Family Programs




Little Naturalists: Parent & Me Program
Feathers, Flippers & Fins

Stretch your child’s imagination through creative play that supports language development, social interaction and problem-solving in this four-week long series. Each Tuesday session will include exploration, a science activity and an art project focusing on a different ocean animal. Suitable for ages 3.5 to 4 years with parental support. 


Glow with the Flow
Biofluorescence at the Ocean Institute

Biofluorescence lets sea creatures glow. This night time program features a talk on biofluorescence, followed by a tour of the biofluorescing animals here at the Ocean Institute — such as the scorpion fish. Children and adults alike will enjoy learning about and seeing the amazing light patterns of our ocean firsthand.  


Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program
Sea Star Adventure Series 2019

Join us for this six-week adventure series 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 Tidepool Hikes
Explore the world between tides!

Join the Ocean Institute for a tidepool hike led by one of our expert naturalists.


BioBlitz: Snapshot Cal Coast Project
Ocean Institute Citizen Science

Calling all Citizen Scientists! The Ocean Institute will be participating in the 2019 Snapshot Cal Coast as part of the MPA Collaborative led by the California Academy of Sciences. Snapshot Cal Coast is a statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity through the observation, recording, and identification of the organisms inhabiting intertidal zones. Join us as we hike down to the Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area and explore the tide pools to document as many species of plants and animals we can see!


Kayak Harbor Tour
Join us for our Public Kayak Program!

This program includes: 
- 2 hour interactive tour around the Dana Point Harbor
- A history of the harbor and its unique ecosystem
- Admission to the Ocean Institute
- Ocean Institute baseball cap and bag

All experience levels are welcome. Must be at least 12 years old to participate. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Date & Time:

May 18 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am


$40/person (Members receive 10% off) 


Beach Cleanup Opportunities

Looking to give back to the ocean and your community? Join us for a two hour Beach Cleanup!

Cleanups run on select Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Please come prepared with a filled reuseable water bottle, a snack and closed toed shoes. Ocean Institute will provide trash pickers and bags! 

Select the “Book Now” button below to sign up.