Summer Day Camps at the Living Coast on San Diego Bay

Summer Day Camps at the Living Coast on San Diego Bay:

Summer Camp at the Living Coast
Activities on San Diego Bay

Kids and teens (ages 4-18) will enjoy hands-on nature fun and discovery with up-close animal encounters, nature hikes, scientific and career exploration, arts, crafts, games and outdoor fun on San Diego Bay and the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

We know, we know. It’s still spring and it’s already time to start thinking about Summer Day Camps? One good reason to think ahead is that we’re giving Early Bird Discounts to parents who register their kids April 10-24.

Other good reasons to choose the Living Coast for your child’s Summer Day Camp include:

  • Our dedication to preserving coastal animals, plants and habitats
  • Kids meet endangered sea turtles, sharks, rays, reptiles, invertebrates, hawks, owls and more
  • Our “Stealth Education” practices make learning fun
  • Educational camps keep kids learning while school’s out
  • Age-specific programming (see the schedule below)

Summer Camp CalendarSummer Day Camps at the Living Coast
June 8-July 17
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kids and Teens Ages 4-18
Call 619-409-5908
Website Living Coast Summer Day Camps

Early Bird Discounts April 10-24

Did You Know? Lined Seahorse

Did You Know? Lined Seahorse

SeahorseThe Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is also known as the Northern Seahorse or Spotted Seahorse, and sometimes Caballito de Mar (in Spanish) or Hippocampe Rayé (in French). Whatever you call them, seahorses are a species of fish that look like a horse sitting upright. In fact, the translation from their Latin name is “standing horse”.

There are a number of reasons why it’s easier to see Lined Seahorses in an aquarium than in the wild. They like deep water; they are diurnal (most active at dawn and dusk); and, though they may be found from Nova Scotia to Argentina and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, they are really difficult to spot. In fact, we’ve added bright art glass to our Lined Seahorse tank, which can be found in the Discovery Center Gallery at the Living Coast.

Seahorse comicIt’s difficult to spot them in the wild because they are masters at camouflage. They vary in color, the number and pattern of lines and dots on their bodies, and the size and shape of fleshy tabs on their heads and necks varies depending on their surroundings. Add it all up and you’d be lucky indeed to spot a Lined Seahorse — because most of this protective camouflage looks just like their habitat.

If you were looking for a super power, invisibility would be a good one as it keeps you hidden from predators. This is why Lined Seahorses are just some of the amazing animal superheroes we’ve lined up for our SuperWild exhibit, running March 28 through September 7, 2015.  Come out and see if you can spot all of the sea horses at the Living Coast Discovery Center!

If you’re interested in more animal superpowers, click here for information on SuperWild.

SuperWildLogoWhat’s your Super Power?

Spring Day Camps on San Diego Bay

Very Few Spring Day Camp Spots Open

The Living Coast’s Day Camps are so fun that kids don’t realize they’re learning science! We call it “Stealth Education” but feel free to tell your kids that it’s just good old fashioned fun.

We have just a few spots left open for Spring Break, but they are filling up quickly. If you’re interested in camps that run through April 3, click here to reserve or call the Living Coast Education Department soon! That number is 619-409-5908.

Swallows Return to the Living Coast

Swallows Return to the Living Coast

IMG_2511You’ve probably heard of the famous Swallows returning to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County but did you know that many of those swallows now return to the Living Coast instead? It all started with repairs at the mission in 1998, which uprooted the swallows who, for years, returned to the iconic mission. While swallows still return to Capistrano, many have found other places to nest — and return to them, instead of the mission, annually.

IMG_2510Many organizations have gained swallows due to the mission’s loss, including the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys and a posh country club in Chino Hills. Though Mission San Juan Capistrano continues to lure swallows back, not everything has worked.


SwallowThe American Cliff Swallow is a member of the passerine bird family Hirundinidae — the swallows and martins. It breeds in North America and is migratory, wintering in western South America from Venezuela southwards to northeast Argentina. You can read the lore about these particular San Juan Capistrano Swallows here: Legend of the Swallows. You can also read about Cliff Swallows in or come see our visitors at the Living Coast. You might even start a tradition of returning every spring to see swallows nesting and raising their young.

Here’s a short video of swallows nesting at the Living Coast. Enjoy!

Did You Know? Moon Jellies

Did You Know? Moon Jellies

jelly1This is one in a series of brief posts designed to encourage you to care as much as we do about coastal animals, plants and habitats — and the first about an animal in our SuperWild exhibit!

Did you know that you can sometimes see what a Moon Jelly had for dinner? These near invisible Moon Jellies (or Aurelia labiata) feed on small plankton organisms such as mollusks, crustaceans, larvae, copepods, etc. and, because they are translucent, crustaceans show up as lavender or pink, and brine shrimp as orange, in their bellies. You can easily see Moon Jellies in our Discovery Center Gallery, thanks to a dark blue background and special lighting, but they’re much tougher to spot in the open ocean. That’s good news for the jellies, which are considered a delicacy by many marine mammals.

SuperWildLogoOur SuperWild exhibit showcases “Super Powers” that animals have developed to survive in various environments. SuperWild opens on March 28 and runs through May 7, 2015. Can you guess what a Moon Jellies’ Super Power is? We think the answer is quite transparent. (Invisibility!)

SuperWild: Discovering Animal Super Powers

Through September 7, 2015…

SuperWild: Discovering Animal Super Powers

This special family-friendly exhibit celebrates the amazing world of animal super-heroes, combined with original local artwork. SuperWild, which runs March 28 through September 7, is included with regular admission to the Living Coast.

Animal Super Powers

ChameleonGet up and close and personal with creatures that walk on walls, possess super strength, are invisible to the naked eye, and can even regenerate limbs. There will also be snakes that fish with lightning fast speed, eagle-eyed birds of prey, super-stealth-flying owls, Hulk-sized insects and reptiles that stretch to the extreme—all natural adaptations that help them survive in the wild.TocoToucan

Some of these animals include the Mexican axolotl, pygmy leaf chameleon, bird poop frog, flying draco lizard, fishing ribbon snake, green basilisk, giant millipede, horseshoe crab, pink-toed tarantula,toco toucan and more. In addition, a new roadrunner, affectionately named “Flash” for his super-speed, will be introduced as part of the seasonal exhibit and remain afterwards to join the center’s permanent animal collection.



Art Component

In keeping with the Living Coast’s tradition of partnering with local artists for its seasonal exhibits, SuperWild will also include an exciting art component. Artists Debb Solan and Marjorie Pezzoli (aka: the Jellygirls) of FusionGlass Co. and Pezzoli Art have created an extensive “smack” of sea jellies out of recycled materials that will be displayed in the Living Coast’s main galleria to bring awareness to the global issue of plastic ocean pollution. These striking, large-scale jellies have previously been showcased at the NOAA Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Museum of Monterey and the Oceanside Museum of art.Untitled

Click here to learn more about the Jellygirls!






All Things Education


All Things Education at the Living Coast

In this post, we will talk about all the cool ways we educate children at the Living Coast.  We have various programs, including field trips to the Living Coast, Outreach from the Living coast, Day Camps for children aged 8-18, special programs for Scout and Home Schoolers, and VIP encounters for large or small groups.  Our school based programs are aligned with department of education standards, along with being fun, memorable and educational.

outreach Move ItOutreach
Bring scientific exploration to your classroom with Our Wild San Diego, Living Coast’s Outreach Program! Our Wild San Diego features hands-on activities, up close animal interactions, external and internal dissections, using scientific tools for exploration, and other science & engineering practices. Read more at School Outreach.



Kinder GroupField Trips
We have numerous educational programs that are designed to be fun, engaging, educational, and meet the new Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. For more information on bringing students to the Living Coast, visit Field Trips.



portField Trip Sponsorships
Did you know your field trip expenses may be covered by sponsorship! The Unified Port of San Diego has sponsored a number of field trips at the Living Coast and we are currently accepting applications for consideration. For more information and to apply, visit Education Sponsorships.



Day Camps
The Living Coast Discovery Center offers fun and educational Day Camp programs, during school breaks, for kids ages 4-18. Through animal encounters, games, arts and crafts, outdoor exploration, role play and career exploration, the world of our amazing native wildlife comes to life!  Find out more at Day Camps.



Don't call it learning.

Bio Days for Teens Only
Teens need to be challenged and Bio Days is as challenging as biologist training — because it is! Your teen works with a Living Coast Animal Care specialist for a full weekend of behind-the-scenes and up-close animal experiences. For more information, visit Biologist Days.



living-coast-discovery-center-badge-programsScouting Programs
The Living Coast offers special nature programs tailored for the scout in your troop/den. From group tours, to hands-on animal encounters to Group Overnight adventures, we provide great educational opportunities that help your scouts earn badges!  For more information, start at our Scouts Page.

 Sunset Hike BinosGroup Overnight Adventures
Come explore the Living Coast Discovery Center after dark! After a full evening of fun, hands-on activities and animal encounters, you will snuggle down in your sleeping bags for a movie and cozy indoor camping. The next morning, your group will enjoy a continental breakfast and more opportunities to meet local wildlife up-close. For more information visit: Group Overnight Adventures.