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Children's Experiences

The Giant Pacific Octopus at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum will amaze your kids!

"We took our kids ages newborn-16 to the Shell Museum and we were impressed... The [touch pool] was interesting and fun and the guide was super kind taking time to answer all of our children’s questions."

—TripAdvisor Contributor Mommyoffiv

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Touch Pools


Two 15-foot long touch pools offer your kids a chance to touch live mollusks


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Scavenger Hunts


Two different hunts give kids a fun way to explore the Museum and search for shells



Birthday Parties and Girl Scouts Program

Unique, fun, educational gatherings designed for children


Looking for a fun and educational birthday party experience for your child's next birthday party? 


Explore our Living Gallery with one of our Marine Biologists, and then head upstairs to a private space for shell crafting.

Children's Birthday Parties

The National Shell Museum's touch pools are one of the best family-friendly things to do on Sanibel Island!

Offered Saturday or Sunday, 10:30am-12:30pm or 1:30-3:30pm 

Standard Package: $350 ($315 for Members) 

Includes: Up to 10 Children and 4 adults, 1.5-hour experience with Marine Biologist, 3 large pizzas, 2 2-liters of soda (deduct $50 if bring in own food/beverages)

Premium Package: $500 ($450 for Members)

Includes: Up to 20 Children and 4 adults, 1.5-hour experience with Marine Biologist, 6 large pizzas, 5 2-liters of soda (deduct $100 if bring in own food/beverages)

Additional Adults: $17 each

Additional Children: $10 each

(maximum group size 25)

Additional pizzas and 2-liters available for an additional charge.

For more information, please contact Kelsey Hausmann at

Working towards your Shelling Patch?


Book our 60-minute Shelling Patch Program! One of our Marine Biologists will lead you through the Living Gallery, introducing the Girl Scouts to the animals that grow the shells, along with hands-on classroom activities.

Girl Scouts will complete 6 of the 8 requirements needed to earn the Shelling Patch, as follows:

  • Visit a shell museum.

  • Meet with different people who work in shelling.

  • Many people collect sea shells. They are pretty, shiny, and great for art projects. Did you know that animals live in shells? List at least three marine animals that have shells, what it looks like, and its size.

  • You will find the “best” shells if you go shelling during low tide. Find out about how tides work and what causes low and high tide. How does the moon affect tides?

  • Find out what the rules and regulations are in your area for collecting shells. Is it okay in the area you are shelling in to take live shells?

  • Make a display of your shell collection, identify as many as you can using a field guide, and keep track of where you found the shell

Cost: $150

60-minute program includes: 8 Girl Scouts and 2 Troop Leaders

Additional Adults: $20 each

Additional Girl Scouts: $10 each

For more information, please contact Kelsey Hausmann at

Girl Scouts Shelling Patch


FREE admission for kids under 5 and discounts for kids ages 5–17!

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