Family Events

Join us for special celebrations throughout the year. From World Oceans Day to Jingle Shells there’s something for everyone.

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


Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Take your mother out for a beautiful seaside Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. There’s fun for everyone in the family! Learn a little about moms who live in the ocean, and stop in for Sunday Seaside Crafts (1–3 PM) to create a special ocean-themed Mother’s Day gift to give to her, right on the spot. 

Plus, the first 125 moms who visit will receive a handcrafted chocolate from local chocolatier and Mother’s Day event sponsor, Ashby Confections

Thank you to our sponsor:



WATCH Program Poster Walk

Sunday, May 19, 2019
2:15–3:30 PM

Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH) students from Aptos High School will present their research findings from investigations done in the Younger Lagoon Reserve last fall. Join us for this poster walk in the Seymour Center Exhibit Hall from 2:15–3:30 PM.

Research presentations will include:

  • Water boatmen substrate preferences
  • Water boatmen abundance
  • Comparing terrestrial invertebrates and phosphates
  • How does the environment affect lizards in Younger Lagoon?
  • Terrestrial invertebrates as indicators of ecological restoration success at Younger Lagoon
  • Mammalia Diversity

The WATCH program is a partnership between the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Aptos High School, and the Younger Lagoon Reserve.



World Oceans Day

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Created in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day is the perfect time to learn how to protect the 71 percent of our planet that’s blue. Come get empowered to make a lasting difference for the future. Take the “Better Bag Challenge” and decorate/make a reusable tote bag. Make an ocean promise and create a special ocean-themed craft. World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8 each year.



Shark Science Week

For a full week, the Seymour Center will celebrate Shark Science Week by revealing fascinating facts about these cartilaginous fishes. Come explore amazing shark adaptations including their extraordinary senses, the unique ways in which they reproduce, and so much more. Shark touching pool open every day! Shark Science week was July 22 – 28, 2018.



Sea Otter Awareness Week

September 24–29, 2019

Sea Otter Awareness Week is an annual recognition of the vital role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem. Each year, zoos, aquariums, natural history museums, marine institutions, filmmakers, researchers, academics, educators, and the public participate in various events and activities highlighting sea otters and their natural history and the various conservation issues facing sea otters.


Fish, Fins, and Flukes Fall Festival

Fish, Fins, and Flukes Fall Festival is a one-of-a-kind community event for all ages. Guests will explore our marine lab’s Science Showcase featuring unique science artifacts, our skull collection, and a whale of a skeleton (or two!). Fish, Fins, and Flukes Fall Festival was October 14, 2018.



Thursday, October 31, 2019

Wear your costume to the Seymour Center on Halloween and receive $2 off regular price admission! Discount available for adults, seniors, and children on Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 10 AM–5 PM.


Jingle Shells Arts & Crafts Festival

Sunday, December 15, 2019
Noon5:30 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 thirty 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

2018 Sponsor:

Read more about the 2016 Jingle Shells from NBC Bay Area.


Earth Week

April 2020, Dates TBD

Learn more about the big blue planet called Earth during the Seymour Center’s 2020 Earth Week celebration! Special pop-up exhibits and fun arts and crafts will be set-up for visitors every day during the week.

Plus, each April the Seymour Center’s Earth Week celebration includes free admission for anyone arriving via people power (bicycle, walking, etc.) or via public transportation. The Seymour Center thanks you for doing your part to reduce your carbon emissions!

Days & Hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM


June 2, 2019
1–3 PM
Learn about exciting, current research from award-winning UC Santa Cruz students studying the oceans.

Now through June 2019
Bring your own bag when you shop at New Leaf’s westside Santa Cruz location and receive an Envirotoken worth 10-cents that you can donate to the Seymour Center.

May 25–August 24, 2019
Saturdays, 12–3 PM
Learn more about Monterey Bay, from a vantage point half-mile out to sea, without ever leaving land!


Stay informed about tours, activities & events throughout the year



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