Plan Your Experience

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

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Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program
Sea Star Adventure Series 2018

You and your child are invited to join us for this six-week adventure exploring shapes, colors, textures, and more with everyone’s favorite tidepool animal, the sea star! Each Tuesday session includes exploration, an animal encounter, and an activity. Suitable for ages 2 to 3 years.


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


Sea Dragon Tours
Visiting Vessel

Learn about marine research, exploration, and conservation currently taking place on the Pangaea Exploration’s research vessel, Sea Dragon

On Sea Dragon, professional scientists work alongside visiting crew to complete formal scientific and conversation expeditions as well as sailing voyages.
During your tour, learn more about adventure sailing and how the vessel is used for research, corporate clients, as well as colleges and universities. You can also learn how you can get involved in expeditions as as guest crew members. 

Tour Tickets: 

$5.00 per person (2 and under free)

Eventbrite - Sea Dragon Tours


Dr. Mary Hayden Looney
Visiting Scientist

Spend an evening with Dr. Mary Heyden Looney, marine mammal biologist and environmental toxicologist from Pangaea Exploration. Learn more about the various sailing and research adventures from Pangaea Exploration from plastic pollution in the five gyres to coral research in some of the most remote reefs in the world. 


Pacific Marine Exploration
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 marine life exploration program.


Killer Dana Tour

Cruise the beautiful Dana Point Harbor during this family friendly harbor cruise. Learn the history of the harbor, from Richard Henry Dana’s visit in the 1830s to world renown surf spot and recreational harbor. On the cruise, our team will share the history and ecology of the harbor.


Adults: $25.00 
Children: $10.00
Includes admission to the Ocean Institute for the day ($10.00 for adults/$7.50 children)


Sand Dollar Guild – Battle of the Bands

September 29 – Battle of the Bands with silent auction, delicious samples from various local restaurants, dancing,  raffle prizes and more. Tickets are $55.00, or $100.00 for two tickets. Tickets may be purchased online or from any Sand Dollar Guild member.

Contact: communications@sanddollarguild.org


Dr. Daniel Pauly
Distinguished Speaker
November 1 at 6:00 pm

Join the Ocean Institute in the Samueli Conference Center for The Nicholas Endowment Distinguished Speaker Series with Dr. Daniel Pauly. 



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