Aquariums and Marine-Science Destinations

• Aquarium of the Pacific (562) 590-3100
More than 11,000 ocean animals are featured in three main galleries with 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits, including over 500 different species. Exhibits include Shark Lagoon, with shark and ray touch pools; the Lorikeet Forest aviary; the “Whales: Voices in the Sea” kiosk; Ocean Science Center, featuring NOAA’s Science on a Sphere; the June Keyes Penguin Habitat; and the Southern California Steelhead Story exhibit. Educational programs also available (see STEM under Enrichment) as well as annual events (see Calendar) and camps (see Camps). Admission: adults, $29.95; kids (3-11), $17.95; seniors (62+), $26.95. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. www.aquariumofthepacific.org

 

Birch Aquarium (858) 534-3473
Daily animal feedings as well as educational, hands-on visitor activities. Adults, $17; teens, (13-17), $14; kids (3-12), $12.50. UC San Diego, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu

 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (310) 548-7562
Thirty-five saltwater tanks and touch tanks, plus discovery labs and an Aquatic Nursery with baby sea animals. Ongoing science programs include tours, workshops/classes, camps, youth docents, family programs and annual events. Suggested admission donation: $1-5. 3720 Stephen White Drive, San Pedro. www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org

 

Legoland’s Sea Life Aquarium (760) 918-5346
An interactive aquarium geared for kids (2-12) features play zones, touch pools, fun facts and quiz trails, as well as jellyfish, sea horses, stingrays and sharks. $18-22. One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad. www.visitsealife.com

 

Ocean Institute (949) 496-2274
Interactive exhibits, marine life, touch tanks and ecology cruises, plus presentations and Sunday tours aboard the tallship Pilgrim. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. www.ocean-institute.org

 

Roundhouse Aquarium (310) 379-8117
Touch tanks, sea horses, shark and eel tanks, and kids’ activities. Classes, camps and parties also offered. Donations: $2 per person; $5 per family. Manhattan Beach Pier. www.roundhouseaquarium.org

 

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (310) 393-6149
More than 100 species, featuring touch tanks with tide-pool animals, plus year-round field-trip programs, kids’ classes, party packages and special-themed event days. Adults, $5; and kids (12 and under), free. 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica. www.healthebay.org/smpa

 

The SEA Lab (310) 318-7438
A hands-on coastal science education center that offers free and low-cost programs, touch-tank tours, public fish feeding, field trips and parties. Admission: $2 per person; $5 per family. 1021 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach. www.lacorps.org/sealab.php