Aquariums & Marine Centers Kids Can Visit for $5 or Less in Southern California
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium features 35 saltwater tanks and touch tanks, plus discovery labs, and an Aquatic Nursery with baby sea animals. The exhibit hall showcases major environments including kelp forests, rocky shores, mudflats, open ocean, and sandy beaches. Don’t forget to check out their new Rocky Intertidal Exhibit and the refreshed Tidepool Habitat.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Admission: Suggested donation of $7 for adults and $3 for children.
Heal the Bay Aquarium
1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica
Located under the Santa Monica Pier, Heal the Bay Aquarium features 100+ species of marine animals and plants found locally in the Santa Monica Bay. Hands-on activities include touch tanks and daily educational programs.
Open: Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Admission: Kids 12 and under are FREE with an adult ticket purchase ($10). Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles
3601 S. Gaffey St., #8, San Pedro
MMCCLA is a non-profit hospital for seals and sea lions that become stranded along the 70+ miles of beaches from Malibu to Seal Beach. The center is open to the public on weekends for 15-minute, docent-led tours. Visitors can see and learn about the pinniped patients from a safe distance.
Open: Weekends, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Tours are free. Suggested donation of $5 per person.
Pacific Marine Mammal Care Center
20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach
Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals. The Visitor Yard features interactive displays, marine mammal artifacts, and gift shop. Visitors are also welcome to stroll through their Butterfly Garden.
Open: Daily, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free. Donations appreciated.
Manhattan Beach Pier
Located at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier, the Roundhouse Aquarium cares for 100 different species of marine life, mostly found in the Santa Monica Bay. Enjoy 12+ exhibits showcased within four aquarium galleries.
Open: Weekdays, 2pm – 7pm / Weekends, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free. Suggested donation of $2 per person or $5 per family.
** Be sure to confirm all admission and opening details with each center before going.
This post was written by Alina Na