See our events calendar

Upcoming Special Events:

Crabulous Crab Day - July 18, 9:30am to 3pm
Wings ‘n Water Benefit Auction - August 2, 6pm to 10pm
Fall Migration Festival - September 20 and 21, 9am to 4pm
Wetland Wonderland - November 29, 9:30am to 3pm


Summer Happenings

The Wetlands Institute will be open daily from 9:30-4:30pm with extended evening hours and activities until 8:00pm Tuesday-Thursday from June 16-September 1, 2014!  Unless otherwise stated, all activities occur onsite at The Wetlands Institute.   Questions?  Please call The Wetlands Institute at 609-368-1211.

Salt Marsh Safari

Starting in Marsh View Hall, watch our award-winning film, Secrets of the Salt Marsh.  Then join us for a guided interpretive walk through the wetlands!  Together we will travel along the new elevated walkway, down the salt marsh trail and out onto the dock overlooking Scotch Bonnet creek.  To fully experience the marsh, make sure to wear shoes that can get wet and muddy!

Weekdays:  10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm
Weekends:  11:00am and 1:00pm
Free with admission

Creature Feature

We will highlight a different live animal or group of animals each day!  Get up close with terrapins, fish, crabs, sea stars and urchins, mollusks, horseshoe crabs and the animals of Finding Nemo.

Weekdays:  11:15am and 1:15pm
Free with admission

Catch ‘o the Day

Get your feet wet (or wear waders!) as you discover what swims in the back bays.  Help us drag a seine net through the water to find crabs, shrimp, fish and more.  Activity recommended for ages 8 and up.  Younger children are welcome to attend and can assist in removing creatures from the net! This activity is tide dependent and may not occur during low tide.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday:  3:15 pm
Free with admission

Aquarium Feeding

Help us feed the fish and octopus, or just watch them gobble down their food.  We will open up feeding three times each week so you can see the turtles chasing minnows and the horseshoe crab gobbling shrimp. Not all animals are fed every day.

Tuesday and Thursday:  3:15 pm
Saturday:  2:15pm
Free with admission

Totally Turtle Tuesday and Horseshoe Crabmania Thursday

Tuesday and Thursday nights are bursting with fun as we highlight our favorite reptiles and arthropods.  Each week we’ll bring you live turtles or horseshoe crabs, the latest terrapin research and horseshoe crab conservation, cool crafts and a special terrapin or horseshoe crab hatchling release.

Tuesday and Thursday:   5:00 pm
Free with admission

Dune and Beach Walk

Everyone likes to visit the beach, but what do you know about the plants and animals that actually live there?  Meet at 48th Street and Dune Drive in Avalon for an interpretive walk along the maritime forest and dune trails to learn about the flora and fauna that call this area their home.

Wednesday:  9:00am
Suggested $3 donation to The Wetlands Institute

Exploration Point

Bring your beachcombing buckets!  Start your week at the beach off right as we explore Stone Harbor Point for awesome seashells, cool birds, fun things that live under the sand, and give a lesson in sand castle building.  Meet at the trailhead at 122nd Street in Stone Harbor.  Activity recommended for children age 3-7 accompanied by a parent.

Monday:  9:30am
Suggested $3 donation to The Wetlands Institute

Hooked On Fishing

Need something to do while you’re waiting for check-in time on Saturday? Go fishing! We’ll teach you how to bait a hook, cast a line, catch the fish and reel it in. We’ve even got fishing poles and bait!

Saturday:  9:30am
Free with admission

Seashell Sundays

Starting a shell collection? Want to know where shells come from? Can’t figure out what you found on the beach? Bring it in and we will tell you all about seashells, how to collect them without harming the environment and feature an assortment of live mollusks and cool artifacts.

Sunday: 12:30pm
Free with admission

Summer hours and activities start June 16, 2014! The Wetlands Institute will be open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm with special evening hours until 8:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please check our website calendar for programming updates as we transition from spring to summer hours!

Crabbing at the Dock

Drop a line in the water and see what pinches it!  We’ll provide the bait and handlines… You reel in the blue crabs!

Sunday:  2:15pm
Free with admission

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tour

Join an educator from The Wetlands Institute and take a guided tour of the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.  Learn about the history of the sanctuary, the latest restoration efforts and the local flora and fauna – especially birds! Tours depart from Egret Espy trail, 2nd Avenue Entrance in Stone Harbor.

Sunday:  10:00am (Memorial Day – Labor Day)
Saturday:  10:00am (July – August)
Free to attend

39th Jersey Cape Shell Club Show

For almost four decades, the Jersey Cape Shell Club has been taking shell collecting to a new level.  See incredible collections of shells from around the world, including shells and shell artwork that will be available for sale.

Friday, August 15 – Sunday, August 17
$3, children under 12 free


On The Water

Reservations are required for all activities.  Unless otherwise stated, all activities leave from The Wetlands Institute dock. 

Back-Bay Birding and Wildlife Tours

Wildlife Unlimited again offers guided boat tours on board the Skimmer to view wildlife in the back bays of Stone Harbor.  A tour highlight is a visit to the Hereford Inlet area. On Wednesday evenings, enjoy wine and cheese as the sun sets.  Feel free to bring your own wine (wine only please; no beer or liquor) and the boat captain will serve the cheese.  Call 609-884-3100 for reservations.

Wednesday:  10:00am, 1:30pm, and 6:00pm
Thursday:  10:00am and 1:30pm
$28/person ($15 ages 2-12, free ages 2 and under)

Ocean City Back-Bay Birding

Board the Duke o’ Fluke for a sunset sail on the Ocean City back bays.  Cruise past endangered skimmers, dozens of osprey, and the area’s largest rookery of herons and egrets.  This cruise departs from the Bayside Center, located between 5th and 6th Streets, in Ocean City.  Call 609-368-1211 for reservations.

Wednesday: 6:00 – 8:00pm
$25/person ($15 ages 5-12, free ages 4 and under)

Back-Bay Kayaking and Paddle boarding

Kayaking and paddle boarding have become very popular and afford a unique, up-close experience with the natural world.  After a short orientation to paddling techniques by a trained instructor, you’ll be off for a guided 2-hour kayak tour or 1.5 hour paddleboard tour of the coastal marsh ecosystem in a single or tandem kayak or atop a paddleboard.  Call 609-368-1211 for reservations.

Monday:  9:30am (Paddleboard Only)
Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00am – 1:00pm (Kayak Only)
Friday:  9:30am – 12:30pm (Kayak Only)
$39/person for Paddleboard Tour, $49/person for Kayak Tour

Sunset Kayaking

Explore the marsh as the sun sets on a guided 2-hour paddle in a single or tandem kayak.  This is your best chance to see wildlife feeding and birds heading to their roosts.  Call 609-368-1211 for reservations.

Wednesday:  6:00 – 8:00pm
Thursday:  6:00 – 8:00pm

Full Moon Paddling

For six nights only, hop into a kayak as the sun sets and the full moon rises. During this guided 2-hour tour, we’ll paddle with lights on for safety beneath the moonlight.  No participants under 16 please.  No kayaking instruction will be provided.  Call 609-368-1211 for reservations.

June 11, June 12, July 10, July 11, August 8, August 9, and September 8
7:00 – 10:00pm

Ocean City Back-Bay Kayaking and Full Moon Paddling

Join a naturalist for a 2-hour interpretive paddle of the Ocean City back bays.  Exploring this area via kayak is a truly unique experience.  Kayakers will be able to view osprey platforms and, tide permitting, drag a seine net in search of aquatic life!  These tours depart from 316 Bay Avenue in Ocean City. Call 609-368-1211 for reservations.

Monday:  6:00 - 8:00pm
Wednesday:  10:00am - 12:00pm
Thursday:  10:00am - 12:00pm and 6:00 – 8:00pm
Special Full Moon Dates:  June 11, June 12, July 10, July 11, August 8, August 9, and September 8

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