INSIDE: 5 tips for visiting Birch Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla, California. Free aquarium printables and activities for kids.
For a desert kid, seeing the ocean (or green grass, snow or any season outside of summer) is a big deal! So when we partook in the mass exodus that Arizonans do each July for the California coast, we spent a fun afternoon at the Birch Scripps Aquarium in beautiful seaside La Jolla.
Little kid, or one that is adulting, there is something really special about seeing the many (read: like 5000) species of colorful fish, giant sea stars and all the fascinatingly weird creatures that call the ocean their home. However, no trip to the aquarium can be complete without a fun activity for the kids, right?!
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tips for visiting birch scripps aquarium with the kids
With 60 fish habitats to enjoy, Birch Aquarium is a quaint experience with all sorts of hands-on activities and exhibits. And with three kids each running their own ways to different exhibits, it’s totally manageable to do with kids!
top 5 tips for a fun birch scripps aquarium visit
Touch and feel at the Tide Pool Plaza
There’s nothing quite like petting a sea cucumber, gasping at a giant sea snail slug along or getting your finger tickled by a sea anemone. Be sure to spend time leaning over the rocks to gaze into these large tide pools and learn an interesting fact or two from the aquarium volunteers. Ask for the feeding schedule to see all sorts of tide pool inhabitants come out of their rocky hiding spots for lunch!
The Tide Pool Plaza also boosts amazing scenic La Jolla ocean views.
Get your wiggles out at the Boundless Energy Exhibit
This is an awesome outdoor area where kids can learn first hand about energy forces. Like using a bike to make a large pinwheel spin, how waterways move boats down a channel or bouncing up and down on a super fun sea-saw!
Seahorses and more seahorses
A truly awesome exhibit, there’s just something about seahorses! From the delicate dragon seahorse to the miniscule seahorse babies, you will find yourself standing in front of these exhibits in amazement.
Take a photo inside a giant shark
Just outside the leopard shark tank, be sure to take a fun photo inside the mouth of a giant shark head. Won’t this make a great holiday card photo?!
Relax in the Giant Kelp Forest
Skip the dive gear and come face-to-face with leopard sharks, eels, giant sea bass and huge kelp reeds. This is a great place to sit and stay awhile at this halfway point through the aquarium.
It’s also a great place to search for all sorts of sea life in your Aquarium Search activity sheet…
aquarium printable activity sheets for kids
Click to download — Sea Life Search
Click to download — Tide Pool Search
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