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Family Guide To Los Angeles' Aquariums

Aquarium of the Pacific 610
(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

A public aquarium is more than a viewing area which houses living aquatic animals. Aquariums also serve as science think tanks that educate the masses about the importance of conservation. In the greater Los Angeles area, a big city that stretches to the Pacific Ocean, the popularity of these vital marine centers continues to grow. For families that are interested in oceanic life, these are great stimulating activities that promise to make some encouraging waves during summer of 2015.

santa monica pier aquarium

Shark Sundays
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-6149
Date: June 21, 2015 at 3:30pm

If you have ever wondered what it's like to feed a hungry shark, you'll get your chance at this informative exhibition. During mid-afternoon each Sunday, families watch studiously as ravenous sharks glide around their enclosure, anticipating their next meal. If you're close enough, expect to be showered by some seawater during the horn and swell sharks' feeding frenzy. As an added favor, all attendees are encouraged to create shark-inspired artwork to take away as a keepsake. You may want to return on any given Tuesday at 2:30 pm. to witness another furious battle over food, headlining California's leading stars of the Pacific.

Sea Turtle 1Aquarium of the Pacific
(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

Saturday Family Fun: Totally Turtles
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
Date: June 27, 2015 at 10am

Designed for ages four to six, this 90-minute program gives inquisitive minds an interactive look at the behavioral pattern and life cycle of the endangered sea turtle and its relationship to humans. Kids are able to touch some of the docile reptiles and learn how to help protect these playful sea animals from extinction. Other enjoyable activities include creating an ocean-themed craft to take home as a souvenir. As a special treat, kids and their parents are invited to tour the aquarium's lively tropical gallery, a cherished area that highlights thousands of colorful fish indigenous to the Pacific Ocean. Reservations and prepayment are required.

Related: Guide To SoCal Aquariums And Marine Centers

Baby fur seal
Tours & Feedings
The SEA Lab
1021 N. Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 318-7438
Date: July 5 through July 26, 2015 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This marine education center is ideal for parents with preschool children. Each Sunday throughout the month of July, kids get a chance to enjoy the small aquarium's touch tanks, while learning about the significance of marine life and how to protect our oceans. All scheduled activities are run by ambitious college students that have been trained by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps., with support provided by an army of passionate volunteers. With a small donation, mini mariners can feed the fish residing in the tide-pool tank and explore the many wonders of the natural world. Who knows? Your little one could become a marine biologist one day.

(credit: RMZ)

Roundhouse Aquarium Summer Camp
Roundhouse Aquarium
2 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 379-8117
Date: August 17 through August 21, 2015 at 9am to 12pm

This is the last chance in 2015 for your kids to take advantage of a full week of thrills at Manhattan Beach's only science and beach camp. Suitable for ages four to 10, children are kept busy learning about sea life, fishing, dissecting squid, building sand sculptures, digging for sand crabs and engaging in educational experiments. All water activities take place under the dutiful eye of a certified lifeguard. Parents with more than one child save money, when they sign up siblings for what could be one of the best memories of their active childhood. Be sure to visit the aquarium's touch tanks, which display radiant selections of marine fish and invertebrates.

Ocean Institute

31st Toshiba Tall Ships Festival
Ocean Institute
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-2274
Date: Sept. 12 through Sept. 13, 2015 at 10am to 5pm

Over a two-day period, families are able to delve into the greatness of real-working tall ships during the largest annual gathering of giant and traditionally-rigged sailing vessels on the west coast. Guests are treated to ship tours and living-history encampments that include engaging schrimshaw artists and hard-at-work blacksmiths. Also returning to the highly-anticipated celebration are the infamous Port Royal Privateers, a troupe of improvisational actors dedicated to maritime history and the long-ago era of piracy in the Caribbean. More than 115,000 K-12 students participate in the institute's immersion-style oceanography programs each year.

Related: Best Zoos And Aquariums In OC

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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