Adult & Family Programs

ATTENTIONWe have posted program dates on their respective pages, and we will be opening registrations in the late spring. If you would like to be added to a contact list when registrations open, please email us at or check back. We are working with our parent institutions to finalize an operational plan that will promote the health and safety of our staff and guests. Until then, we strongly encourage interested individuals to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. This is not a requirement; however, vaccinated individuals can opt out of pre-arrival quarantine requirements and do not run the risk of being asked to leave the island if a fellow attendee tests positive during a program. If there is a positive case, all non-vaccinated individuals will be removed from the island for their safety and offered a 50% refund. Any attendee that tests positive for COVID-19 will be removed from the program, regardless of vaccination status, and offered a 50% refund. 

photo of an outdoor table setting
Breathtaking setting.

Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-Culinary Island Retreat

Foodies rejoice! In this unique retreat, we bring together ecologists and chefs to interpret the many natural gifts the Isles of Shoals have to offer. From plant foraging in edible uplands, to fishing with rod & reel, to kelp collecting in the intertidal zone, you will gain a deep appreciation for local, sustainable cuisine. Featuring award-winning chefs, Evan Mallett (Black Trumpet, Portsmouth) and Sam Hayward (Fore Street, Portland). Bring your appetite for food and knowledge!


photo of a hand holding a starfish
Explore Appledore!

Shoals Ecology: Seabirds, Seals & Seaweed

The best of everything Shoals has to offer! An adult program geared towards science exploration in three subject areas: ornithology, marine mammals, and intertidal species. This is a great survey program for adults who have never been to the Isles of Shoals, and for those who want to return to their island ecology roots!


photo of the historic Haley House on Smuttynose Island
Haley House.


Shoals History and Archaeology

Participate in an archeological dig on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals, Maine! Spend half-days working on the excavation near the Haley House, afternoons taking walking tours of historical sites on Smuttynose and other Shoals islands, and evenings learning about life on Smuttynose from the 1600's to the 1800's through pottery, domestic animal bones, buttons, coins and other finds from the Isles of Shoals Archaeology Project.



Photo of a blue-headed Vireo
Photo by David Forsyth.

Isles of Shoals Birding Trip

Join NH Audubon President Doug Bechtel, Biologists Becky Suomala and Diane De Luca, and the staff at Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island for a three-day birding adventure! Two nights on Appledore Island will give us the opportunity to explore the diversity of the islands. Over 200 species of songbirds, seabirds, and waterfowl occur on Appledore as migrants – making it a perfect spot to observe fall movements.




photo of a wendy turner painting
Wendy Turner's art.

Seascapes and Landscapes

Join local visual artists, Wendy Turner and Barbara Houtson, for a week of drawing, painting, and printmaking. Use the rugged seascapes and landscapes of the Isles of Shoals as your palette. Work at your own pace. Daily demos, cross-island treks, evening or rainy day printmaking instruction, and an art exhibition – with island ecology mixed in throughout the week!


photo of a boy holding a lobster
Tide pool fun for all!


SeaSHOALS: Marine Science Education for Families

Roll-up your sleeves and register for a SeaSHOALS adventure in the Isles of Shoals! This introductory program, designed for first-time Shoalers, includes a weekend full of "family-friendly" activities based at the Shoals Marine Laboratory. SeaSHOALS is an amazing opportunity for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the special children in their lives, to immerse themselves in marine science! Are you ready to dive in?!

Please note: SeaSHOALS 2021 has been canceled. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we look forward to running this program again in 2022!



photo of Teachers Water Sampling
Dock-side lab work.

Marine Science for Teachers Workshop 

An amazing opportunity for New Hampshire's middle and high school science teachers! Participate in an intensive week-long marine science workshop that will explore how teachers can utilize inquiry-based marine science activities to address appropriate Next Generation Science Standards. Group projects, lesson plan building, and curriculum alignment exercises. Professional Development credits (CEUs) awarded.

Please note: Marine Science for Teachers 2021 has been canceled. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we look forward to running this program again in 2022!