Choose from two field trip experiences

A Discovery Lab & Tour is the ultimate field trip experience with dedicated educators guiding your class through a hands-on lab. If there are no more slots left, or if your group has other needs that don’t work for the Discovery Lab experience, choose a Self-guided Exploration.

Discovery Lab & Tour

The ultimate field trip! Immerse your students in hands-on lab activities and experiments using live animals and realia. Lab activities support the Next Generation Science Standards. The Discovery Lab is followed by a guided tour to sites at Long Marine Laboratory.

Field Trip Descriptions by Grade Level
Dates & Availability
One 10:15 AM Discovery Lab is available each day Wednesday through Friday (February 9 through May 25, 2022.)
Flat $175 fee for the all-inclusive Discovery Lab & Tour experience
Approximately 100 minutes for lab and tour. Plan extra time to explore the whale skeletons, shark pool, aquarium, and exhibits after your lab and tour.

What times do Discovery Lab & Tour programs start and finish?

This year, we offer a program at 10:15 AM that concludes by 11:55 AM. Discovery Lab investigations last approximately one hour followed by a 40-minute guided tour and wrap-up discussion. School groups are encouraged to plan additional time after their program or lunch to explore the whale skeletons, aquarium, shark pool, and exhibits.

How can I improve our chances of being scheduled for a Discovery Lab this year?

  1. Submit your online application by December 15 to be included in the lottery for dates.
  2. Request a wide variety of dates and times. If you can plan your field trip for February, your chances greatly improve. Dates in spring are most frequently requested.
  3. Double-check that all dates you request definitely work with your school calendar and transportation arrangements. It is usually NOT possible to change your field trip date after being scheduled.

When will I find out the date scheduled for my Discovery Lab?

If your application is received by December 15, you will be notified by January 10 about the date scheduled for your program.

What if the Seymour Center is unable to schedule a Discovery Lab & Tour on any of the dates I requested?

We will contact you, giving you first choice of any dates still available. Be sure to respond immediately, as remaining slots fill quickly on a first-come, first-served basis.

What if more than one class from my school wants to schedule a Discovery Lab & Tour? Do we need to fill out separate applications for each class?

Yes. We need separate applications for each Discovery Lab program.

If two or more classes must come on the same day in one bus, what can the other classes do while one is taking part in a Discovery Lab & Tour?

After one class is confirmed for a Discovery Lab & Tour program, schedule a Self-guided Exhibit Exploration on the same date for any other classes. Classes can enjoy activities exploring the whale skeletons, shark pool, aquarium, and interactive exhibits. Or explore Natural Bridges State Beach, a short drive from the Seymour Center. Call Natural Bridges at least two weeks in advance at (831) 423-4609 for information about how to make reservations and obtain parking passes. 

Can we eat lunch and snacks at the Seymour Center?

Yes, we have two outdoor classrooms with picnic tables available on a first-come, first-served basis. These covered, open-air shelters provide some protection from wind, rain, and sun for your class. Your group is welcome to re-enter the Seymour Center after eating your lunch or snack. Some uncovered picnic tables are also available. In the event of wet/cold weather, be sure to bring activities for students to do in cars/on the bus.

What if it’s after December 15? Am I too late to reserve a Discovery Lab for this year?

After processing all applications received by December 15, we will contact applicants in the order their application was received starting in late January.

Will you offer two Discovery Lab programs per day again in the 2022-23 school year?

Yes, we hope to offer two Discovery Labs per day in the coming academic year if conditions allow.

Are masks and a UCSC visitor symptom check required of all participants?

Yes, everyone (adults and students) must pass a UCSC symptom check and wear a mask in order to visit the Seymour Center.

Other questions? Email or call (831) 459-3800.

How to Apply
  1. Currently, all Discovery Lab & Tour programs for the 21-22 school year are booked. We are accepting waitlist applications.
  2. Complete this online Discovery Lab Application to be placed on the waitlist to be contacted if a date becomes available.
  3. Consider scheduling a Self-guided Exhibit Exploration field trip this year.
Refunds & Cancellations
If we are unable to schedule a Discovery Lab & Tour on any of the dates you submitted for your class, you will not be invoiced/charged. Any cancellation made by a group leader after the Discovery Lab has been scheduled and confirmed is non-refundable unless another group fills the space.
Group Size & Chaperones
32 students maximum per Discovery Lab & Tour—no exceptions. Please do not bring any additional students or unscheduled groups. Siblings are not permitted in the classroom during the Discovery Lab but are welcome on the guided tour. Please bring only the number of adult chaperones necessary to transport your students. Only five adults total—the teacher and four chaperones—are permitted inside the classroom during the Discovery Lab. Remaining drivers, chaperones, and siblings may explore the exhibit hall on their own during that time. They are welcome to rejoin students for the guided tour. All adults are expected to assist with supervision and appropriate student behavior.

Self-guided Exploration

Customize your own experience with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Live animals inspire your students to make their own observations, wonder and develop questions. Knowledgeable docents illuminate how researchers work in the lab and in the field. Students will learn how marine scientists think and work to understand life in the ocean and the ocean itself.

Dates & Availability
Wednesday–Sunday, anytime between 10 AM to 4 PM. 
$8 per student, $11 per adult. (Title 1 schools receive a 20% discount off total fees.)
No time limit. Most groups stay 1-2 hours.

Book your Self-guided Exploration

Reservations are recommended at least two weeks in advance year-round, and far in advance for spring.

Refunds & Cancellations
Please pay on the day of your scheduled visit. If you need to cancel, any payments received in advance of your visit are non-refundable.
Group Size & Chaperones
120 students maximum

Minimum ratios for (adult:student):

  • K-2 (1:5);
  • grades 3-5 (1:6);
  • grades 6-8 (1:8);
  • grades 9-12 (1:10)

Distance Learning

Bring marine science into your classroom or home with Seymour Center resources.

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