Family Programs




Opera of the High Seas
A Musical Performance

Don’t miss a voyage of operatic proportions as acclaimed vocalists take you on a musical journey of opera arias celebrating pirates, mermaids, seas, and sails! 

Eventbrite - Opera of the High Seas: A Musical Performance

Light refreshments including complimentary wine will be available before the performance begins. 


Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program
Mighty Mariners

Tuesdays, October 3 - November 7 | 9:00am – 10:15am

Join us for this six-week, maritime themed series of exploration and play. Stretch your child’s imagination through creative play that supports language development, social interaction, and problem solving.

Suitable for children ages 2 to 3 years; must be accompanied by an adult. 


Spooky Seas
Haunted Tales at the Ocean Institute

Eventbrite - Spooky Seas: Haunted Tales at the Ocean Institute 2017

Join us for a night full of fright as you navigate through our labs and ships that might have a few unexpected visitors!

Our haunted adventure begins aboard the Brig Pilgrim, continues onto the historic Boathouse, and ends in a Mad Scientist lab! 

Excuse yourself from the ghostly gathering to enjoy hot cocoa and educational activities inside our Ocean Education Center! 

Activities in our Ocean Education Center are suitable for all ages. The Haunted Tour is suitable for those ages 8 and up. 


Family Science Workshop
Color Changing Slime

Sticky, goopy, and a little bit spooky – this color changing slime workshop will have all the kids in your family excited about science! 


OctoPirate Painting Class
With OCDC Art & Design

Join us for a morning of painting with OCDC Art & Design! 

“OctoPirate” is a one-of-a-kind design, created by local, Daniela Mihaylov of OCDC Art & Design.  Daniela will be guiding this step-by-step acrylic painting class (11″x14″ canvas) at the awesome Ocean Institute in Dana Point.  Painting to begin promptly at 9:00am.  This will be a great take-home decoration for your home OR a great gift for someone who loves the ocean, ocean critters, or pirates!


$35.00 per person 


Science of Scent
Candle Making Workshop

Discover the science of scent in this hands-on candle making workshop!

Eventbrite - Science of Scent: Candle Workship


Tidepool Hikes
Explore the world between tides!

Join the Ocean Institute for a tidepool hike led by one of our expert naturalists.The hike will take us into the rocky Marine Conservation Area located directly behind the Ocean Institute. Families can explore the area and search for snails, crabs, sea stars, and other animals that make the tidepools their home.  The winter months are the best time to explore these magical marine ecosystems!


Tall Ship Tours
with the Hawaiian Chieftain

Board and explore three unique historic tall ships this holiday season! Tour the visiting vessel, Hawaiian Chieftain, along with the Ocean Institute’s ships, Pilgrim and Spirit of Dana Point during regular public admission hours. Learn the history of the ships, Dana Point’s maritime history, and more. 


Tall Ship Tours
with the Lady Washington

Tour the visiting vessel, Lady Washington, a replica square-rigged brig, during her stay at the Ocean Institute. Learn the history American trading in the Pan-Pacific following the american revolution. Named after Martha Washington, the Lady Washington was a pioneer in American trading.