February Vacation Week 2019

The Museum’s February Vacation Week featured Captain Paul Cuffe Day and free “Whales Today” fun. A special ocean-themed New Bedford Science Café Kids took place on Friday.

February Vacation Week

FEBRUARY 18 – 22, 2019

2019 February Vacation Week banner

Monday, February 18

Captain Paul Cuffe Day
9 am – 4 pm
FREE for New Bedford Residents

detail of silhouette booth

Captain Paul Cuffe was a seafarer, entrepreneur, educator, visionary, and much more. He rose to prominence and became one of the wealthiest men of color in the nation.  To celebrate the life, times, and legacy of one of New England’s most remarkable figures, the Museum hosted Captain Paul Cuffe Day!

On Monday, February 18, Museum admission was completely free for New Bedford residents and the day featured Cuffe-related hands-on activities, expert tours, and more.

This program was supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Mass Cultural Council logo



Tuesday, February 19 – Thursday, February 22

Dive Deep with Whales Today!
FREE and open to the public
Regular admission rates applied for the rest of the Museum 

An exploration of the underwater world of whales with hands-on activities throughout the week.

10 am – 11 am Biology
Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are Cetaceans. Visitors learned to tell them apart and compare their skeletons to human anatomy. Visitors also explored eating like a baleen whale and tried to make a marine mammal that sinks. (i.e. What would make it sink?)

12 pm – 1 pm Conservation
Visitors learned about the impact of human activity on whales. An explanation was provided of how they become entangled and why this is dangerous, plus the difficulty of finding food amongst marine debris and seeing how hard it is to communicate underwater in a noisy ocean.

2 pm – 3 pm Research
Visitors learned how scientists study whales and could test their own research skills to answer important scientific questions about whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

also included with Museum Admission

11 am Museum Highlights Tour
Tour the Museum with a docent to hear stories of New Bedford’s role in U.S. history, and see some of our most historically significant artifacts and visitor favorites.

1 pm Indoor Tour – Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast
Explore the historical impact of inspiring SouthCoast women during this one hour indoor guided tour of the Whaling Museum’s collections.

Friday, February 22

New Bedford Science Café Kids!
Sounds of the Ocean: The Science of Marine Life Communication
1 pm – 3 pm
FREE and open to the public, all ages

New Bedford Science Café Kids ended the week by continuing to explore the oceans at this family-friendly event.

NB Science Cafe kids logo

A Call to all kids and young scientists!

Discover how dolphins and fish communicate. Learn how sound travels in the ocean. Find out creative ways that scientists cut down on ocean noise pollution. Listen to the language of right whales.

diagram of whale and sound

Researchers and students from UMass Dartmouth (UMD) and the UMD School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the Buzzards Bay Coalition helped visitors explore marine science.

Meet-A-Scientist stations provided hands-on activities.


Sponsored by New Bedford Science Café; New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches; New Bedford Whaling Museum; SMAST; WHOI; and Buzzards Bay Coalition.