Dana Point

Dive into ‘Sharks After Dark,' the Ocean Institute's toothiest to-do

Talk about an event with teeth: You'll sink your chompers into all sorts of cool must-knows about the gill-rocking superstars.

Image Source/Ocean Institute

What to Know

  • Ocean Institute in Dana Point
  • Tuesday evenings through August
  • $15 adult; other ticketing tiers are available

Put a pencil to paper and draw the silhouette of an animal, any animal, and ask your friend to guess what you are illustrating.

Your pal might pause when viewing the outline of a cute critter — might it be a chipmunk or a squirrel? — but the drawing of a dramatically defined dorsal fin immediately clues the viewer into what's coming: It's a shark, no doubt about it, case closed.

We are, in short, obsessed with these ocean icons. Sharks swim at the deepest depths of our collective imagination, and those depths are regularly plumbed each summer when Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel.

But it is always a week for sharks, at least when a large portion of the state you live in looks out onto a vast ocean, and finding dorsal-themed to-dos may be as simple as gazing in the direction of the nearest aquarium or aquatic institution.

Like the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, which is the place to celebrate Sharks After Dark every Tuesday through August.

"Take a deep dive and explore our local sharks and their surrounding environments" at the weekly evening, which encourages visitors to "... (d)iscover the ocean's underwater world with our fun, interactive spaces and activities that indulge curiosity."

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A touch tank, blacklight activities, and other engaging educational activities are part of the evening event, which takes place from 6 to 9 o'clock.

And if you have a youngster who really knows the sharkiest stuff, they may want to show that they can name different sharks by observing the jaws on display.

Jaws and teeth, that is. So many teeth. Lots and lots of teeth.

Special happenings are swimming our shark-loving way via the Sharks After Dark evenings, like a virtual presentation on July 25 by Dr. Harley Newton, Ocearch Chief Veterinarian & Senior Veterinary Scientist.

The scientist will "talk about her experience on board the Ocearch vessel working with sharks" as well as "the process of tagging sharks."

Shark-out, this summer, at the most dorsal-y destination in Dana Point Harbor (on land, that is).

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