It’s going to be hard for visitors who attend the 23rd Annual Celebration of the Whales Festival at the Channel Islands Harbor to not walk away with something.
From discounts on Harbor recreational activities and restaurant specials to free whale hats and swag, there will be treats for everyone.
This year’s event will feature new family-friendly activities, chalk art, live music, and prize drawings that include whale watching excursions for the entire family.
The event is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. Activities will be held at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, Channel Islands Harbor Farmers Market, Marine Emporium Landing and a “Gray Whale Migration Trail” along the marina path that connects the activity centers.
Gray Whale Migration Trail
Children and adults can both enjoy the migration trail, which will be lined with prizes, educational activities and more than 20 pieces of sidewalk chalk art.
To participate in the migration trail, families can pick up a special whale hat, passport, and map that helps navigate the route. Hats, passports, and the map can be picked up at designated booths at the Farmers Market or Maritime Museum.
Stops along the trail include “Whale of a Wheel,” “Become a Whale Detective,” “Become a Whale Explorer,” and “Become a Whale Designer.” If participants complete the four stops on the trail, they will be eligible to win whale watching tickets (courtesy of Islands Packers and Channel Islands Whale Watching) along with a variety of other prizes.
Channel Islands Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum will host the Celebration of Whales. At the Maritime Museum, there will be contests, a bounce house, family activities, arts & crafts, and live music. A number of organizations will also have booths set up so attendees can learn about marine-themed topics.
Channel Islands Farmers Market
The Farmers Market will feature an arts & crafts market featuring marine-related items, children’s activities, whale facts, and educational booths.
Marine Emporium Landing
The Marine Emporium Landing will be the stop to take a spin on the “Whale of a Wheel.” Participants can spin the wheel and walk away with discounts which include: $5 gift cards to SeaFresh Channel Islands; 2 kayak rental for the price of one from the Channel Islands Kayak Center; $25 off an electric boat ride from Southern California Jet Skis and Electric Boats; 25% off a parasail excursion through Channel Islands Parasail.
In addition to prizes, local restaurants at Marine Emporium Landing will offer special discounts and live music will be offered at Waterside Restaurant. (SeaFresh Channel Islands will offer a 15% discount all day, with the exception of discounts on Happy Hour items and alcohol.)
The Celebration of Whales Festival is a collaborate event among the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, Harbor lessees, businesses, and the Ventura County Harbor Department that celebrates the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale.
Editor’s Note: this story was published on February 11, 2020 and will be updated as needed.