Visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific with our 3-year-old was a blast. We initially set aside two hours to see everything but ended up having to plead with our daughter to head out after 5 hours of exploring! Kairi was a sponge asking multiple questions about every sea creature, happily hoping to every aquarium never wanting to leave.
Aquarium of the Pacific visitor info
Everyday 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m (closed Christmas)
- Adults $34.95
- Kids (3-11) $24.95
- Senior (62+) $31.95
Save money on the tickets
With a little research, you can discount coupons to save a significant amount of the cost per ticket. At the time of writing this post, you can get tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific for $25 per adult through Southern California Domino’s Locations. If you have AAA, you can save 20% if you buy it from there website.
$8 with Aquarium validation. So don’t leave your ticket in the car.
We recommend getting the most out of the $8 parking and exploring everything around the aquarium after your visit. As long as you get your hands stamped on the way out, you can reenter the aquarium before it’s closed to get your parking ticket validated.
Overall our experience was very positive. We arrived around noon, and the place was packed. But we expected that with schools on break and everyone attempting to use there discounted tickets by the end of the end.
Soon after our daughter saw the first aquarium, she was hooked. Her smile and rapid-fire questions let us know that we made the right decision to visit. Like every child there, she lit up, walked into the sea lion tunnel. The playful animals were interacting with the kids through the panels. For a minute, I even lost myself as I attempted to get the attention of a seal. The seal/sea lion exhibit was entertaining.
So much stuff to do outside
Moving outside, we entered the shark lagoon, which is a large open area where visitors can reach down and touch small sharks & stingrays. We didn’t think we would be out there long, but ended up staying in that area for over two hours! First, Kairi wanted the touch the sharks, then play on the outside structures, visit the birds, watch a kids show, learn about horse crabs, etc. there was so much to do out there, and Kairi wanted to see it all.
Eventually, we got to move upstairs to see the penguins and head back in to see the rest of the aquarium. We had to cut Kairi off and head out once we realized it was about to be rush hour.
On the way home, Kairi gave us a lengthy recap of the trip. She was confidently saying that the shark pools were her favorite. Our youngest daughter was even captivated by the aquariums when she was awake. Sadly, we couldn’t explore anything outside the aquarium, which was a shame because there was so much to do.
Things to do nearby
If you plan to spend the whole day visiting the aquarium of the pacific, be sure to take advantage of the other family-friendly things to do around the aquarium. Such as The Pike, Queen Mary, Harbor Tours, Etc
We’ve got plenty of other Family Friendly things to do on the blog. Check out our latest posts Here.
Should you go?
Yeah. It’s great for kids. Allowing Kairi to move at your own pace added 3 hours on top of the time we expected to stay. She loved the experience, and the joy we got to see on her face was worth every discounted penny we spent!