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Ocean Institute Closed for Special Events & Holidays


Family Field Trip
Watershed Lab & Cruise

Just because school is out doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. 

Bring the whole family to experience one of our most popular school programs: Watershed Science. Adults and children will be immersed in our hands-on activities that are both educational and engaging for all. 


Whale and Marine Life Tour

Join our marine educators in exploring the ocean from top to bottom, while searching for some of the world’s largest and smallest creatures, including dolphins and whales, during our 2.5-hour long marine life exploration cruise. 

Tour Brochure


Whale and Marine Life Cruise
Veteran's Day Special

Join our marine educators for a special Veteran’s Day Whale and Marine Life Cruise. Exploring the ocean from top to bottom, while searching for some of the world’s largest and smallest creatures, including dolphins and whales, during our 2-hour long marine life exploration cruise. 


Tiny Tots: Mighty Mariners 2020
Parent and Me Program

Join us for this six-week, maritime themed series that will stretch your child’s imagination through creative play,  supporting language development, social interaction, and problem solving. Each Tuesday session includes exploration, an animal encounter and an activity. This program is suitable for ages 2-3 years old, with parental support.



Dates and Times: 

Tuesday Mornings, January 14- February 18, from 9:30 am-10:30 am 


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

Bring out the ‘Little Naturalist’ in your child and discover how humans are connected to the ocean, using different ocean animals as examples. Each Tuesday session of parent-and-me classes includes sensory exploration stations, an art project and a science activity. This program is suitable for children ages three-and-a-half to four years old with parental support. 


Holiday Parade of Lights Cruise
Tiki Holiday 2019

Join us aboard the R/V Sea Explorer for a festive holiday cruise around the beautiful Dana Point Harbor during the annual Parade of Lights! Guests will enjoy holiday mood music as well as wine, sweets, and hot beverages.


Build Your Own Upcycled Cannons
WILD Weekend Series

Cannons were an important form of communication and protection aboard the Brig Pilgrim and all tall ships. Come to this WILD Weekend to learn how cannons were utilized in the sailing days of Richard Henry Dana Jr. and build you own cannon out of upcycled materials.

Your ticket includes admission to Ocean Institute to enjoy our maritime themed activities, tours, and exhibits.


Harbor Walking Tour
Explore the beauty and history of Dana Point Harbor

Join us for a walking tour around the beautiful and historic Dana Point Harbor. This family friendly tour teaches about the history and development of the harbor, from Native Americans to the recreational harbor we have today. On the tour you will explore historical ruins with our expert guides who will teach you how to spot local marine animals along the way.