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Hotel Del Coronado Launches New Ocean Explorers Program for Kids

New Children's Program Created to Inspire, Entertain, and Engage Kids with Hands-On Learning Experiences Benefitting Birch Aquarium


Hotel del Coronado, part of Curio Collection by Hilton has debuted its new Ocean Explorers program, an immersive living classroom with curriculum and experiences designed to help children learn about preserving the ocean and all of its amazing marine life, through fun activities and lessons both inside the classroom and outside on the beach.

The Ocean Explorers program at The Del ties back to the origins of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. In 1903, Hotel del Coronado founder Elisha Babcock helped visionary biologist William Emerson Ritter establish a research center in The Del’s boathouse, located across Orange Avenue on Glorietta Bay. Ritter’s research attracted publisher E.W. Scripps, who helped form the Marine Biological Association of San Diego, which became Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1905.

“We are so proud and fortunate to be able to continue the legacy that really began here at The Del and to help encourage future generations to understand and protect our oceans and the planet by creating this wonderful, immersive kids’ program,” says Joshua Franklin, director of recreation and fitness.

Ocean Explorers is designed to immerse children ages five through 12 in a spectacular underwater world, filled with amazing sea creatures, creative activities, one-of-a-kind adventures, an underwater aquarium with an interactive touch tank, and more. The curriculum is geared toward teaching children about preserving the ocean in a fun and engaging way, while also providing them with an unforgettable vacation experience. Both half-day (9am to 12pm, or 1pm to 4pm), and full-day (9am to 4pm) sessions are available, with half-day sessions priced at $110 and full-day sessions including lunch, at $195. Special “Explorers Night Out” experiences will also be offered on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 9pm and will include dinner.

Underscoring The Del’s commitment to the work that began at its boathouse more than 100 years ago, a portion of all Ocean Explorers experience tuition will benefit Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and its vital efforts to promote ocean conservation.

“It’s wonderful to see our corporate colleagues, especially one with such a shared history, take the initiative to develop programs that protect our oceans,” says Harry Helling, executive director of Birch Aquarium. “And, of course, we are so very grateful that some of the proceeds will come back to support Birch’s educational programs so that we can further our mission to connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet.” 

The Ocean Explorers classroom at Hotel del Coronado was also designed in partnership with local artist and conservationist Carley Ealey, who transformed the classroom with a spectacular ocean mural that creates an underwater world where children can imagine themselves as fantastical sea creatures exploring tide pools or living deep within the ocean.

Classroom lesson themes include ocean science, seashells, tidepools, sharks, ocean preservation, and even “Beach Olympics,” and are designed to stoke creativity, curiosity, and imagination.

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.