If you are ever on the central coast of California, you must visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Open since 1984, the mission of the aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans. Monterey Bay ranks among the world’s most diverse marine regions, the bay is part of the largest protected marine areas in the US. The aquarium’s permanent exhibits and galleries highlight the colorful and complex marine life found in this area, from coastal wetlands to the open ocean and deep sea, along with special exhibits featuring marine life from around the world.
My older children were lucky enough to visit the aquarium in their first grade year in elementary school as part of their science curriculum. My youngest daughter had yet to go, so our family recently took a trip and it was truly amazing. My son kept saying over and over, “our ocean is so amazing…these animals are so fascinating!” They truly are! The aquarium is age-appropriate for even the youngest ocean fan, with interactive exhibits, water play, touch pools, and art. We relate so many of our encounters with “Finding Nemo” for my youngest, then the light bulb goes on for her. My older children read and learned about recycling, biology, and conservation of energy.
Check out my slide show of our visit!
There are daily animal feedings which we seemed to miss at every time frame for the Sea Otters, animals of the Outer Bay, and the Penguins as well as a Kelp Forest dive show. The newest exhibits show off hot pink flamingos and the secret lives of seahorses (including the pregnant male seahorse!) The aquarium has a number of great places to shop for souvenirs, clothing, books, and more, along with a place to dine if you didn’t bring your sack lunch!
Adults pay $29.95 and children 3-12 are $17.95 each, with senior, student, and disabled rates also available. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is open every day of the year excluding Christmas.
It was a wonderful experience, and so educational for the whole family. Located at the end of Monterey’s famous Cannery Row, you can’t find a better spot for a family vacation!
Our experience is our tried and true opinions and was not influenced by any source. We were given complimentary tickets for this review.