Calling all kids: Spring break fun on tap at the Seymour Center

If you're wondering what to do with your little darlin's during spring break, look no further than the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, where educators have added new programs and activities for the weeks of March 23-April 7.

Keep the kids from bouncing off the walls by enrolling them in fun workshops like "An ROV For Me," in which participants ages 9 and up will build their own remotely operated vehicle. Or plan your activities around "Seaside Storytime," a story hour offered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. If you prefer a more spontaneous approach to school break, take note of the "See More" lab activities, offered five times daily, in which kids can dress up as Rocky the Sea Lion, play Marine Mammal Jeopardy, explore the world of sea otter feeding, or compare the abilities of scuba divers and gold-medal swimmers to extraordinary "Dolphin Olympians."

Most activities, including arts and crafts projects, are covered by the cost of admission to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Admission fees and a full schedule of activities are listed below. Space for the ROV workshop is limited, and advance registration is required. For more information, call (831) 459-3800, or visit

"We've beefed up our regular programs to give kids--and parents--a lot of options," said Lisa Borok, visitor programs manager at the Seymour Center.

Spring-break programming begins Saturday, March 23. The Seymour Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center will be closed Easter Sunday, March 31, and is always closed on Mondays. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for children ages 6-16, students, and seniors aged 60 and over; children ages 5 and under are free. The first Tuesday of each month is free admission, and members of the Friends of Long Marine Lab visit free every day.

Regular highlights of the Seymour Center include a hands-on seawater table, scavenger hunt, exhibits, the 87-foot-long blue whale skeleton, and daily tours led by knowledgeable docents. The Seymour Center is located in Santa Cruz at the end of Delaware Avenue past Natural Bridges State Beach.


10:30 a.m. to noon Workshop: An ROV For Me* (4/4 only)

* Note: Advance registration required; workshop fee is $7 ($5 for members of the Friends of Long Marine Lab)

10:30 a.m. to noon Seaside Storytime (T, Th, Sa only)

10:30 a.m. to noon Seaside Crafts (W, F only)

11:30 a.m. "See More" lab: Rocky the Sea Lion

12:30 p.m. "See More" lab: Marine Mammal Jeopardy

1 p.m. Docent-led tour

1:30 p.m. "See More" lab: Otter Fodder

2 p.m. Docent-led tour

2:15 p.m. Marine Mammal Research Tour (3/26, 4/3, 4/4 only)

2:30 p.m. "See More" lab: Rocky the Sea Lion

3 p.m. Docent-led tour

3:30 p.m. "See More" lab: Dolphin Olympians


12:30 p.m. Docent-led tour

12:45 p.m. "See More" lab: Rocky the Sea Lion

1-3 p.m. Seaside Crafts

1 p.m. Docent-led tour

1:45 p.m. "See More" lab: Marine Mammal Jeopardy

2 p.m. Docent-led tour

2:15 p.m. Marine Mammal Research Tour (3/24 only)

2:45 p.m. "See More" lab: Otter Fodder

3 p.m. Docent-led tour

3:45 p.m. "See More" lab: Dolphin Olympians

Program Notes:

Docent-led tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are intended for individuals, families, and small groups. Simply sign up at the admissions desk when you arrive. Groups of 10 or more are advised to call ahead. If your group is interested in a private reserved tour, please call 831-459-3799 at least three weeks in advance.

Marine Mammal Research tours are 75-minute, behind-the-scenes tours that offer an in-depth exploration of the marine mammal research projects at Long Marine Lab. Learn about the work of LML scientists and their studies of dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, harbor seals, and blue whales. The tour is offered on March 24, March 26, April 3, and April 4. All tours are free with admission and open to the public. They are best suited for adults and children over 7 years of age. Space is limited to 12 participants. Advanced reservations required; call 459-3799.