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


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.


Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program
Tuesdays, February 6 - March 13
9:30 AM

Sea Star Adventures

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.


Public Closed Dates
2017 & 2018

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


Weekend on the Wharf
Join us on the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center during the 2018 Festival of Whales

Join the Ocean Institute as we explore the history of sailing along the California shore. Learn how sailing impacted development of Dana Point, interactive history talks about Richard Henry Dana Jr., whaling exhibition, tours of the historic tall ship, the Brig Pilgrim, and more.


Whale’s Tale Sailing Adventure
Aboard the Spirit of Dana Point

From “Devil Fish” to “Friendliest Whale,” explore how time and discovery have shaped man’s perception of the magnificent Gray Whale. Join us for an exciting tallship sailing adventure as you gain new insights into man’s evolving relationship with the ocean and the giants that roam our California Coast as we sail in search of the Gray Whale. 

Sail Prices

$60/Adult (18-54)
$50/Senior (55 & up) and Active Duty Military (ID required)
$40/Child (17 and under; minimum age 4)


Migration Celebration
During the 2018 Festival of Whales

Join the Ocean Institute as we celebrate the Gray Whale migration from Baja California to Alaska. Experience the migration as the whales would as you journey through our labs and explore our living collection. Enjoy hands-on activities, lectures, and more all weekend.



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