Mote offers a variety of family-friendly programs that are sure to delight all ages! Each program is a fun opportunity to learn about our local estuary and connect to nature. We ask that you carefully read each program's description so you can plan accordingly. Most Family Programs involve spending time outside, and for some, that also means getting into the water. We want everyone joining us to be comfortable and prepared so they can have fun and make the most of the program.

These are NOT drop-off programs, and all participants must be registered in order to attend. See each program description for additional details. Please review your confirmation email for the meeting time and location of each program.

Dip Netting in the Bay

Splash into Sarasota Bay! Join Mote for some fun outdoor exploration. Participants will use dip nets to explore the nearshore seagrass beds and learn about the plants and animals that call the Bay home. Please read the details listed below to best prepare yourself for this experience. Click the button below to view available dates and times. 

Who: All ages
Fee: $13.50 for members, $15.00 for non-members
When: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

  • June 18
  • July 16
  • August 20

Pre-registration for all participants (including parents/guardians) is required. Fee is per participant, ages 3 and older. Dip Netting in the Bay does not include general admission to Mote Marine Laboratory. Guests who wish to tour the aquarium exhibits will need to purchase general admission tickets. Visit mote.org/visit for more information. 

Note: This is an outdoor program and participants will wade in water up to waist deep. At least one paying adult chaperone is required for every 2 youth participants. All adults/guardians in attendance must be registered. Find out what to wear and bring here

Register Now

Seashore SEAfari

Explore a mangrove forest! Put on your adventure hat and come along as we tour a mangrove boardwalk, use science tools to test water quality and complete a seashore scavenger hunt with one of the best views in Sarasota! Click the button below to view available dates and times. Seashore SEAfari does not run in July or August. Check back later in the summer for our fall dates!

Who: All ages
Fee: $13.50 for members, $15.00 for non-members
When: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

  • June 18

Pre-registration for all participants (including parents/guardians) is required. Fee is per participant, ages 3 and older. Seashore SEAfari does not include general admission to Mote Marine Laboratory. Guests who wish to tour the aquarium exhibits will need to purchase general admission tickets. Visit mote.org/visit for more information. 

Note: This is an outdoor program (not water-based) that involves walking. See registration for additional details. At least one paying adult chaperone is required for every 4 youth participants. All adults/guardians in attendance must be registered.

Register Now

Seas the Summer Field Explorations

Get set for an O-FISH-ALLY awesome summer! Join Miss Dana, creator of Mote’s popular homeschool programs, each week this summer to learn about ocean animals as we explore field techniques, look for and catch critters in beautiful Sarasota Bay and get empowered to protect the ocean. Every Monday, we will dive into a new theme, so join us all summer for fun in the sun learning about dolphins, seabirds, animal migration, and so much more! Program runs rain or shine.

Who: Ages 6 through 14 with an adult chaperone
Fee: $22.50 for members, $25 for non-members
When: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

  • June 13: Lifestyles of the Sleek and Smart: Dolphin Dynamics in Sarasota Bay.
  • June 20: The Weird World of Marine Invertebrates 
  • June 27: Fintastic Fish   
  • July 4: Stars, Stripes and…False Eye Spots?!? Camouflage is Cool! 
  • July 11: Mighty Manatees 
  • July 18: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…No, It is a Bird! Learning about Spectacular Seabirds.
  • July 25: Just Passing Through: Animal Migration in the Bay
  • August 1: What’s for Lunch? Exploring Food Webs and Trophic Levels 

Pre-registration for all participants is required. These classes are for children ages 6-14 and explore each day's theme through a variety of activities. Please note that this is not a drop-off program and one free chaperone is required per two students. Unregistered siblings and/or those under the age of 6 or over the age of 14 are not permitted. Please take advantage of Dip Netting in the Bay or Seashore SEAfari if you are looking for a program the whole family can join in on.

Seas the Summer does not include general admission to Mote Marine Laboratory. Guests who wish to tour the aquarium exhibits will need to purchase general admission tickets. Visit mote.org/visit for more information. 

Note: This is an outdoor program and participants will wade in water up to waist deep and enjoy activities in an outdoor classroom space (weather permitting). Find out what to wear and bring here. Program will run indoors if weather conditions prevent us from being outside.

Register Now

 

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Questions? Email educate@mote.org

Health and Safety Policies

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium adheres to CDC and State of Florida public health guidelines. We suggest that all families review and follow CDC guidance. For more information, visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus. All dip netting supplies will be sanitized between programs. Mote follows CDC guidelines for maintaining and cleaning all touch surfaces and environments.

Weather and Cancellation Policy

To ensure the safety of our participants, programs may be canceled in cases of inclement weather, including rain or adverse marine conditions such as high winds, or other environmental factors (i.e. Red Tide). For water-based programs (Dip Netting), if air temperatures fall below 60 degrees, we will cancel the program. In the event of a weather-related or other cancellation, you will be notified via email the evening before. Be sure to check the email you registered with prior to your program. A copy of our complete Cancellation Policy is available here and is also linked in your registration confirmation email.