Using the ocean as our classroom, the Ocean Institute inspires children to learn through hands-on programming in marine science, environmental education and maritime history. Whether participating in one of our award-winning field trips, heading out to sea on a whale watching eco-tour, exploring our historic tall ships, becoming a scientist in our labs, or investigating interactive ocean exhibits - we invite you into our world of ocean wonders. More than 100,000 K-12 students and teachers annually participate in the Institute's award-winning, immersion-style programs.
Programs range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea and are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning. Students voyage onto the ocean, experiment in labs, and sleep aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they feel the salty sea spray, identify live specimens, observe migrating whales, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them. The Ocean Institute offers unique family programs, summer camps, open-ocean voyages, tall ship sails, a lecture series, and more. Not to be missed are the annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the winter Jazz Festival.
Our campus is nestled on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the Dana Point Harbor offering stunning views in a spectacular setting, all creating the perfect venue for weddings and very special events.
The Ocean Institute facilities are open 7 days a week. On weekends when school children are not here on field trips, we provide campus-wide access for the public to experience how we inspire life-long learners and committed ocean stewards.
Hours: Weekdays 10 am – 4 pm Saturdays & Sundays 10 am – 3 pm
Weekday General Admission: Adult (13yrs +): $5.00 Youth (3yrs - 12yrs): $5.00 Kids (2yrs and under): Free
Weekend General Admission: Adult (13yrs +): $10.00 Youth (3yrs - 12yrs): $7.50 Kids (2yrs and under): Free