What’s special about the Aquarium of the Pacific?The Aquarium of the Pacific is a large and popular aquarium which showcases the diversity of the different regions of the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest and deepest ocean. It’s also home to lorikeets and Magellanic penguins and has an Earth-Friendly Garden featuring California-native and drought-resistant plants to highlight the region’s ongoing water shortage problems and showcase some potential solutions. You can also visit Charlie the Southern Sea Otter, who is 21 years old and the oldest southern sea otter living in a zoo or aquarium today.
What’s there to see on a visit?The main section of the aquarium is divided into three areas: the Southern California & Baja Gallery, the Northern Pacific Gallery (focusing on creatures from the Bering Sea), and the Tropical Pacific Gallery (focused on animals from around the islands of Palau). Outside you’ll find the Explorer’s Cove, which includes the Shark Lagoon and Lorikeet Forest, and there’s also a Penguin Habitat. There are also special exhibitions about sea jellies, frogs, and the importance of understanding the water cycle and water conservation.
How long will a trip to the Aquarium take?A typical trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific takes about 3 hours, but guests can stay as long as they like! Visitors with small children or who plan to hear every talk or see more than one show can easily spend 5 or 6 hours at the aquarium.
Is it possible to get close to any of the animals on display?It’s possible to feed the rays on certain dates and to feed the lorikeets (using cups of syrup) throughout the year. Special tickets including animal encounters are also available, and guests can meet sharks, sea otters, penguins, and sea lions. There’s also a range of exclusive VIP experiences, choose between the sea otter and octopus package, the penguins, seals, and sea lions package, or the sharks and rays package. If you have an Open Water SCUBA qualification then you can also take part in a tank diving experience in the Tropical Reef Habitat. All of these experiences are individually priced and most need to be booked in advance, so check the aquarium’s website before your visit.
Are there any special programs for children?Children will love exploring the exhibits, and older children will also find the talks from aquarium staff interesting. For those who want a little more structure, you can try out one of the aquarium’s Parent and Me classes, suitable for children aged 0 to 6, which include a guided tour to see the animals, the chance to interact with creatures in the Tide Pool, and themed arts and crafts! There’s also a play area outside with water elements, so bring a change of clothes if the weather’s hot so that the kids can go and play! There are also plenty of interactive exhibits for older children, who will enjoy pressing buttons and using the displays to learn more about the species they’re seeing.