Aquarium of the Pacific Long Beach, CA

GG March 23, 2011 No Comments

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Aquarium of the Pacific Sign Long Beach
Aquarium of the Pacific Sign

Today I finally took my 16 month old son to the Aquarium of the Pacific on 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach, CA. We had a field trip planned with my Mommy & Me class and I was excited to bring my son for the first time. He’s such a little explorer, so I knew he would love it!

We met out front by the fountain which is available for kids of all ages to play in and around. The place is surrounded by water and all of the local sights of the Pacific. As we approached the entrance we were greeted by the sound of simulated whale voices. We had a discounted rate with our class, so we got in for only $6 a piece! Not bad, when the going rate for an adult is about $25 and $12.95 for kids ages 3-11. I plan on returning with my husband next time, but instead of paying the full $50 for us both to get in, I’ll use my “buy one-get one” coupon that I found in my local Entertainment Book.

Sea Otters Aquarium of the Pacific

Sea otters nuzzling each other in the Aquarium

There’s a parking garage that’s very close, but be prepared for another $8 for parking. Out front, you can book a dolphin or whale watching boatride tour. Right across the street is the Mai Tai Bar and Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant.

Bubbagump Restaurant and Shopping area

Bubbagump Restaurant and Shopping area

As you enter the Aquarium, you can’t miss the huge whale they have suspended from the ceiling. It’s absolutely incredible to see and certainly makes you feel insignificant in comparison to its size.

Whale at the Entrance of Aquarium of the Pacific

Whale at the Entrance of Aquarium of the Pacific

With a 16 month old, it’s really tough to take in all that the Long Beach Aquarium has to offer, but we managed to see quite a few attractions while we were there. We saw so many different exotic fish, starfish, octopi, jellyfish, seahorses, sea otters and sting rays and our son Christian loved staring at them through the glass. We were lucky enough to catch one of their fish feeding frenzies as the scuba divers swam among them inside the tank while dispensing their food.

Aquarium of the Pacific Water Tank

Aquarium of the Pacific Water Tank

There were 3 scuba divers inside the aquarium with all of the different fish, including huge sting rays that routinly swam close to the glass walls. They were devouring the heads of lettuce in the divers’ hands as one tour guide communicated back and forth with them about information on each of the different fish. This actually caught Christian’s attention for a little while.

Aquarium of the Pacific Sea Life

More exotic sea life to enjoy

One of Christian’s favorite places to hang out was the aquarium with simulated ocean waves. The water would sway back and forth while carrying the fish, starfish and sea life around the tank. He spent a great deal of time here and couldn’t get enough! He was fascinated by the movement.

Aquarium of the Pacific Exotic Fish

Amazing variety of Sea Life

Later we walked by an area called the “Coastal Corner” where one of the guide was teaching children about the sea life variety. This area offered an opportunity for children to reach out and touch the sea creatures! There were all sorts of starfish, crabs and fish for them to touch while they learned all about each of them.

Aquarium of the Pacific School of Fish

My son reaching out to touch the school of fish

After taking in many of the exhibits, we decided to take a break outside at a play area for children. We passed by a pool where children were touching sting rays and sea otters during the show happening below. We didn’t actually have time to participate because it was time to feed my son, so we just hung out while the kids played after lunch. They had a wonderful time playing on the sea creature play structures that spouted water.  There was also a boat they could climb into and play with the steering wheel while they pretended to navigate.

Aquarium of the Pacific Children's Play Area

Aquarium of the Pacific Children's Play Area

Overall, I found that the Long Beach Aquarium was very baby and kid friendly. Our entire Mommy & Me class had strollers, so thankfully, there were elevators everywhere. As I am 8 months pregnant, I also found that all of the bathrooms were easily accessible with a stroller.

Our Mommy and Me Group at Aquarium of the Pacific

Our Mommy and Me Group at Aquarium of the Pacific

Each of the different exhibits were not only kid friendly, but toddler friendly. My son was able to run around and look at all of the different fish and sea life through the glass without having to worry about him getting hurt or destroying anything. Our entire class was able to park our strollers outside of different exhibits and take our toddlers inside to run around and explore. My son loved his new found freedom to explore and discover new things. I brought plenty of snacks for my little one, but they also had a small snack bar and a decent size gift shop for sea-life collectibles perfect for kids. I was very impressed with all that the Long Beach Aquarium had to offer and definitely plan for all of us to return including my husband!

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avatarAbout the Author:

GG lives in Southern California and is the proud mother of 1 son. She is currently pregnant with her second child due early next year. GG and her family are avid family travelers who enjoy sharing their experiences.

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