Aquarium of the Pacific Tips

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Visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific during your SoCal vacation

Our family had such a great vacation at the end of June. We did a lot of things we have never done before. One of those things was the Aquarium of the Pacific. Have you been? It was a lot of fun, but first, I just have to say- Holy School Groups! Or probably Summer Camp Groups, but whatever. We picked the WRONG day to go (a Friday) because apparently every summer camp or daycare out there has Friday Field Trip Day. But other than the crowds of kids trying to be wrangled by flustered teenagers, we had a blast!

The Aquarium of the Pacific is something I have wanted to explore for a long time, but wanted to wait until the Goof was a little older and could actually appreciate it, and maybe learn a thing or two. This was the perfect age (5 years old) for him to go as well. He learned so much and was excited to see animals he had seen on Octonauts.

Aquarium Pacific 006

The Aquarium has a lot of different exhibit areas, from the Ocean Exploration to the Tropical Pacific, and even Penguins and a Shark Lagoon. There was so much to do, this could easily be a full day visit. And each exhibit has a lot to do. Of course you get to look at lots of sea creatures, but that is not it. I think my favorites were the hands on learning tools. Whether touching star fish and sting rays or playing games to learn about sea otters, the entire aquarium was geared toward learning in fun ways. If I lived in the area, this would be a great homeschooling field trip. (Heck, I may just have to make it a homeschool field trip/road trip some day.)

Some tips for your visit to the Aquarium:

  • Purchase your tickets ahead of time. There is basically “express entry” lines for those that have tickets that they purchased online.
  • Remember your parking ticket. You park in a parking garage, and the Aquarium will have ticket validation machines that give you the Aquarium flat rate price of $8, so bring it in with you so you can scan it. Also, you pay at a pay station before you leave.
  • Bring extra clothes for little ones. There are lots of places to get wet- from pools that you can touch animals to a splash pad, it is easy for little ones to get soaked. Extra clothes are a great idea.
  • Do the outside exhibits before it gets too hot. We happened to end up outside mid-afternoon and it was hot. Try to do the outside exhibits as early as possible if it is going to be hot the day you are there.
  • Bring a camera. You will have a lot of fun photo opportunities.

Other than the crowds, the Aquarium was amazing! Have you been? What was your favorite part?

 *My family received complimentary passes to the Aquarium of the Pacific so that we could share our honest opinion with you

This post was originally published on July 9, 2015.

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