Blog: Seacoast Science Center in Rye

11 Jul 2017 1:47 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

On June 27th, a group of Granite State Ambassador volunteers visited the Seacoast Science Center in Odiorne Point State Park in Rye to learn about what they offer to their guests. The Seacoast Science Center turns 25 this year. The center opened in 1992 as a public/private partnership between the state, two non-profits and the University of New Hampshire. Now, an independent non-profit (2001), the center sees 80,000 people a year, of which 10,500 come for their programs, and 26,000 are children.

The Seacoast Science Center is open 10am-5pm daily from mid-February–October; from November—mid-February open Saturdays-Mondays, and Tuesdays-Fridays by appointment. Their programming is diverse and geared towards families; up to age 5; grades K-12; adults (dinner-lectures and eco-adventures); and include environmental day camps, field trips and outreach programs, marine mammal rescue and badge programs for scouts.

The Seacoast Science Center is celebrating their 25th anniversary with 25 weeks of special programs held through September 9th, 2017. There are details on their website.

On Thursdays throughout July, they host the Atlantic Grill Music by the Sea concert series from 6-8:30pm, and on September 23rd, the center will hold their BioBlitz, a daylong species scavenger hunt in the park. This is where families explore alongside scientists and field experts to find and record data on as many different species in the park as possible in one day. In 2016, 421 participants identified 547 species, 31 of which were new to their list. These are only a few of the fun stuff they have planned!

Inside the Seacoast Science Center guests can get up close to some incredible creatures. You can learn about whales and other Gulf of Maine marine mammals and the work the center does to protect them. You can hold a sea star, pet a chain catshark, and others in their touch tanks. Guests can also observe many varieties of fish and crustaceans in their live displays and learn about whales, seals, and exploring the ocean through other interactive exhibits.

You could easily spend all day at the center and Odiorne Point State Park. It’s a fascinating place in a beautiful location on the ocean shore. A definite must-visit for any age!


My touring and learning what the center is so proficient at, ranks with the top tours that I have experience during my twenty years as a Granite State Ambassador. The initial greeting from the staff made me feel so welcome. Those that provided us with the science of managing and caring for marine life are extremely knowledgeable and just beam with enthusiasm and love for the precious items placed in their care. The facilities are well maintained and structured to maximize the enjoyment and learning experience of both mature and young visitors. I asked myself a question while watching young children having the tine of their lives: "where were these great learning centers when I was their age": From the president on down, I offer my sincere thanks for taking the time to provide us with such a rewarding experience. I will be a pleasure to share information about the Center, when I have the opportunity to great both local and out of state visitors.

Leo G


We love the Seacoast Science Center. We've taken our grandchildren there for an afternoon outing. They loved it.

This GSA tour was terrific. It's the second one we've been on and we learn something new every time. This time It was lobsters. Also their Learning center is very comfortable for LEARNING!!! 

The Blue and the Albino lobster were outstanding!

After our Seacoast Science Center tour we traveled down to see the sand castles at Hampton Beach and to check out the Welcome Center there.

Anita and Dan M


The knowledge of the staff at the Seacoast Science Center was impressive. I’d been to the center before, but really liked having a guide to identify the species in the tanks on this trip. During our Creature Feature presentation about lobster, I was surprised to learn that there was an upper size limit when catching them, along with other great tidbits.

The setting, views and park were beautiful. Thank you for sharing it all with us – it was very interesting.

~Violet A


The Sea Coast Science Center staff and the people who support its programs have made a very smart strategic decision to focus their educational effort on children, the very people who will be making decisions about our future.

The staff seems to have a passion for teaching about the ocean and their well thought out displays show their commitment to sharing this knowledge with the children.

I visit Odiorne Point State Park regularly, but had never been to the Seacoast Science Center. I was impressed that the center was made for learning about the ocean and the creatures live on our coast. The staff make it very easy to understand the animals we find in the ocean and their relationship to us and each other. The center also runs a marine mammal rescue program.

I enjoyed the lecture on lobsters, and the opportunity for children to have a hands-on interface with sea creatures including their guided tours to the tidal pools. This is a well-run educational facility and great place to bring children of all ages.

I go there several times a week - each time I realize that this was where Europeans first landed in New Hampshire.  When I go there, I walk the shore to the north, past first settlers’ Monument (1623) and view of the Isles of Shoals to the south and to the north, Fort Stark, the seacoast of Maine, Wood Island Rescue House and the Whaleback Light House Tower is just spectacular.     


Click here to view the NHGSA photo album.

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