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

Kayak tours are on hold until further notice.  If we are able to host tours again, below is some information about what you can expect.

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.

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.

There will be no winter 2023 Bayventure programs.

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.  Registration is open, please use the links below to register for each desired date.  Payment at the time of registration is required.
Summer 2023:
July 5th, Mucking in the Mudflats
July 12th, Who’s Ready for High Tide?
July 19th, Geology Rocks
July 26th, Mystery on Great Bay
August 2nd, Aliens in the Estuary


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.  Registration is open, please use the links below to register for each desired date.  Payment at the time of registration is required.
Summer 2023:
July 7th, Mucking in the Mudflats
July 14th, Who’s Ready for High Tide?
July 21st, Geology Rocks
July 28th, Mystery on Great Bay
August 4th, Aliens in the Estuary

Please contact Beth with questions.

Once Upon an Estuary for Kids

Children aged two to five will love these hands-on, outdoor programs at our Great Bay Discovery Center. Registration is required, cost: $5/child and $2/ participating sibling (no fee for parents/guardians). All children must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Once Upon a Winter Estuary: On select Thursdays in January, February, and March, 10 to 11:30am. Come dressed and ready for some wintry outdoors fun. This series engages children through outdoor activities and games, followed by story time, a craft, and a snack!
    Please note: we are unsure if there will be a winter 2023/24 OUE program-we will update here and social media if we do offer programs.

child looking at fallen tree

Contact Tess with questions.

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 2023 season all lectures are planned in person, but may change. Registration is required and space is limited.  The 2022 lectures were recorded and can be found on our YouTube Channel.  We hope to also record the 2023 lectures.

2023 Lectures:

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.

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 Beth 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.