will begin at our tide pool touch tanks and learn about the fascinating animals who live in tide pools with Ocean Institute staff. You will then choose your favorite tide pool animal to paint. OCDC Art & Design will show you how to paint your tide pool animal to create a vibrant painting. Make it a family day at Ocean Institute! 

Summer Camp 9:00am to 12:00pm (day 2)Thursday-Friday, Monday-Tuesday

Eco-Expeditions Overnight
Ages 10–12

Travel from the beach to the “deep” during this two-day, single night camp. Discover how organisms adapt to their habitat, from our coastal ecosystem to the deep-sea environment. Explore tidepools and kayak through the harbor, then use scientific tools to determine how humans impact these diverse habitats. Enjoy dinner and a night beside the sea before going on a whale watching eco-tour.

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday

Buccaneer Adventure Camp
Ages 7–8

Set a course for adventure and learn about the life of a pirate at sea. Learn the ropes to survive at sea with dockside activities on the Pilgrim before venturing out on the open ocean aboard the R/V Sea Explorer.  Earn your “salt” by completing lost mariner arts such as sail handling, rowing, storytelling, and more. At the end of the week, celebrate with “Dress like a Pirate Day.” 

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th

Summer Camp Day 1 9:00am-12:30pm; Days 2-4

Island Bound Camp
Ages 11–13

Voyage to Catalina Island aboard the schooner Spirit of Dana Point. This camp draws you into the adventure of tall ship sailing and reveals rich marine resources of a beautiful California island.  Day One is spent developing you into young sailors and part of a fully functioning crew. During your voyage, team up with our professional crew for sailing, navigating, and learning rope work. Explore a marine ecosystem through kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling. This voyage of discovery will be an adventure to remember!

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th



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