Visitors and locals usually think San Diego’s top family attractions are its beaches, Balboa Park, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, the San Diego Zoo, and Wild Animal Park.
Missing from the list is the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. All ages will enjoy the exhibits and hands-on activities, including watching the little blue penguins, experiencing tide pools, and viewing the feeding of leopard sharks, weedy seadragons, and a rescued loggerhead sea turtle.
The mesmerizing kelp forest is in a two-story high, 70,000 gallon, ocean tank. Denizens swimming by are all local sea inhabitants, including the garibaldi (California’s state marine fish), leopard sharks, moray eels, and endangered giant black sea bass.
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public face of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. SIO, founded in 1903, is one of the world’s oldest and largest centers for ocean and earth science research.
Birch Aquarium schedules, events, special programs, etc., and can be found at www.aquarium.ucsd.edu. Advanced ticket reservations are encouraged. There are also private octopus and seahorse tours available. Parking is free for the first three hours. For a preview of your visit, log on to one of three live cams and watch the kelp dwellers, penguins, and/or seadragons in action.
Thanks to the Birch Aquarium website, PR releases, and the Internet for information, photos, etc.