Cool off on Ocean Day in Washington DC

With weather that’s supposed to reach up to 80 degrees this hot June weekend, and many more blistering days to come, cool off at the Smithsonian Institute. On Friday, June 8th, the Smithsonian will be holding a special event in honor of the deep blue for World Ocean Day. There will be celebrations, demonstrations, lectures and workshops for kids, families and adults, all relating to the world’s beautiful oceans.

Free with admission, the museum will be hosting ocean-related activities throughout the many exhibits, including The Sant Ocean Hall, where ocean experts will be relaying their knowledge of the deep-blue. Over at Baird Auditorium, see the touching tale of “Otter 501,” where a bond is formed between a young woman and baby otter.

Later in the day, cartoonist Jim Tooney, the creator of Sherman’s Lagoon, will be heading a lecture called “Drawing Inspiration from the Sea.” You can even help create an ocean mural with him! The Coastal American Student Ocean Art Contest winners will also be displayed and you’ll get a chance to meet the student artists who created them.

Other interesting folks you might meet include a team of scientists from the Galapagos Islands, renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, or the producers of a series of short films. You’ll also get to see the films, of course, which discuss Marine Protected Areas.

Back at Sant Ocean Hall, explore the ocean in a way that transcends depth and time. From well-lit to the cool, black depths and from prehistory to the present, this educational experience features films, colorful photos, life-size replicas and fascinating facts.

While you’re visiting, be sure to check out the IMAX Theaters & Einstein Planetarium. Films playing include Johnny Depp’s new film, Dark Shadows, a polar bear story, To the Arctic Imax 3D and Coral Reef Adventure. Book your tickets ahead of time to ensure your seats here.

World Ocean Day Lineup:

1:00-5:00 PM: Experts at Sant Ocean Hall.

1:00-2:00 PM: “Otter 501” at Baird Auditorium

2:00-2:30 PM: Jim Toomey at Ocean Explorer Theater

2:30-3:30 PM: Mural Creation with Jim Toomey at the Ground-Floor Gallery

3:00-3:30 PM: Marine Protected Areas short films viewing and meeting of the cast

3:30-4:00 PM: Meet the Galapagos Team at Baird Auditorium

4:00-5:00 PM: Dr. Sylvia Earle and Youth Ocean Leaders at Baird Auditorium

While you’re in the area, be sure to stay close to the Smithsonian. There are several lodging options available, including the Holiday Inn Capitol – Washington DC (.6 miles away) and the Courtyard Marriott Washington DC, which is 1.7 miles away. Check out the many activities within two miles, including the fascinating Crime Museum and several tour options.

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