9 Great Places for Kids Who’d Rather Be Under the Sea!
Kids will love sea-ing, meeting, and touching awesome underwater creatures at these SoCal aquariums and marine life centers. Check them out!
Aquarium of the Pacific | Long Beach
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. Educational programs are also available as well as birthday parties, camps, and behind-the-scenes tours. Pacific Visions, the Aquarium’s first major expansion, which opened last May, features a state-of-the-art theater, new exhibition space, art gallery and animals.
Birch Aquarium | La Jolla
Visit more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats. Get hands-on with sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and more in their living tide pool exhibit. Watch a shark feeding or catch a show and witness divers descent into two-story Giant Kelp Forests while answering guest questions and feeding the animals.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium | San Pedro
Thirty-five saltwater tanks and touch tanks, plus discovery labs and an Aquatic Nursery with baby sea animals. Ongoing science programs include tours, workshops and classes, camps, youth docents, family programs, annual events, tide pool walks and grunion runs.
Heal the Bay Aquarium | Santa Monica Pier
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.
Legoland’s Sea Life Aquarium | Carlsbad
Sea Life Aquarium is the home to over 350 different species and more than 6,000 creatures. The aquarium offers 16 interactive zones to explore and learn about marine life, touch pools, and the exhibit Sea at Night. In this exhibit, you’ll experience bioluminescent tides as you walk a simulated coastline under the stars, and splash in waves projected on the ground, giving the effect of a crashing tide.
Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles | San Pedro
The Marine Mammal Care Center rehabilitates seals and sea lions rescued from the LA County coastline. The MMCC is open to the public every day of the year during daylight hours. Visitors can see seal and sea lion patients from a safe distance. Docent-led tours are available for groups of 10 or more.
Ocean Institute | Dana Point
The Ocean Institute is a community-based organization that educates visitors through over 60 marine science and maritime history programs. The Institute includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, learning center, two historic tall ships, and an oceanographic research vessel. Programs include tidepool hikes, whale and marine life tours, cruises and more.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center | Laguna Beach
The PMMC rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals. Summer camps, after-school and Girl Scouts programs are available. Participants can learn how to rehabilitate seal and sea lion patients through a series of mock activities including weighing fish, preparing fish smoothies, cleaning pens and learning the art of marine mammal rescue. Visit their Butterfly Garden to see bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Roundhouse Aquarium | Manhattan Beach Pier
Located at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier, the Roundhouse Aquarium serves as an educational facility. Inside are viewing and touch tanks each displaying selection of marine fish and invertebrates. There’s also a kid’s area with books and puzzles. Summer Science Beach Camp also offered, plus birthday party packages.
This post was written by Alina Na