Family Events

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Join us for special ocean-themed celebrations throughout the year. From World Oceans Day to Shark Science Week, there’s something for everyone in the family!

Here are a few of the fun events we celebrate. Check out our calendar for a complete list.

 

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Sea Otter Awareness Week

September 19-25, 2021

Discover the critical role sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem during the Seymour Center’s virtual Sea Otter Awareness Week. Special at-home activities, lectures, and crafts will highlight sea otters’ natural history, reveal conservation issues facing these marine mammals, and so much more. Virtual Sea Otter Awareness Week is September 19-25, 2021.

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Halloween

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Wear your costume to the Seymour Center on Halloween and receive $2 off regular price admission! Discount available for adults, seniors, and children on Sunday, October 31, 2021 from 10 AM–5 PM.

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Jingle Shells Arts & Crafts Festival

2021 Date TBD

Noon–5:30 PM

Celebrate the holidays – Santa Cruz-style! The Seymour Center hosts its Jingle Shells Arts and Crafts Festival annually in December.

This holiday tradition features more than 30 local artists and craftspeople who will tempt you with their ocean- and nature-inspired wares. The festival features ocean-themed gifts, while proceeds directly support marine science education. Meet artists, shop for unique holiday gifts, enjoy live music, hot apple cider, free gift wrapping, children’s activities, and explore Seymour Center exhibits, aquarium, and touch pools. Where else can you touch a shark and get your holiday shopping accomplished all while supporting ocean conservation?

Shop jewelry, ceramics, art glass, photography, gourmet food gifts, and much more—all by local artisans—and save 10% in the Ocean Discovery Shop!

Special one-day-only price:

Adult $7 | Senior, Student, Child $5 | Children 2 and under FREE

Members: FREE

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Elephant Seal Celebration Week

February 2022, Dates TBD

Explore the fascinating world and interesting adaptations of northern elephant seals during the Seymour Center’s virtual Elephant Seal Celebration Week. Special at-home activities, lectures, and interviews with scientists will reveal natural history, migration strategies, and allow participants to immerse themselves in elephant seal science at UC Santa Cruz.

Please enjoy the Elephant Seal Celebration Week activities from February 2021:

Elephant Seal Science


Science Sunday with Rachel Holser, Ph.D.
Sunday, February 21, 2021, 1:30-2:30 PM PST
Preregistration Required

Members and volunteers: free
General public: $10/household

Join us online for a special Elephant Seal Celebration Week Science Sunday on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:30 PM PST to learn more about northern elephant seals with Rachel Holser, postdoctoral researcher with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. For more information and to register in advance for the webinar (required), please visit the applicable link below.

  • Member and volunteer preregistration: free
  • General public preregistration: $10/household

Recommended ages: 10 years and older


Listening to Elephant Seals with Caroline Casey, Ph.D.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 11-11:45 AM PST
Preregistration Required

Members and volunteers: free
General public: $10/household

Discover the unique noises and behaviors of northern elephant seals as we listen to sound recordings captured from the field. Learn how researchers analyze the vocalizations to better understand these marine mammals. For more information and to register in advance for the webinar (required), please visit the applicable link below.

  • Member and volunteer preregistration: free
  • General public preregistration: $10/household

Recommended ages: 10 years and older

 


Labside Chat with Jessica Kendall-Bar, Ph.D. Candidate
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 11-11:30 AM PST
Free for all

Tune in for an exclusive Elephant Seal Celebration Week Labside Chat to explore the brain function and sleeping patterns of marine mammals, including northern elephant seals. Join us as we talk with Jessica Kendall-Bar from the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 11:00 AM PST. For more information and to livestream the conversation for free, please visit: seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/learn/ongoing-education/labside-chats.

Recommended ages: 10 years and older

 


LIVE from Año Nuevo Natural Reserve with Patrick Robinson, Ph.D.
Friday, February 26, 2021, 11-11:45 AM PST
Preregistration Required*

Members and volunteers: free
General public: $10/household

Travel to Año Nuevo Natural Reserve for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the University of California’s 39 natural reserves. Managed by UC Santa Cruz and famously known as one of the largest breeding colonies of northern elephant seals in the world, the reserve is rich with wildlife diversity and cultural resources. Join us as we learn more about the reserve, current elephant seal science, and log observations from the field with Patrick Robinson, director of Año Nuevo Natural Reserve.

For more information and to register in advance for the webinar (required), please visit the applicable link below.

  • Members and volunteers: free
  • General public: $10/household

Recommended ages: 10 years and older

*Please preregister at least one hour prior to the event start time. Registration closes at 10 AM PST on Friday, February 26, 2021.


Elephant Seal Activities

Color an Elephant Seal at Año Nuevo Natural Reserve

Color an extraordinary elephant seal resting at Año Nuevo Natural Reserve!

Elephant Seal Coloring Page – PDF

Recommended ages: all

 

Watch the Año Nuevo Island Webcam

The Año Nuevo Island camera provides viewers with spectacular live views of Año Nuevo Island. Hone your observation skills and make virtual field observations! Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What species of marine mammals or birds do you notice?
  • How many elephant seals do you observe?
  • Is there evidence of previous human occupation?

Año Nuevo Island Webcam Link

Recommended ages: all

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Earth Week

April 2022, Dates TBD

Learn more about our big blue planet and discover how UC Santa Cruz scientists are making important conservation breakthroughs during the Seymour Center’s 2022 Earth Week celebration! Special at-home activities and fun arts and crafts are available for download.

 

Please enjoy the Earth Week activities from April 2021:

 

Conservation Science at UC Santa Cruz (LIVE Virtual Events)

 

Science Sunday with Jason John, Ph.D.
Sunday, April 18, 2021, 1:30-2:30 PM PDT
Preregistration Required

Members and volunteers preregistration: free
General public preregistration: $10/household

Join us online for a special Earth Week Science Sunday on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 1:30 PM PDT to learn more about marine mammal conservation with Jason John. For more information and to register in advance for the webinar (required), please visit the appropriate link above.

Recommended age: 10 years and older


Labside Chat with Zeka Glucs, Ph.D.
Thursday, April 22, 2021, 11-11:30 AM PDT
Free

Tune in for an exclusive Earth Week Labside Chat as we talk with Zeka Glucs, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM PDT. For more information and to livestream the conversation for free, please visit: seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/learn/ongoing-education/labside-chats.

Recommended age: 10 years and older


Visit Seymour Center Outdoors starting on Saturday, April 24

The Seymour Center is opening outdoors only on Saturdays beginning Saturday, April 24. Explore the fascinating world of marine science and conservation through a variety of outdoor activities. Seymour Center Outdoors is free to visit with a suggested $10 donation per household. Become a sustaining supporter of the Seymour Center by purchasing a membership! For more information and to learn what to expect, please visit: seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/visit/


Virtual Field Observations with the Predatory Bird Research Group

Hone your data collection skills and make virtual field observations with the Predatory Bird Research Group’s live webcams. The live webcams are focused on peregrine falcon nests in San Jose and San Francisco. The Predatory Bird Research Group is a research group housed within the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

Virtual Field Observations Instructions and Worksheet – PDF
Link to Live Nest Cams


Explore Central California’s Marine Ecosystems

Celebrate the beauty of marine ecosystems found around Central California’s coast. Join Erika Zavaleta, Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at UC Santa Cruz, to learn about wildlife diversity and cultural resources found in these precious ecosystems. Then, color your own ecosystem with coloring pages designed by Emma Vogan.

Estuary

Estuary Coloring Page – PDF

Estuary Video

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach Coloring Page – PDF

Sandy Beach Video

Intertidal Zone

Intertidal Zone Coloring Page – PDF

Intertidal Zone Video

Kelp Forest

Kelp Forest Coloring Page – PDF

Kelp Forest Video

Open Ocean

Open Ocean Coloring Page – PDF

Open Ocean Video

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Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Virtually celebrate Mother’s Day with the Seymour Marine Discovery Center! Learn about moms who live in the ocean, and create a special, at-home Mother’s Day craft. Crafts and activities are available for download.

Please enjoy the Mother’s Day activities from May 2021:

Make a Forever Flower for Your Mom

Create a beautiful flower that will never wilt! This simple craft uses common items found at home to create a colorful gift for your mom.

Forever Flower Craft Instructions – PDF

 

My Sea Otter Mom Coloring Storybook

Learn how sea otter moms raise their young. Create and color a printable storybook.

My Sea Otter Mom Coloring Storybook Instructions – PDF
Printable Storybook – PDF

 

Learn about an Amazing Seymour Center Mom!

The Seymour Center is home to many incredible animal mothers. One of these amazing mothers is a swell shark who most likely laid a fertilized egg by parthenogenesis in early 2020. This means her egg was fertilized without a male! Watch the video to learn more about this astounding mom and her pup.

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World Oceans Day

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Created in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day is the perfect time to learn how to protect the ocean and make a lasting difference for the future. Join us for a World Oceans Day celebration, and take part in different at-home activities and crafts now available for download.

Please enjoy the World Oceans Day activities from June 2021:

 

Make the Better Bag Promise

Turn an old T-shirt into a no-sew reusable bag!

Better Bag Promise Instructions (PDF)

 

Create an Ocean-Themed Upcycled Craft

Design a beautiful handmade jelly made from an upcycled yogurt container. 

Upcycled Jelly Instructions (PDF)

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Father’s Day

June 19, 2022

 
 

Celebrate Father’s Day with the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and learn more about seaside-dwelling dads. Create and color beautiful Laysan albatross coloring sheets, enjoy a 2-minute video exploring the bay pipefish’s unique reproductive methods, and join us for an engaging virtual Science Sunday lecture. There is fun for everyone in the family!

Please enjoy the Father’s Day activities from June 2021:

Celebrating Feathered Fathers

Soar into the wonderful world of albatross parenthood and learn how albatross fathers help feed and raise their chick. Color beautiful coloring sheets provided by artist and author, Caren Loebel-Fried. Then, complete a challenging albatross-inspired word scramble.

Celebrating Feathered Fathers:

Special thanks to Caren Loebel-Fried who graciously agreed to have her coloring sheets available for free download exclusively on the Seymour Center’s website. Find more from Caren at carenloebelfried.com.

Bay Pipefish: Babies on Board

Bay pipefish are fin-tastic fathers! Amazingly, male bay pipefish carry fertilized eggs in a specialized pouch under their tails until the eggs are ready to hatch and young bay pipefish emerge. Watch the 2-minute video to learn more about bay pipefish and this unique breeding behavior.

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Shark Science Week

Summer 2022, Dates TBD

For a full week, the Seymour Center will virtually celebrate Shark Science Week by revealing fascinating facts about these cartilaginous fishes. Activities will be available for download on our website, Summer 2022, Dates TBD.

Please enjoy the Shark Science Week activities from July 2021:

 

Amazing Shark Adaptations

 

Masters of Camouflage

Sharks have adapted to blend in, or camouflage, within their habitat. The ability to blend in or hide in plain sight can help a shark avoid predators or sneak up on unsuspecting prey. Can you guess which habitat the shark lives in based on its distinctive camouflage? Play the matching game to find out!

Masters of Camouflage Matching Game
Masters of Camouflage Matching Game Answer Key – PDF

 

Let’s Talk Teeth

One shark tooth does not fit all! Shark teeth are adapted to help different shark species eat a specialized diet. Teeth come in various shapes, sizes, and patterns, and are generally grouped into four different categories: cutting, gripping, crushing, and filter-feeding. Depending on if the shark eats big, small, fast, slow, soft, or hard prey, the shark’s teeth will be shaped and sized accordingly. Test your knowledge of shark teeth and play the matching game to guess which set of teeth belong to a specific shark!

Let’s Talk Teeth Matching Game
Let’s Talk Teeth Matching Game Answer Key – PDF

Need a hint? Review this 4Ocean infographic for a helpful clue.

 

Incredible Reproduction

Swell sharks are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs to give birth! A swell shark at the Seymour Center most likely laid a fertilized egg by parthenogenesis in early 2020. This means her egg was fertilized without a male! Watch the video from the Seymour Center’s Mother’s Day celebration to learn more about this astounding reproduction method.

Shark Crafts

 

Create a Clothespin Shark

Using a clothespin, toothpicks, colored pencils, and your imagination, create a moveable shark with a real bite!

Clothespin Shark Instructions – PDF
Clothespin Shark Template – PDF

 

Color a Swell Shark

Color a beautiful swell shark that lives at the bottom of a kelp forest—just like you would find in the Monterey Bay outside of the Seymour Center!

Swell Shark Coloring Page – PDF

Spotlight!

SCIENCE SUNDAY
August 15, 2021, 1:30 PM
Join us–online! “Fascinating Fish Bones: Archaeology for the Future of Fishers and Fisheries.” Preregister.

SEASIDE CRAFTS
AT HOME!
Continue exploring the diversity of mollusks around the world with Mollusk Mates. Find the newest coloring pages, here.

WELCOME JONATHAN!
Say hello to the new Seymour Center director — Jonathan Andres Hicken! Starting in mid-August, Jonathan will continue the important work of the Seymour Center. Learn more, here.

Join our teamJOIN OUR TEAM!
WE'RE HIRING
The Seymour Center is seeking to hire for multiple positions. Learn about these opportunities, here.

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