Family Travel: Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Flickr: adoreone
Get Enamored by the Long Beach Aquarium!

Just south of Los Angeles, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific is a world-class aquarium.  My family and I have visited numerous aquariums across the United States, and this one, right in our Southern California backyard, has impressed us the most. 

Inside the aquarium, I was overwhelmed by the size.  The map itself is even a little overwhelming, but a quick visit to the information center can get you on track and ready to explore.  Don’t toss your map – it serves as an interactive scavenger hunt throughout the museum where your kids can search for stamps that impress images on the map.  My kids LOVED searching for the map stations!
The exhibits in the aquarium are large, well maintained, and feature tons of educational information on the animals, plants and habitats.  In addition to the focus on sea plants and animals, we also learned a lot about global warming, pollution, and the role we can have in reversing our negative impact on the planet. 

The Aquarium is very hands-on. Divers waved to us as they fed thousands of fish in the 350,000 gallon Tropical Reef Habitat.  We touched starfish, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, sharks, rays, and even jellyfish!  I didn’t even know this was possible!  Not only that, but they allow visitors to observe the shark-feeding time. It was amazing to watch them devour their food right in front of us.  There is even an aviary where you can feed Lorikeets right from your hands. 

Numerous daily shows and activities are held to promote educational opportunities for children of all ages.  

In case your little ones get antsy, a fun, outdoor play structure is a great change of pace.  The aquarium has a few snack shops and restaurants, and the restrooms were very clean and easy to find. 

The Aquarium of the Pacific is open year-round.  Tickets start at $24.95/adults, although Shark Lagoon nights, almost every Friday of the year, are completely free. 

Book your Long Beach family vacation today!

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photo: adoreone

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