The Best Things to Do At the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach

The Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, not only offers educational programs but also community restoration, discovery eco-tours, and adventure camps. The center strives to preserve and protect the region’s ecosystem by providing classes on wildlife and nature conservation as well as marine research and restoration. New Smyrna Beach is one of the best beaches for families, partly because of its proximity to family-friendly activities like the discovery center!

Read our guide to the best things to at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach. Then, download our complimentary Vacation Guide to learn about the top attractions, activities, and restaurants in the area. This handy travel planner is packed with local insight to help you plan the perfect Florida getaway!

Top 3 Activities at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach

Indoor and Outdoor Exhibits

You can spend an entire day just perusing the many indoor and outdoor exhibits at the Marine Discovery Center! The live aquarium is a favorite for kids. Filled with native sea creatures that inhabit the nearby Indian River Lagoon, the aquarium contains snails, fish, urchins, turtles, and even a shark.

All the exhibits focus on the local ecosystem and the wildlife that populates it. Learn more about the many animals that live in the surrounding waters with interactive exhibits on sea turtles, dolphins, and more. The Outdoor Discovery area includes an expansive butterfly garden and an archery range! Walk the marsh-lined path up Mount Morgan and get an incredible view of the natural landscape.

All the animal exhibits are free to the public during regular operating hours, which are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Kayak Tours

Take to the water to interact directly with the ecosystem! Choose from a guided kayak tour, a sunset full moon kayak paddle, or a Browns Bay guided tour. Kayak tours are offered in both one and two hour increments for beginner paddlers. Your seasoned guide will help you navigate through breathtaking New Smyrna Beach landscapes. From oyster beds to salt marsh creeks, the waterways cover a variety of terrains.

While on the Brown Bay tour, a certified naturalist will lead you to this area, where you’ll likely spot dolphins, manatees, and wading birds like herons and egrets. Embark on the sunset full moon paddle to experience the beauty of the area at dusk. You’ll also be able to identify native animals and witness how their behavior changes as the sun goes down.

Educational Programs

The Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach offers an extensive list of educational classes for children and adults. Kids can participate in camps throughout the year or take to the archery range to learn a new skill. Little ones ages 2 through 5 can attend a Sea Squirts program with parents to examine different animal species, create craft projects, and more.

Adults can attend the monthly public lecture series with a new water preservation-related topic each time. This class is free and open to the public. People who are serious about the natural landscape may consider signing up for the center’s Florida Master Naturalist Program. This 6-day program offers classroom, field trip, and practical experience. You’ll cover topics like Florida ecology, wildlife and their habitats, vegetation, conservation issues, and more.

Return Home to The Night Swan 

Book a room at The Night Swan to stay close to the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach. Relax in a waterfront room and enjoy a gorgeous view of the Intracoastal Waterway right from your private balcony or patio.

Our bed and breakfast features six pet-friendly rooms in two of our three properties. Stay in the Cygnet House and unwind amongst the comfortable yet luxurious accommodations. Each room boasts a jetted bathtub, spectacular water views, and king-sized beds. In the morning, savor a delectable homemade breakfast in the main house paired with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Browse a complete catalog of our available rooms and start planning your getaway today!