Experiential & Outdoor Programs

Santa Barbara Kids on a Boat Trip
Nautical Girl with Binoculars

Coastal, Climate & Maritime Connections

At SBMM, we incorporate experiential education outside the traditional classroom and beyond the walls of the museum. Our programs encourage curiosity and community outreach with special emphasis on California’s maritime history and human interactions with the sea. With a staff of seasoned educators and a passion for experiential learning, environmental stewardship, and exploration of the natural world, students learn that they are more capable than they imagined, and they develop skills that allow them to interact with and appreciate their own backyard. We believe immersive and meaningful outdoor experiences are powerful tools for lifelong impact and learning. Programs are customizable based on age, grade, and skill levels. Offering diverse excursions in a variety of locations as students are immersed in maritime history, coastal ecology, and marine science. For more information, please contact the Education Department at education@sbmm.org or 805-456-8741.

Current SBMM Outdoor Programs

Ocean Connectinsa

Maritime on the Move

Maritime on the Move (MotM) brings museum-quality maritime-related experiences to locations throughout Santa Barbara County (Santa Barbara Harbor, Carpinteria, and Oso Flaco Lake). The adventures begin outdoors and incorporate engaging activities to enjoy while exploring local ecosystems and habitats. Each activity can be tailored to meet individual needs and adapted for all ages to provide an unforgettable educational experience.

Whales Are Superheroes!

Saving the Planet One CO2 Molecule at a Time

Led by a local marine biologist, Whales Are Superheroes! starts with an interactive lesson on whales, their ecological role in mitigating climate change, and the high diversity of species we have here in the Santa Barbara Channel. This is followed by a mixed-media whale art lesson and instruction with a local art educator. Whales serve as a gateway to caring about the environment and motivating people to think about our carbon footprint and climate change.

Whales Are Superheroes - Museum Exhibit
Marine Science

Marine Science

SBMM’s Marine Science program embarks on a 2-hour floating lab aboard a local vessel. Students explore the Santa Barbara Channel and experience coastal California as citizen scientists. Working in small groups students participate in labs that include sampling water quality, observing marine invertebrates, studying plankton, and oceanic food webs. SBMM created this program to allow youth access to the local marine environment.

Ocean Connections

Ocean Connections links art, ocean awareness, and marine ecology education. With trained Ocean Educators students are introduced to the unique oceanographic conditions that make the Santa Barbara Channel so productive and diverse with wildlife. Educators share important ecological facts on why ocean health is critical to the sustainability of our planet discussing tangible solutions that empower students to be stewards of our water planet.  This will set the stage for a session creating Love Letters to the Sea. 

Love Letters to the Sea

Love Letters to the Sea

Love Letters to the Sea, created by Art Educator/Founder, Sondra Weiss provides opportunities for students to use their art and words as power for global change, empowering participants to act as a voice for the ocean. The handwritten letters are a balance of poetry and notions with an emphasis on formal letter construction.


Support the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Thank you for considering a donation and Membership to SBMM.

Our commitment to the community is to showcase our rich maritime history, present inspirational programs, and prompt insightful discussions about the future of our coastal community.