General Public Programs

The Great Bay Discovery Center hosts a variety of programs for the general public throughout the year. Each is designed to help you and your family discover the unique natural and cultural resources of the Great Bay Estuary.

Guided Kayak Tours

Kayak prow at shoreline

Join the Great Bay Discovery Center’s Interpretive Naturalists as they guide you through the fascinating habitats of the Great Bay Estuary. Explore secluded tidal creeks, rocky shores and salt marsh. Watch osprey dive for fish and herons as they gracefully glide across the water.

Each two- to four-hour experience includes basic instruction on how to safely enter and exit your kayak and paddling techniques and strokes. All kayaks, necessary equipment, and safety items are included, but you may use your own kayaks if you prefer.

While paddling experience is not necessary, kayaking is a moderate to vigorous activity and you will spend approximately up to two hours on the water. The remainder of your time will be spent receiving instruction, assisting guides in loading and unloading boats, and washing down and putting away equipment at the end of your paddle. We look forward to your enthusiastic participation from start to finish!

Contact Kelle Loughlin for more information.

We have not made any decisions about the 2022 kayak season yet.  We hope to offer some programs and will update this page once a decision has been made.

Bayventures for Kids

Are you looking for an outdoor estuary adventure for your children? Look no further. Bayventures is an environmental education program series based at the Great Bay Discovery Center in the summer and winter (bundle up!)

Winter Bayventures: Children in first through sixth grades can enjoy a day of exploring wildlife signs, bird feeding, how maple syrup is made, Native American winter survival techniques, and more. Held during the week of February Winter Vacation or winter Teacher Workshop Days.  Registration is required and the cost varies depending on the program.

Winter 2022 dates, themes, prices, and registration links can be found on our calendar of events page and in the Facebook event.

Summer Bayventures: Summer Bayventures are full day programs (wednesdays 9:30-3:00) designed for children entering 3rd-6th grade in the coming year.  Kids will spend the majority of the time outside, and each week has a theme.  Please see the flyer for details, and check our Facebook events for registration links.

Jr. Bayventure programs follow weekly themes of Bayventures, but are half day programs (Fridays 9:30-12:00) designed for children entering 1st-4th grade in the coming school year.  Please see the flyer for details, and check our Facebook events for registration links.

Please contact Beth with questions.

Once Upon an Estuary for Kids

Kids aged two to five will love these hour-long hands on programs at our Great Bay Discovery Center. All kids must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required and the cost is $5/child and $2/ participating sibling (no fee for parents/guardians).  Registration required, register online through the links in our Facebook Event, or our calendar of events page.  Online payment preferred, but you can also register online and pay cash in person.

  • Once Upon a Winter Estuary: On select Thursdays in January, February, and March, 9:30 to 11 am. Come dressed ready for some wintry fun outdoors! This series engages kids through outdoor activities and games, followed by story time, a craft, and hot cocoa.
    toddler playing in woods
  • Once Upon a Summer Estuary: On Thursdays in July and August. Children will listen to a story, play a game, and make a craft that follows the weekly theme of the older children’s Bayventures summer program.

Contact Natasha for more information.


Winter Bayview Lectures

Learn something new while engaged in an adult lecture series, featuring local presenters discussing a variety of issues relevant to the Great Bay Estuary and its history. These free programs are open to the public and generally held 2-3pm on select winter weekdays.  For the 2022 season all lectures are planned in person, but may change. Registration is required and space is limited.  The 2022 lectures will be recorded and can be found on our YouTube Channel.

Please see our Calendar of Events page for details about scheduled programs, and also check our Facebook event for updates.  Contact Melissa with questions, please register online or you may not get a seat for the lecture.

Jan 11th, 2022 (snow date Jan 25th), Commerce & Industry of the Great Bay Estuary, David Maloney.  Register here.

Feb 16th, 2022 (snow date Feb 23rd), NH Fish & Game Marine Division Chief Cheri Patterson, NH Fish & Game’s Role in the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.  Register here.

Mar 23rd, 2022 (snow date Mar 30th), MAD Fellow Anna Lowein, topic TBD.  Watch our Facebook page and calendar of events page for updates.

Baywalks-Guided Public Programs

Everyone can have fun searching for mud snails, holding a horseshoe crab, or watching a flounder swim! Baywalks are perfect for small groups, including summer camps, Scout troops, senior citizen groups, and more. Your program can be tailored to meet your group’s needs, but generally includes a guided exploration of our waterfront and a facilitated experience at our Discovery Tank.

A staff member or experienced volunteer educator will be your guide during this interactive interpretive experience. Designed for a minimum of 8 participants, a two-week advanced registration is required.  Contact Natasha to schedule a program.

Program Cost:

1-8 people @ $50.00 group rate

9-16 people @ $100.00 group rate

17-24 people @ $150.00 group rate

Get in Touch with Us

There are many education and resources at the Great Bay Reserve. Please contact us if you have questions.