The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1984 for the purposes of public education, conservation, and research on marine mammals and sea turtles in the wild and under human care. IMMS's Ocean Adventures Marine Park is open to the public year-round, reservations are not required. The Park is open seven days a week from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. All admission and interactive program proceeds go toward our conservation efforts. IMMS has been an active participant of the National Stranding Network since its inception. IMMS is the premier stranding organization in the Mississippi-Louisiana-Alabama region of the Gulf Coast with the capability and expertise to care for sick and injured marine mammals and sea turtles. IMMS serves as an important educational resource for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, incorporating programs for conservation, education and research of marine mammals, sea turtles, and their environment.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
832 reviews
Excellent
681
Very good
98
Average
30
Poor
9
Terrible
14

Nina
1 contribution
Aug 2022
This institute offers so many unique experiences, and I would totally recommend booking a stingray swim, The stingrays are so cute, and being able to snorkel and feed them was an unforgettable experience.

I took my Grandma, my parents, and my sisters (20 and 9) here and everyone enjoyed their experience. My parents and grandma did the Dolphin Interaction, and the trainers were awesome and made their experience so special. They highly recommend it for anyone, and they plan to take my sisters to do the interaction another time.

After the interaction, we just explored the park. My grandma and little sister loved the tweeter post where she could feed some of the birds. The dolphin and sea lion show was interesting. The discovery room is my favorite place since you can see reptiles, fish, and baby stingrays.

Overall, everyone in my family was able to find something fun at this place, and the price of everything goes towards a great cause. Would totally recommend this place; fun for the family and for a good cause.
Written October 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zach K
1 contribution
Sep 2022 • Family
My wife and two little girls (4 and 2 years old) visited IMMS last weekend and highly recommend it to anyone traveling through the Gulfport area. It is truly a hidden gem in the state of Mississippi. We experienced feeding birds in an interactive aviary, a dolphin and sea lion show that was very educational, touched stingrays-also very educational (with help from very enthusiastic interns), and toured the museum. The turtle cafe offers ice cream and treats for the kids, and of course the gift shop has tons of stuff your kids will want! Overall, can’t believe I have never been and will be back any time I am on the MS Coast. Cheers!
Written September 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jim G
Saint Louis, MO605 contributions
Mar 2022
We visited the Marine Mammal Research Center while visiting the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Initially I was discouraged by the few miles off the Gulf. When we arrived I thought it was primarily for small children, but were entered anyway. We are glad we did. We say the Ray Pool where we touched rays and saw then along with sharks and a few fish. We then went to the Discovery Zone were we saw the smaller rays that were not ready for the Ray Pool along with a variety of fish and turtles in tanks and the Aviary which is populated by parakeets. We saw the Dolphin, Sea Lion and Parrot Shows. The shows were short and a bit shallow compared to some of the others we have seen, but were still entertaining.

We visited on a slow day and greatly enjoyed our conversations with the marine biologists in the Ray Pool and Discovery Zone and the attendant in the Aviary. They were very engaging and informative.

Our visit to Marine Mammal Research Center was definitely worth driving off the Coast highway.
Written March 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

OwlsVisit
1 contribution
Oct 2022
Three times I was standing beside employees who were openly bad mouthing their coworkers and the visitors. They didn’t bother to change the subject even when I was approaching. It was very unpleasant. They were difficult to work with, extremely incompetent, messed up reservations, entrance procedures, contacting people, resolving issues. It’s so sad, y’all please pray for these people and their work environment. Don’t pay them for anything extra, they will screw it up. Dolphin show was in open sweltering heat with just a few umbrellas to cover a few of the people and the trainers were in the shade. Don’t worry though, it’s only about 10 minutes long. Diner was closed. Gift shop was small and didn't have much. You can visit the parakeets but the other birds are roped off so you can’t get near them. I don’t know if you can during the birds showtime. There’s nothing to do in between times so it was a pretty short visit which was disappointing especially considering the cost. The stingrays were awesome, the dolphins were pretty. In short, the people were awful and some were kind of weird, the animals are amazing, but don't think zoo because there's not a lot to see or do here.
Written November 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Larry C
2 contributions
Nov 2022
We are a retired military family. My children were so excited to visit this weekend (19 NOV) for the swimming with stingray experience. Unfortunately, my 13-year-old daughter became sick with the flu today and we had to cancel our entire New Orleans and gulf coast visit that was supposed to start tomorrow. All other attractions we paid for were kind enough to refund our money when we called them.

Unfortunately, not only would you not refund us, but you charged me another $43 for a voucher to be used at another time during the year. I cannot guarantee we will be able to do that, so I either pay this extra money and hope we can come again or lose it all.

I understand it is a business, but a little kindness in this situation would have been appreciated, especially for families that watch their budgets carefully. Maybe we will visit, but I will definitely ensure my veteran community knows to be careful making reservations here.
Written November 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deb B
9 contributions
Aug 2021
It was quite smaller than we expected, very much off the beaten path. The shows were super short and the admission was kind of pricey for such the small place. A magnet was $12.The one thing we wanted to do was sold out which I thought surprising considering the amount of people that were there when we were.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeanne B
Buena Vista119 contributions
Mar 2022
We had a pretty good time here, but it wasn't exactly overwhelming. The dolphins were the main draw for us, but the dolphin show lasted only about 10 minutes, followed by a 5 minute sea lion show. The birds were cool, and the ray pool was too, but nothing great.

I was sad that my daughter, who is handicapped and couldn't walk into the pool unaided, couldn't have a dolphin "encounter." She had experienced a wonderful encounter in Florida, but then that had cost us much more too. So, for the price, this place is pretty nice.
Written March 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emily P
Lafayette, LA95 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
We went down to Biloxi for a quick family get away. There was a tropical storm moving along the gulf on its way to Texas and we had no idea it would dump so much rain on Biloxi! We were looking for rainy day activities and the campground had a flyer from Ocean Adventure. My daughter chose the sting ray encounter over the dolphins! It did not disappoint ! We paid for the USB and the pics were great but honesty if you pay to be a spectator you will be pretty close and can get lots of pics.
Oh and initially I was a little bummed that there were no more spots for the snorkel and swim experience but after seeing both I feel like the one we did was better! My daughter (13) had way more interactions with the rays by just sitting and feeding them that those who were able to swim over to the deep section. They just kinda swam and floated around while the other group kept feeding the rays so they were all in the shallow part with my daughter’s group!
Next time we go to Biloxi we will definitely go back and will either do the dolphin or the sea lion encounters.
The rest of the park was super fun also! Great rainy day activity for sure! The shows are all under cover so you won’t get wet while watching the shows.
Written July 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sabrinak136
New Orleans, LA679 contributions
Jun 2020 • Family
Dolphin & Stingray Camp...what an adventure at Ocean Adventures!

We have visited Ocean Adventures on a few occasions and have always appreciated and enjoyed the intimacy of the facility, interactive shows, quality received for the cost, and the helped that this institute provides to many dolphins and sea turtles who are in distress. We were not able to take a traditional vacation due to COVID19 this year and so I could not think of better place to invest our money. This summer I decided to send our son to the Dolphin & Stingray Camp at Ocean Adventures. The cost is $300.00 for one week. In addition, for an additional $80.00 you can purchase a bag that contains a USB of camp photos, water bottle, camp teeshirt, and sunscreen. The one week camp is divided into theme days which includes:
Dolphin Day, Sea Lion & Sea Turtle Day, Stingray, Shark, & Reptile Day
Bird & Conservation Day, and finally a field day.
My son loved meeting the sea lion, learning about dolphins, and swimming with the stingrays. If you have a child that is an ocean adventure kid this camp is not to be missed. It is also well suited for children ages 6-12 because it allows for kids to have fun, but also enhance their knowledge regarding conservation as well. My son enjoyed camp so much that we paid for a Dolphin Interaction for $120.00. We had to pay a $20.00 spectator fee (each person) but this fee included our entrance to the park as well. The Dolphin Interaction was nice however, the dolphins are not required to do anything that they wish not to engage. This interaction is not one that might be found on many of the traditional excursions. However, the ultimate goal is to educate the participants. Hats off to Oceans Adventures for being a wonderful and affordable place for families and their children. In addition, thanks for the conservation and rescue work that the organization does everyday. Your work makes a difference for sea turtles and dolphins. Finally, Kailee thanks for all the information you are indeed a wonderful employee and an asset to IMMS. Keep up the great work!!
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sdobs1
2 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
My parents take my girls every year and they never get tired of visiting! They love all of the shows. Last year they did the Dolphin meet and greet. This year my daughter was asked to participate in the Dolphin show and she was over-the-moon excited to be a part of it! They’re already planning their next visit and the sea lion kiss is on their list! One of their favorite activities is petting the sting rays. The staff is always kind and courteous. We highly recommend this experience to those with or without children!
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (Gulfport) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM