Did you know The Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the largest Aquariums in the United States? In fact, this aquarium, which opened in 1998, is the fourth largest in the United States. As such, it’s also one of the most popular, especially with families, as there are a lot of interactive spaces and exhibits.
Home to an amazing assortment of marine life, the Aquarium of the Pacific is an ideal place to explore life under the sea. What can you plan on seeing with Aquarium of the Pacific tickets? Follow along as we detail all that you can access. Let’s dive in.
It’s All in the Name
The Aquarium of the Pacific features more than 11,000 ocean animals representing nearly 500 species. Its focus, as the attraction’s name implies, is the Pacific Ocean, exploring the waters of the Tropical, Southern California, and Northern Pacific. There are 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits, as well as an ocean science and animal care center. Browse through the photos below to get an inside look.
Families love this place for many reasons. The vibrant, massive aquarium, has many exhibits that are truly mesmerizing. Nowhere is this truer than the Blue Cavern, which at 142,000-gallons and three stories high, is a sight to behold. Kids are captivated by this massive aquarium–and so are adults! With a location in the Southern California/Baja Gallery, the Blue Cavern features ocean inhabitants found off the coast of Catalina Island.
At The Aquarium of the Pacific amazing marine life is around every corner. There are outdoor exhibits too: a sea lion sanctuary, ray touch pool, and shorebird exhibit. I’m a huge fan of sea lions (they’re kind of my favorite) so seeing these magical mammals swim, splash and play was a real delight.
For more information about some of the exhibits you can access with Aquarium of the Pacific tickets, read on.
Northern Pacific Gallery: Visit this gallery to see jellyfish, sea otters, and the giant Pacific octopus. Diving birds like puffins are also featured here.
Tropical Pacific Gallery: Vibrant fish (over 1,000!) are the main attraction at this gallery. In addition, sea dragons, coral, and clownfish can be found in this section of the Aquarium.
June Keyes Penguin Habitat: View Magellanic Penguins, both above and below water, at this habitat. There’s even a crawl-in space that lets you get thisclose to the penguins.
With Aquarium of the Pacific tickets, it’s easy to make learning fun! In fact, the interactive attractions at the Aquarium engage kids to learn more about the marine life around them.
One of the unique interactive activities is dipping your hand into the tropical touch tank. Knowledgeable guides are on-hand to tell you about the sponges, starfish, and sea cucumbers, each of which you can really touch. I’ve had the experience of touching a ray before, but never had I felt the spines of a starfish or slipperiness of a sea cucumber. Oh, and you can also touch shark. Pretty cool, right? It’s just one more way The Aquarium of the Pacific ensures guests have an immersive, interactive visit each and every time.
Free Live Shows & Films
Live shows add another level of entertainment to a day at the Aquarium. Best of all, the shows are free with the purchase of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets.
Blue Cavern Dive Show: Watch and hear from divers inside the 3-story tall Blue Cavern.
Tropical Reef Dive Show: Learn from divers as they explore the 350,000-gallon Tropical Reef.
Explorer Time: Enjoy story time with an Aquarium of the Pacific educator at the Marine Life Theater.
Sea Otter Show: Discover how staff cares for sea otters at their on-site habitat.
Sharks: Learn about the Aquarium cares and feeds its sharks.
Seals and Sea Lions: Watch as staff cares for and interacts with seals and sea lions.
Animal Care: Peek inside Aquarium animal care through Keeper Chats at the Molina Animal Care Center.
Several times a day visitors can watch films in the Great Hall. Films are projected eight screens high on the Great Hall Wall, creating a truly immersive viewing experience.
Frogs Film: Discover the diversity of frogs and their amphibian relatives in a film on eight screens.
Penguins Film: Learn about penguins in an eight-screen multimedia video.
Aquarium Tours & Adventures
If you want to see even more of the Aquarium of the Pacific, take an aquarium tour.
Self Guided Tours: Grab a Visitors Guide upon entry so you can navigate the Aquarium like a pro. The guide highlights the best of the Aquarium as well as interactive stations for kids. There’s also an MP3 Audio Tour you can download in advance of your visit that’s helpful and informative.
Behind the Scenes Tour: Get a sneak peek of all that goes n the daily operations of the Aquarium. In addition, guests get to go above the facilities largest exhibit, Tropical Reef, to feed the fish! Keep in mind, however, this tour is not included with the purchase of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets. There is an additional cost of $19/person.
Animal Encounters Tour: Take your exploration one step further with an Animal Encounter. With this Aquarium upgrade, you’ll get the chance to feed a sea otter, train a sea lion, wade with sharks, or waddle up to a penguin!
- One-hour duration
- 30 minutes behind-the-scenes with an educator
- 30 minute of animal interaction
Boat Adventures: Take to the water to explore the Pacific Ocean firsthand. The Aquarium of the Pacific offers several boat adventures for every season. Options include:
- Gray Whale Watch (Fall/Winter)
- Whale Watching & Dolphin Cruise (Fall/Spring)
- Harbor Tour (Year-Round)
- Blue Whale & Sea Life Cruise (Summer)
- The Urban Ocean Cruise (Summer)
As if there’s not enough to do at the Aquarium, the aquatic attraction also hosts events and festivals each month. Typically, festivals are included with the price of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets.
January: Festival of Human Abilities
February: African Heritage Festival
April: Earth Day Celebration
April: International Children’s Day Celebration
May: Urban Ocean Festival
June: Pacific Islander Day
September: Baja Splash Cultural Festival
September: Moompetam: Celebrating Coastal Native Americans
October: Scarium of the Pacific
November: Autumn Festival
December: Holiday Treats for the Animals Weekend
Discover More at Aquarium of the Pacific
As you can see, with Aquarium of the Pacific tickets it’s easy to have fun. In fact, kids and adults alike love exploring this underwater world. When you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to explore The Aquarium of the Pacific. This engaging look at marine life is well worth your time.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Los Angeles to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.