Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Explore the marine life living at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This attraction is fit for people of all ages, including children!
Birch Aquarium
Explore Undersea Life
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Highlights

Explore the Wonders of Undersea Life at Birch Aquarium

Settled in a serene and peaceful location in La Jolla California with unbelievable Pacific Ocean views, Birch Aquarium at Scripps submerges guests into the exciting underwater world. Here is where you will get hands-on with interactive exhibits that include beautiful ocean creatures.

You will get to explore a museum attributed to cutting edge inquiry from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. This impressive Aquarium was founded in 1903. More than 400,000 people, including more than 40,000 School children, visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps each year.

Experience life undersea and learn about our marvelous planet and its oceans. Scripps does frequent live lectures online with a Scripps Oceanography Scientist that you can join in from home!

Get Your Tickets for Birch Aquarium in San Diego California

Regular Price of Admission Information

Regular prices of admission are as follows:

  • Adults: $19.50
  • Children (3-17 $15, 2 & under are free)
  • $15, senior (60+)
  • $16.50 for students

Also, discounted tickets, tours, and classes are available to groups of 10 or more.

Always check in advance for the latest pricing as admission and discounts at the aquarium are always subject to change.

Save When You Purchase an All-Inclusive Go San Diego Pass!

Purchase a Go San Diego All-Inclusive Pass to save up to 55% or more when you visit two or more participating attractions in one day. Keep up with the oceanic theme and rent a kayak for 90 wonderful minutes or go snorkeling to explore the underworld of California's Jewel City on the La Jolla Shores Beach.

Prices start at $99 for adults and $89 for children. Enter any of the 55 attractions for free during the duration of your pass! For an additional discount, purchase this ticket up to one year in advance through our exclusive partnership in order to maximize your savings. This is a deal too good to pass up.

If you’re coming from out of town and looking for a hotel to stay nearby, we recommend the 4 star Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton. This family-friendly hotel is a beautiful location to spend a few nights and just steps away from the aquarium.

The Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine is another nearby option that is family-friendly and offers free WiFi.

Witness Underwater Amazement When You Visit Birch Aquarium

Here you can see the vibrant, bright orange Garibaldi. This beautiful fish draws attention due to its fantastic aesthetic. They also have a Giant Pacific Octopus that is a fan favorite due to its camouflage abilities.

Need some light in your life? The Yellow Tang fish is one of the most popular Aquarium fish; it is brighter than a highlighter! It will undoubtedly be the highlight of your day.

You will see real marine creatures that hold unique powers that expand beyond your wildest imagination:

  • Some have super vision
  • Others have the power of invisibility
  • Some create their own protective armor
  • Others can produce electricity to zap prey

What is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography?

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute is an Aquarium and public exploration center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. It is known for promoting, practicing, and educating about conservation backed by marine science.

Birch Aquarium's expert aquarist team has been protecting seahorses in captivity for more than 20 years. You can see a collection of these Birch Aquarium born seahorses on display.

Hundreds of these beautiful creatures have been sent worldwide to help deduce collection pressure on wild populations. Birch Aquarium has shipped seahorses to more than 70 zoos and aquariums around the world. They have efficiently raised 12 species of seahorses.

Exhibits at the Birch Aquarium

Seahorse Exhibit

Seadragons & Seahorses is Birch Aquarium's impressive new permanent exhibit that brings seadragon conservation to the forefront. This exhibit hosts weedy and leafy Seadragons. It also has quite a few species of other seahorses and pipefish.

For the first time, Birch Aquarium successfully bred seadragons within this beautiful exhibit. Only several aquariums in the world have been successful in breeding this unusual yet incredible marine life.

Shark Shores

Come face to face with a beautiful leopard shark and other species of sharks. Shark Shores also has an array of rays you can view. This outdoor exhibit lets you explore the bottom of La Jolla Shores in a creative way. The plus side? You won't get soaked!

Tide Pool Plaza

Get hands-on at Tide Pool Plaza! The volunteers assist you so that you can get up close and personal with underwater life such as:

  • Sea anemones
  • Sea stars
  • Sea cucumbers
  • Hermit crabs
  • Lobsters
  • As well as many other organisms

Overlooking La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean, this mesmerizing outdoor plaza is a great place for guests to enjoy a lovely detox from life. Just sit back and take in the coastal breeze and see the panoramic ocean views.

Hall of Fishes

The Hall of Fishes is the safety net to the rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle from the South Carolina Aquarium rescue hospital. She has rear flipper paralysis, which is the reason she was deemed non-releasable. She can live in this Aquarium without the dangers she would face in the wild.

Plenty of Fun for Kids

Toddler time

Toddler Time is every other Wednesday at 10 am, with every Wednesday differing from the other. Toddlers can have fun with music as well as art and yoga.

This is an outdoor event that depends on the weather, so it would be canceled if it were to rain. It's also a great idea to check the schedule for this activity as the time and day are always subject to change.

Summer Camps

All the camps are live and taught by two of the Birch Aquarium's expert instructors. Campers can create crafts, participate in experiments, learn about oceanography, and virtually interact with ocean sea life!

Camps run weekdays, typically from June 22 through August 21; check the schedule before signing up.

Behind the Scenes Tours

Take a sneak peek behind the scenes at the unique and diverse world of seahorses. Here is where you can check out the little seahorse babies! Take the opportunity to learn about the Birch Aquarium's renowned breeding program.

In the tours, you will understand what it takes to care for these cute little creatures! For members, it is an additional $30. For the public, it is $35.

Local Tips
Online Learning
Birch Aquarium welcomes families, teachers, and scientists of all ages ready to to invent, explore, and connect.

Events and Shows at the Birch Aquarium

Annual Events at Birch Aquarium

World Oceans Day is June 8, and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps celebrates it with a week of virtual fun! Join for unique live streams, new in-home, hands-on science activities, fun facts, and more.

The Aquarium explores Marine Protected Areas near and far and learns how to take specific measures to understand and protect the oceans.

Celebrate Holidays at Birch Aquarium

Spend your Easter at the Eggstravaganza on weekends! Some activities are available on weekdays. This includes Scuba Bunny, which is to help the Birch Aquarium at Scripps celebrate the arrival of spring and the changes it brings during Eggstravaganza!

Admire animal eggs, create a shark egg craft, and participate in an "underwater egg hunt."

Saturdays and Sundays are Scuba Bunny themed Dive Shows. Arrive early, so you don't miss the action!

Live Cams to Watch at the Birch Aquarium

The aquarist team at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps has been undergoing an experiment to limit irritant algae's growth in their Giant Kelp Forest. This alga proliferates in the conditions of our habitat, but it can quickly become severely dangerous.

You can watch all of their efforts and findings on the Aquariums Kelp Cam for free!

Go Snorkel with Go Pass!
La Jolla - Full Day Snorkel Rental
La Jolla Full Day Snorkel Rental
While visiting San Diego, discover the sea creatures of San Diego with a Full Day Snorkel Rental with your Go Pass in La Jolla. Take pictures of the areas marine life and coral. Snorkel, mask, wet suit and flippers are included in your rental.
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Local Tips
What is a Go San Diego Pass?

The Go San Diego Pass allows visitors to experience more attractions while simultaneously saving money.

With the pass, you can visit San Diego’s top attractions like the San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND, all while saving up to 55% off on admissions. Plus, the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

How to Get to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Parking Information

EV Charging
EV Charging
Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking

To get to the Birch Aquarium from the north, south, or west, you will want to follow signs to exit onto La Jolla Shores Drive. From there, you will see signs for Birch Aquarium. This will take you to Downwind Way, where you will fork to the right to stay on Downwind Way.

Suppose you are coming from the east, exit onto Torrey Pines Road. From Torrey Pines, you will fork to the left to merge onto Downwind Way. From there, the parking lot will be on your left.

Parking Information

If you have a large, oversize vehicle, parking on the premises is not allowed. For buses, RV's, or other types of large vehicles, parking is available along La Jolla Shores Drive. Although, there is a limit as to how many can park here. It's a good idea to get there as early as possible.

For other vehicles, there is a three-hour courtesy parking at Birch Aquarium. If you would like to stay longer, you may pay a small fee to receive a parking pass. This parking pass will allow you to extend your stay.

The Aquarium is also offering accessible, friendly parking. There are designated handicapped spots to park in. However, if none is available, you may drop your loved one off at the building's front at the traffic circle. This is where you can also pick them up when it is time to leave.

Tips to Make Your Visit Even More Amazing

Disabled Accessibility
Disabled Accessibility
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Dogs
No Dogs
No Smoking
No Smoking
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Restrooms
Restrooms
Stroller Accessible
Stroller Accessible
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Hours and Days of Operation

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is open from 9 am until 5 pm daily. Before going to the Aquarium, check online for a daily schedule to be aware of what is going on the day you visit.

Days and hours are always subject to change. This is another reason why it is a good idea to check before you go.

Money-Saving Tips

If you are staying at a hotel, check out their brochures. Sometimes, they will have extra coupons to help you save money for specific exhibits. Also, they contain coupons for some places to eat around the area.

The first full weekend of every month, there's free general admission if you show your Bank of America card. However, only the person whose name is on the card can receive complimentary access.

You Cannot Enter After Leaving the Aquarium

Once you're out, you're done, unfortunately. So, you must figure out how long you want to stay and enjoy everything. There are no re-entry stamps or wrist bands.

If you are waiting for additional people to show, it's a good idea to talk about a meeting area. Most people prefer to stay outside for the other parties. That way, no one has to worry about the inability to leave the building.

Dining Options Available

Devour mouth-watering pastries, tasty salads, sandwiches, and delicious desserts that will have you wanting more all at the Shark Cafe. They are open from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm. It is preferred to order online before going, so that's something to keep in mind.

Only Trained Service Dogs Allowed

Only trained service animals are allowed in the facility for your pets' safety and the guests.

Please, do not bring your pet or leave them in your car, no matter the weather. If you do, the Aquarium will contact the police, which will result in the removal of your pet.

Always Check Times Online

Everything is still subject to change. The activities, events, and hours of the Aquarium may change without notice. Take the time to look before you go; that way, you're not met with any unpleasant surprises!

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