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Summer Happenings

Click here to view our On The Water activities

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 14 through Labor Day!  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 turtles, fish, crabs, sea stars and urchins, mollusks, horseshoe crabs and the popular animals of Finding Nemo and Sponge Bob.

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

Act as an Aquarist for a day and help us feed the local marine life! 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 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 an educator from The Wetlands Institute 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 Sunday

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:  10:00am
Free with admission

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

Jersey Cape Shell Club Show

For 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.

in August – dates to be announced
$3, children under 12 free

2016 Special Events


Saturday, March 26, 2016
Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016