Family Programs




Special Hours for Special Needs
Enjoy early admission for diverse learners

Ocean Institute will be opening an hour early for special needs visitors and their families or aides. All regular labs and activities will be open in addition to a special sensory activity. Come make Sea Star Squish Bags and learn all about intertidal animals.

It’s sure to be an enjoyable time for all!


Tidepool Hikes
Explore the world between tides!

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


DIY Microscope Workshop
Build your own to take home

Make your own microscope powered by your own cell phone!

Participants will learn about how microscopes work, their applications in science, and then get to make their very own to take home. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Space is limited, advance registration required. 

Required: Smart phone


Tiny Tots: Sea Star Adventures
Weekend Session

You and your child are invited to join us for a weekend adventure exploring shapes, colors, textures, and more with everyone’s favorite tide pool animal, the sea star!


Micro Beach Cleanup
Pollution Prevention Program

Do you know what microplastics are and how to recognize them? Come to this Micro Beach Cleanup to learn this and how harmful they are to our ocean.  After you clean the microplastics from the beach you will use them to create an art project to take home. Bring your microplastics back to Ocean Institute and inspect them in our portable lab under our microscopes. Admission to Ocean Institute is free with participation in the Micro Beach Cleanup!


Sunday, May 6th 
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Meet Apollo!

Amazing Animals with Inside the Outdoors
WILD Weekends Series

Have you seen the television commercial featuring Apollo the Red-tailed Hawk? Come to this event and meet him in person! Live animals are presented to you and your children by a trained Traveling Scientist from Inside the Outdoors. Learn about the unique characteristics and behaviors of mammals, birds of prey, reptiles, birds, and other species of the animal kingdom. Your tickets comes with Ocean Institute admission all day long. Learn about terrestrial and ocean animals up close and personal. 


Plastic Pollution: Heirs to Our Oceans
WILD Weekends

Heirs to Our Oceans will be hosting a table at Ocean Institute to spread their message of a future for clean oceans. Come visit to learn about ocean animals and pollution through games, trivia, and helpful handouts. 


Beach Clean-ups
Help keep our beaches clean

Looking to give back to the ocean? Join us for a two-hour beach clean-up. Meet outside Ocean Institute at 10 am. We’ll provide pickers and trash bags, please wear closed toed shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.