Does your little beach-loving Moana or Maui need a break from the sun? We’ve found a variety of places where you can explore ocean treasures a bit away from shore. Delightful new exhibits abound––from drawing their own sea creature art that comes alive, to being immersed in a cube of bioluminescence, let your little Nemos take the plunge into sea-inspired learning. Click through our slideshow to see where to wonder about what’s beneath the waves.

Living Coast Discovery Center

Have a couple hours to spare? This intimate nature center is a hidden gem with gentle sea breezes calling out to be discovered. Because it’s small, future oceanographers will have the chance to ask plenty of questions. The Center’s well-versed staff are highly knowledgeable and eager to share interesting and useful information. (Like how to avoid being stung by a stingray at the beach). Don’t miss the feedings of sharks, rays and sea turtles. You can touch a ray and the curiously shaped eggs of a horn shark. Learn about the animals’ natural habitats and diets. Docents provide up-close encounters with animals and give impromptu talks throughout the day. Lovely, easy walking trails make local birdwatching exploration accessible. Don’t forget the binoculars! 

Insider’s Tip: You’ll park in a dirt lot. A loop shuttle bus takes you to the Center’s Entrance. Bus every 15 minutes.

Cost: $16/Adults; $11/Kids (3-13); Free/Kids 2 and under

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr.
Chula Vista, Ca 91910

Photo: The Living Coast Discovery Center

Where do you take your kids to learn about the ocean? Tell us in the comments!

––Cherie Gough