Aquarium of the Pacific’s Discounted Late Nights

The Aquarium of the Pacific is offering a discounted late night  admission from Sunday, December 26th to Sunday January 2nd.

The entire Aquarium will be open, except Lorikeet Forest, until 9:00 p.m. After 5:00 p.m. everyone gets in for $11.95. Watch the nighttime activities of the animals, touch a shark, and enjoy a fun evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

You can purchase tickets at the Aquarium ticket window at 5:00 p.m. or click here to purchase tickets online.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro

I have the perfect place to head to today that is not only fun and of course educational- it will only set you back a couple (think $5 or less) of dollars and provide you and your family with a memorable experience.

My kiddos have been obsessed with marine life recently as you can probably tell. I believe that learning should be through immersion and when my kids show an interest in something, I want them to experience things hands on. This past Friday we had a couple of hours to play and decided to take them to the Cabrillo Aquarium in San Pedro.

The Cabrillo Aquarium is a smaller aquarium that is steps away from the ocean. Many people are unaware of it’s existence. It was great because even on a busy 3rd of July, the aquarium was easy to maneuver around with a double stroller and it was nice not to bump into other people or strollers.

The Susan Lawrencz Miller Exhibit hall is home to three major environments- rocky shores, beaches and mudflats and open ocean. Your kiddos will be able to learn about the different marine life that lives in each habitat and much more.

The aquarium is also home to an aquatic nursery and this was a big hit with our family. The nursery at the aquarium is staffed by the friendliest and incredibly helpful volunteers. The volunteers were able to answer all of the kids questions and also explained what was going on in each tank. There is also a fun little craft area designed specifically for the kiddos, which was also a bit hit with our family.

I would have to say however, that our favorite part of the aquarium was the exploration center. The kids loved the ecological play area. They were able to dress up as different sea life and also able to put on a sea life puppet show. My personal favorite was the crawl in aquarium. You can crawl into a real life aquarium and be surrounded by different ocean life and never get wet. It’s the perfect photo opportunity. There is also a naturalist corner where you can study the different organisms through a microscope. My 13 year old niece absolutely loved this area.

We had a fantastic time learning about the wonderful sea life found in Southern California waters. You want to know the best part- we had a great time for only $7.Admission to the aquarium is FREE but donations are suggested. The suggested donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children or seniors. We had an incredible couple of hours for only a little more than $5. Parking is a $1 an hour – make sure to take cash with you.

The Cabrillo Aquarium is open Tue- Sun. The hours of operation are 12-5 Tue- Fri and 10am to 5pm on the weekends.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M White Drive
San Pedro -90731

For additional information head on here. Have a wonderful weekend!!

Our visit to The Birch Aquarium at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography

My family had the opportunity to visit the Birch Aquarium at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography this past weekend. We have been on a marine/sea life quest recently and from what I had read on the net the Birch Aquarium is THE place to visit. Let me tell you folks- It most certainly is. The aquarium is absolutely breathtaking. The Birch Aquarium is nestled on an ocean bluff and overlooks beautiful La Jolla Shores. I was in love from first sight and so was my family.

We parked our car in the aquarium’s adjacent parking lot(which had plenty of parking and was complimentary) and walked over to the entrance of the beautiful aquarium. From the moment we walked in we were greeted by a friendly volunteer who was tickled by my kids excitement. She offered us a map and encouraged us to explore the Hall of Fishes.

It was the perfect suggestion for our little family. The kids loved learning about the different types of marine life. My husband and I were equally thrilled. We made a promise that we would definitely be coming back on a date sans kids. We learned about the sea life that inhabits the waters of the Pacific Ocean from the Pacific Northwest, through the California coast and ending in the tropical waters of Mexico. We could have strolled through the Hall of Fishes for hours!! The kids loved all of it!! You can also observe animal feedings – which we sadly missed by a half hour. Next time we will make sure to get there with plenty of time and be able to catch a glimpse.

We then headed out to the Tide Pool Plaza and let me tell you- my kiddos were in tide pool heaven. I was not only in love with the tide pools but also with the spectacular view of the California Coast. The view from the Tide Pool Plaza has to be one of the most breathtaking and beautiful views of the California Coast. I could go on about the view but trust me on this- It is something you have to see for yourself. You will not be disappointed!!

The Tide Pool Plaza featured three living tide pool displays which my kiddos loved. They had the opportunity to get up close in personal with a starfish and a sea cucumber. We had an unforgettable moment and one that I know my daughter Lauren will remember forever. One of the volunteers brought out a starfish for Lauren to touch. The look on my daughter’s face was priceless. She loved not only being able to touch the starfish but to also learn about it’s body structure and how the starfish lives and feeds. Lauren was in heaven and has not been able to stop talking about her magical experience.

We were all so impressed with the individual attention we received from the staff. Everyone had a bright smile on their face and was happy to be working there- and yes this was the 4th of July. I can’t rave enough about the amazing staff!! We had to tear the kiddos away from the tide pools- they could have stayed there for hours.

After exploring the tide pools we made our way to my children’s favorite exhibit, The Wonders of Water in the Smargon Courtyard. The exhibit is made up of two outdoor water playstations. My husband and kiddos spent at least an hour playing with the water tables. I coudln’t blame them ,it was addicting!! My son Michael, who is only two and a half, was able to use the panels in the water table and able to make a path for his boat. He was mesmerized by the water station and there were plenty of tears when we told him that we had to leave. We did manage to catch a glimpse of the Shark Reef on the way out. It was amazing and I wish we had additional time to observe the sharks.

Closing time was upon us and we had to leave. We spent almost 4 hours at the Aquarium and yet if felt like one. Time just flew by. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the 4th of July. I have been on many outings and this will definitely now be on the top of my list . It is in my opinion that the Birch Aquarium is one of the MUST places to visit in Southern California. From the beautiful setting to the wonderful staff – The Birch Aquarium is a shinning

The best part is that for the price of a movie ticket, you can explore another world and make priceless memories. I had a reader recently email me that she wants her son to make memories of exploring sealife and not just have memories of playing on his playstation or surfing the net. This really stuck with me and I couldn’t help but think of this as we were exploring the Aquarium. I promise you that your entire family will fall in love with the Birch Aquarium and make priceless memories!!

Admission is $11.00 for adults, $7.50 for 3-17 year olds and Free for kiddos 2 and under. The Birch Aquarium is part of Museums on Us – which gives you free admission with your B of A debit or credit card on the first weekend of the month. We actually paid only $7.50 for my daughter since my husband and I both bank with B of A and were able to get in for free. It is an incredible deal!! You can also receive $1.00 off each admission with your AAA card.

Hours: 9am to 5pm daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
3 hour courtesy parking provided

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, California
For additional information head over here