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Events

UPCOMING EVENTS

Little Naturalists: Feathers, Flippers, and Fins
Tuesdays at 9:30 am to 10:45 am | May 21, May 28, June 4, June 11

Stretch your child’s imagination through creative play that supports language development, social interaction and problem-solving in this four-week long series.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Stretch your child’s imagination through creative play that supports language development, social interaction and problem-solving in this four-week long series. This program is suitable for children ages three-and-a-half to four years old with parental support.                                           

4 Week Series Pass: $100 (Includes an Ocean Institute naturalist backpack) & Drop in Class: $30

Distinguished Speaker Series
May 23 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Join the Ocean Institute in the Samueli Conference Center for The Nicholas Endowment Distinguished Speaker Series.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Join the Ocean Institute in the Samueli Conference Center for The Nicholas Endowment Distinguished Speaker Series with yachtswoman and ocean advocate Dee Caffari. Tickets: $10.00 per person; Ocean Institute Members free with advanced registration.

Whale and Marine Life Tour: An Ecosystem excursion for all ages
May 25 and 26 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Join the Ocean Institute’s marine educators in exploring the ocean from the top to bottom.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

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

Adults (18+): $35.00 | Seniors/Military: $30.00 | Children: $15.00

Engineers Wanted: ‘Behind the Seas’ Aquarist Experience
May 27 | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Explore behind the scenes and see firsthand how our aquarists care for our animal inhabitants, including the engineering of our filtration system and habitats.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Explore behind the scenes and see firsthand how our aquarists care for our animal inhabitants, including the engineering of our filtration system and habitats. Help our aquarists identify the animals we find right beneath the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and learn more about our acquisition process. Additionally, guests will get the exclusive opportunity to prepare food and feed our animals. 

Tickets: $25.00 per person; recommended for ages 6 and up. 

Harbor Walking Tour
May 31 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Join us for a walking tour around the beautiful and historic Dana Point Harbor.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

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 historically significant spots with our expert guides who will teach you how to spot local marine animals along the way.  

Ticket: $10 per person; Space is limited, advanced registration recommended. 

Bioluminescence Night Cruise
May 31 | 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm

There’s a luminous underwater world just waiting to shine!

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute
GENERAL INFORMATION:

There’s a luminous underwater world just waiting to shine! Learn about the remarkable ability of some marine animals to glow in the dark and witness this curiously beautiful phenomenon. *

*Please be advised that forces of nature determine the abundance of bioluminescence at any given time. 

Adults (18+): $45.00 | Seniors/Military: $35.00 | Children: $25.00

Sand Dollar Guild June Member Meeting
Monday, June 4th, 6- 7:30 p.m.

Come to Gemmell’s and meet the members of the Sand Dollar Guild at their monthly member meeting!

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Ocean Institute

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Come to Gemmell’s and meet the members of the Sand Dollar Guild at their monthly member meeting! The Sand Dollar Guild is a group of dedicated Ocean Institute volunteers who help raise funds for students to participate in Ocean Institute’s education programs. To date, they have raised over 1.4 million dollars for Ocean Institute. Learn more. https://www.sanddollarguild.org/ RSVP to Communications@sanddollarguild.org

Admission: Free I Dinner: $20.00

Father's Day Dinner Cruise Aboard the Dana Pride
Sunday, June 16th 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Come aboard the Dana Pride for our special Father's Day Dinner Cruise.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Dana Wharf

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Enjoy a unique evening of fun on the water, complete with live music and a delicious barbecue dinner!

Listen to the live classic rock and roll of Mike Obryan, frequently found playing at Hennessy’s and other local venues in the Laguna Beach nightlife scene.

On our Father’s Day dinner cruise you will enjoy:

Indoor and upper deck seating
Full barbecue dinner
Full cash bar
Views of pristine Laguna Beach
Beautiful California sunset

Come aboard our 95 foot flagship, the Dana Pride, and have a one of a kind evening experience! And come hungry – this cruise is 2 hours long, and the perfect way for families to celebrate their dads with a delicious buffet barbecue meal!

Get your tickets at: https://danawharf.com/activities/fathers-day-dinner-cruise-aboard-the-dana-pride/

Fourth of July Dinner Cruises
Thursday, July 4th, 7:30- 9:30 p.m.

Enjoy a unique evening of fun on the water complete with a live fireworks show and the best view in town!

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Dana Wharf

GENERAL INFORMATION:

The Whitey Harrison Classic
Saturday, August 10, 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Whitey Harrison Classic is a 20-Mile, 9-Man Outrigger race hosted by Dana Outrigger every August. The race was first run in July of 1971 from Newport to Dana Point Harbor as part of the Harbor’s Opening Ceremonies. Now approaching its 46th Annual, the race now runs from just outside the mouth of Dana Point Harbor to Main Beach in Laguna and back.

EVENT INFO

WHERE: Doheny State Beach; 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629

GENERAL INFORMATION: The first of the nine-man outrigger canoe races of the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association, hosted by the Dana Outrigger Canoe Club.  Outrigger Clubs from across California and beyond meet for this long distance race from Doheny up the coast to Laguna Beach, out to sea for two miles, then back to Doheny.  These are exciting races with 6 paddlers in the canoe and 3 more on a support boat who swap out during the race with the canoe keeping a steady pace.  Vendors and displays will be on the lawn in the park, along with tents for each racing club. For more information visit http://www.danaoutrigger.net/.

ANNUAL EVENTS

Festival of Whales
Join Dana Point Harbor for Festival of Whales! The annual family-friendly event celebrates the spring migration of gray whales with a parade, concerts, children’s activities, car shows, art shows, educational opportunities, food and fun in the harbor.

www.festivalofwhales.com

Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza
Gather friends and family for the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza and enjoy a spectacular firework display that lights up the harbor.

Tall Ships Festival
Celebrate California’s rich maritime history during the Ocean Institute’s annual Tall Ships Festival. Each September, a fleet of historic tall ships sail into Dana Point Harbor and history comes alive with historical re-enactors, cannon battles, pirate adventures, mermaid encounters, ship tours, and much more.
www.tallshipsfestival.com

 

Turkey Trot
Each Thanksgiving Day, the Turkey Trot returns to beautiful Dana Point Harbor where participants wobble before they gobble! The panoramic and scenic race features a 10k, 5k and Kids Gobble Wobble and gives participants an excuse to each that extra slice of pie!
www.turkeytrot.com

Holiday Boat Parade

Friday, Dec 7 and Saturday Dec 8 – 7:30pm
Friday, Dec 14 and Saturday Dec 15 – 7:30pm
4:30pm-7:30pm – Family Fun Festivities at Mariner’s Village/Alley and Dana Wharf

Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries. They light up the evening with their amazing boats as they parade throughout the Harbor.

In celebration of our 44 years of lighting the holiday season up, this year’s theme will power up with “A WESTERN WONDERLAND”. Join us as boats parade into the Harbor showing off their country western themed decorations, animation, color and lights. We can’t wait to see what these creative boaters will come up with. We invite you to come down and be a part of our Western Wonderland!

You can view the parade FREE from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of our restaurants to view it from a cozy and warm spot. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

Dana Point Harbor is at 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA. Additional parking is available for a fee at Doheny State Beach and you can jump on the FREE Trolley for a ride to the festivities (3:30pm-10:30pm). For more information visit http://danapointharbor.com/boat-parade/.

 

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