Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Maui: Discover New Exhibits at the Maui Ocean Center




October 27, 2023

Visit Maui: Discover New Exhibits at the Maui Ocean Center

Touching sea creatures in the tide pool is a perfect way for little ones to learn.

It's been a minute since my family visited the Maui Ocean Center. In fact, I wrote a post here from 2015! Earlier this month, I attended a media visit to the Maui Ocean Center to see all the updates and changes they have made in the recent years.

The Maui Ocean Center is so much more than an aquarium. In addition to the many amazing ocean life exhibits, they also offer cultural practitioner presentations and storytelling including iʻa (fish) net weaving, traditional Hawaiian mea hana (tools), niu (coconut) weaving, wood kālai (carving), lei making, hula, and more. They currently have two ongoing Hawaiian cultural exhibits: Hawaiians and the Sea exhibit and the Kahoʻolawe exhibit. 

Also new to the ocean center is the the Humpbacks of Hawaiʻi Exhibit & Sphere.  The sphere is the first-of-its-kind in Hawai‘i, offering a 3D experience that allows guests to connect with humpbacks in their world by integrating 4k imagery and a 7.1 surround sound system. Definitely do not miss this experience included with your admission. 

The center also offers additional experiences like a 90-minute Hawaiian Culture & Plant Tour led by a dedicated naturalist showcasing the ecological and cultural connections between land and ocean in Hawaiian culture and an after hours yoga class called Aquari-OM.  

The Hawaiian Culture & Plant Tour is a multi-sensory experience.

The tour includes a  hands-on experiences with kalo (taro root)

The Aquari-OM yoga class was unique and fun!

Don't miss out on one of the best views of Māʻalaea Harbor at Seascape restaurant where they serve daily fresh-caught fish from the very same harbor. The restaurant prides itself on sustainable dining and is a Platinum Certified “Ocean Friendly Restaurant” which means every dish they serve is environmentally friendly. The menu is crafted by award-winning Executive Chef Enrique “Henry” Tariga.  

Kalo Poke Nachos

I'a Chef's Fish Poke Bowl 

What was most impressive to me in this visit is that I learned about the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, a non-profit, and its commitment to coral reef restoration and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. The institute operates one of only four land-based coral nurseries in the US and also rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles in Hawaiʻi. 

Truly, my recent visit to the Maui Ocean Center was eye-opening and gave me a new appreciation for Hawaii's surrounding sea and local culture. It was such a unique experience and definitely a must-visit in Maui.

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