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Monterey Bay Aquarium: Exciting Marine Life for Kids

Monterey Bay Aquarium is an award-winning aquarium that offers an educational and entertaining time to visitors of all age groups. As the name suggests,

it is located in Monterey, California, and is well known worldwide for encompassing a diverse range of aquatic animals.

Monterey Bay Aquarium first opened in 1984 and instantly became famous for encompassing a kelp forest within its interiors.

The team of biologists here has mastered the technique of animal husbandry of jellyfish. This aquarium was the first one to take a great white shark under its care successfully.

This aquarium’s research and conservation efforts are also directed towards different bird species, sea otters, and tunas. It has close to 200 galleries that beautifully display the diverse aquatic life.

Every year, about 2 million visitors venture into this aquarium to check out the colorful underwater species.

You can easily access the tickets to Monterey Aquarium by visiting their Monterey Bay Aquarium website.

You can check out Aquarium images of the diverse aquatic life encompassed by the aquarium by clicking here.

Interesting Facts

Before you know more about the Monterey Bay Aquarium tour, let us look at some of the fun facts related to this aquarium:

  • This aquarium opened to the public in 1984 and experienced about 2.37 million visitors that year.
  • The youngest Monterey Bay Aquarium volunteer is 14 years old, while the most senior volunteer is 95 years old.
  • The kelp forest holds a special place in Monterey Bay Aquarium history. This aquarium was the first to build and exhibit a living kelp forest; this is depicted in the Monterey Bay Aquarium logo.
  • There are about 200 Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibits displaying diverse habitats.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium’s open sea, Monterey Bay Aquarium kelp forest, Monterey Bay Habitats, and Monterey Bay sea otters are the popular exhibits.
  • Have you ever wondered how big Monterey Bay Aquarium is? It encompasses around 3.3 acres and 320,000 sq ft. of land consisting of 175,000 sq ft of exhibits, 25,000 sq ft of ocean-view decks, and 120,000 sq ft of behind-the-scenes.
  • This aquarium was the first to display cephalopods of the deep sea: flapjack octopus, vampire squid, and strawberry squid).
  • This aquarium is home to about 80,000 plants and animals, including nearly 1,700 fish species, mammals, invertebrates, birds, reptiles, and plants. It keeps changing as new species enter through the open seawater system.
  • It was the first aquarium to discover and study different jellyfish species’ lifecycles, including flower hat jellies and purple striped jellies.
  • I can see Monterey Bay Aquarium pictures and video clippings in several tv shows and movies, including Big Little, Lies on HBO, Today on NBC, Big Blue Live on BBC, Finding Dory, Oceans in Glass, Sphere, Seven Pounds, Saving Otter 501, and Star Trek IV.
  • Two thousand gallons of water from the sea flows from the bay to the aquarium and back to the ocean in a minute.
  • Aquarium was the first to display and take care of great white sharks.
  • It was also the first aquarium to rescue southern sea otter pups and reintroduce them to the wild through a surrogacy program.

Specialties

Aquarium offers an opportunity for all its visitors to view all the inhabiting aquatic species up close. It encapsulates some of the fascinating sea animals and is worth a visit.

Visitors of all age groups can enjoy exploring the mysteries of sea horses and can have fun checking out the white sharks.

There is so much to do and explore in this aquarium that you can easily spend a fulfilling day filled with adventure. Here are a few reasons why you must plan a visit to this aquarium.

Engaging Events

There are several exciting tours and events held at Monterey Aquarium, which the visitors can choose according to their preference.

The behind-the-scenes tour is one of the most famous tours in this aquarium, where the visitors get to hear exciting stories from the keepers.

Penguin and sea otter feedings and a visit to the petting pools are some other activities that are frequently enjoyed by visitors here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program allows visitors to make conscious ocean-friendly efforts while picking seafood for consumption.

A detailed Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood guide keeps getting updated on the aquarium’s official site in this program.

Virtual Initiatives

This aquarium offers several virtual tours and experiences through several programs. Monterey Bay Aquarium Animal Crossing event can now be enjoyed by anybody virtually from any part of the world.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Meditation programs are readily available on their site, and they offer a great way to unwind and de-stress.

If you are a member, you can access several member events that keep getting updated on their webpage.

Educational Amenities

Monterey Aquarium offers plenty of courses and trips for educational purposes. If you feel like taking the classes at home, Can do even that through the several online courses and parent-led activities offered on their official website.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium gift shop features educational toys for sale, which can be great for a fun learning session.

You can also explore the teen programs, online courses for teens, and information about teen career resources on their site. They also offer free courses online through which they can learn exciting science concepts.

Through these online courses, you also get a chance to indulge in highly engaging science projects.

This aquarium also offers the Monterey Bay Aquarium homeschool days program through which all the family members can educate themselves while exploring the exhibits in the aquarium.

Incredible Visitation Rates

There are incredible deals and discounts at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Certain hotels in the region have partnered with this aquarium. When you stay at these hotels, you can get free admission tickets to Monterey Bay Aquarium, valid for two consecutive days.

You can also access the Monterey Bay Aquarium discount if you plan a visit in a group of 12 or more members. This aquarium also offers military and locals-only discounts on Monterey Bay Aquarium ticket prices which can avail at the main entrance.

A Perfect Venue for Events

The genuinely mesmerizing backgrounds with colorful aquatic species make this aquarium the ideal place to host personal and official events.

May it be your wedding, birthday, corporate meeting, or any other form of social gathering, you must consider booking Monterey Bay Aquarium for a unique experience.

Can discuss the commercials for Monterey Bay Aquarium wedding and other social events via call or email by contacting the aquarium’s team.

Admission

You can buy the Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets by just visiting their online ticket booking page. All you have to do is fill in all the details like date of visitation, number of tickets, etc., after which you will receive an email with your ticket.

However, make sure that you check if you are eligible to access any discounts or deals. If you have a valid Monterey Bay Aquarium membership, you can access special discounts whenever you visit the aquarium.

Here are a few essential things that you need to know while purchasing tickets to visit this aquarium.

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium passes are only possible online as there won’t be any sale of tickets in person.
  • While visiting the aquarium, you need to keep the ticket copy open on your device, or you can even show a printed hard copy of the same at the entrance.
  • Ensure that you are there at the venue at least 15 mins before the given entry time on your ticket. If you are not there on time, you may have to book a ticket for the next day.
  • Keep sufficient time aside for parking near Monterey Bay Aquarium as it may take time to find a viable space for Monterey Bay Aquarium parking.
  • If you stay at any of the Monterey Bay Aquarium hotels, you can get an exclusive two-day admission ticket for free.
  • If you are visiting in a group of four or more people, book your tickets at least 48 hours before your time of visitation to access discounted Monterey Bay Aquarium costs.
  • You can get a discount on the Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets at Costco by showing your military ID.
  • Discounted or free admission for locals during certain Monterey Bay Aquarium events and shows in the aquarium are also offered here.
  • If you have a Monterey Bay Aquarium Groupon or any Monterey Bay Aquarium coupons, you can access further discounts on your admission tickets.

You can get more information regarding this on the official website of the Monterey Aquarium.

Ticket Prices

Are you wondering how much are Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets? Here are the general ticket rates to visit this aquarium.

  • Adults (ages 18 to 64): $49.95
  • Youth (ages 13 to 17): $39.95
  • Child (ages 5 to 12): $34.95
  • Senior (ages 65+): $39.95

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams

With the ongoing tensions due to Covid-19, Monterey Aquarium has found a new way to keep its visitors entertained. You can now view all the aquatic exhibits live in action and can even check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium zoom backgrounds through Monterey Bay Aquarium cam.

Thanks to the live Monterey Bay Aquarium webcam, you can get delighted by the sea otter’s antics through the Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter cam,

Get amazed by the jellies drifting hypnotically, experience astonishing views of Monterey Bay Aquarium sharks and view so much more from the comfort of your home.

There are ten different live cams through which you can view Monterey Aquarium videos, each of them is listed below:

Aviary Live Cam

You can have an experience similar to an adventurous bird-watching session by accessing this live cam in Monterey Aquarium. You can get a chance to spot a variety of bird species like the black oystercatcher, black-necked stilts, shorebirds, etc.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT

Coral Reef Live Cam

Explore the colorful spread of coral reefs and spot a few tropical fish species like scrawled filefish, Cortez wrasse, and Cortez angelfish.

Timings: 09:30 AM to 05:00 PM PDT

Otters Live Cam

Witness the playful otters frolicking in their habitat through this live Aquarium otter cam. In the live sessions through this Monterey Bay Aquarium live otter cam, you can learn about their behaviors and know how the keepers keep their minds stimulated with specific training techniques.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT, narrated feeding every weekday at 01:30 PM PDT

Kelp Forest Live Cam

You can spot a variety of invertebrates and fish floating around in Monterey Aquarium through this live cam. Some of the animals you can spot here include giant sea bass, leopard sharks, wolf eel, etc.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT, narrated feeding session on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 11:30 AM PDT

Jelly Live Cam

Jellyfish at Monterey Bay Aquarium can be seen gracefully trailing around. Through this Monterey Bay Aquarium jelly cam, delicate sea nettles Can see an open seawater exhibit.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM PDT

Moon Jelly Live Cam

You can see these delicate creatures pulsating their translucent bells. The best part about moon jelly is that it changes its color with different kinds of food.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT

Penguin Live Cam

Get a chance to witness the underwater acrobatics by the penguins through this live Monterey Bay Aquarium penguin cam.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 05:00 PM PDT, narrated feeding every day at 10:30 AM PDT

Open Sea Live Cam

Explore the diverse variety of underwater species like green sea turtles, pelagic rays, and a variety of fish.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT, narrated feeding session every weekday at 11:00 AM PDT

Monterey Bay Live Cam

Enjoy the mesmerizing sights of the ocean-view decks, frequented by several sea mammals and birds.

Timings: 24 hours

Shark Live Cam

Get a chance to sight leopard sharks, seven-gill sharks, pacific angel sharks, and spiny dogfish. You might also get to witness bat rays and big skates passing by. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s great white shark is the prime attraction that can spot through this cam.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM PDT

Tune in to these live webcams for a Monterey Bay Aquarium virtual tour to experience the wondrous ocean life thriving with numerous aquatic species from the comfort of your home.

For a unique experience, make sure to check out these live cams during the Monterey Bay Aquarium feeding times mentioned above.

Activities

There are plenty of activities offered by this aquarium that are fun and educational at the same time.

There is some activity for every kind of visitor in this aquarium. Here are a few of the most popular activities in the aquarium.

Sleepover

Generally during the months after July, Monterey Bay Aquarium sleepover 2021 is a regular affair at the aquarium. You get to choose from the various exhibit rooms to sleep in with your friends and family.

Imagine waking up to an enchanting view of the ocean. Sounds fantastic. It is not like any casual sleepover. You will get a chance to experience several exciting planned activities during such an event like a dance party, themed dinner, improv comedy, etc.

Make sure that you keep track of such an event to enjoy a never-before-experienced event.

Underwater Explorers

This activity is specifically designed for kids aged 8 to 13 years. It is a great activity to introduce them to the underwater world through scuba diving sessions.

The kids, guided by an expert dive staff, will help them get a closer look at the different sea animals. This activity generally takes place from June 15th to September 2nd every year. The approximate length of each diving session is around 90 minutes.

Fees: $95+admission ticket fee and $75 for members of the aquarium

You can book these sessions from the official website of the aquarium.

Camping

The region surrounding Monterey Bay Aquarium is dotted with perfect campsites.

A few of the most desirable campsites include Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Limekiln State Park in Big Sur, Plaskett Creek Campground in southern Big Sur, Lake San Antonio in Harris Creek Campground, Veteran’s Memorial Park in Monterey, and Fremont Peak State Park in northern Monterey County.

If you are an adventure freak, camping at these sites will be an ideal activity for you.

Exhibits

This aquarium houses plenty of exhibits that feature the habitats of different Monterey Bay Aquarium animals like the Monterey Bay Aquarium great white shark, otters, and jellyfish, among several others. For the best experience, take your time and visit each of these exhibits given below.

Viva Baja

Creatures that originate from Baja, California’s coastal regions, can be spotted in this exhibition at Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.

You can spot the creatures in this exhibit: Cortez rainbow wrasse, blue-spotted jawfish, golden trevally, desert tortoise, mountain kingsnake, lookdown, green moray pacific seahorse and the staghorn hermit crab.

Splash Zone and Penguins

It displays the coastal habitat where you can face Monterey Bay Aquarium Penguins and sharks. One can see a large variety of sharks at Monterey Bay Aquarium at this exhibit. Other animals that can spot here include swell sharks, zebra moray, clownfish, African penguin, and giant green anemone.

Sea Otters

In this exhibit, you can see magnificent sea otters tumbling and wrestling most adorably. The lively acrobatics is a must-watch while viewing this exhibit in Aquarium in California.

Rocky Shore

This habitat is the rocky shore which describes the border where the ocean water advances and slowly declines with tidal rhythms. You will get to see monkeyface prickleback, acorn barnacle, giant green anemone, and California mussel in this exhibit.

Open Sea

It is the largest exhibit in Monterey Bay Aquarium. It showcases various sea animals, including pelagic stingray, tufted puffin, pigeon guillemot, pacific bonito, common murre, and purple striped jelly.

You will also see the well-known Monterey Bay Aquarium whale shark, the scalloped hammerhead shark. The famous Monterey Bay Aquarium sunfish can likewise be spotted here.

Habitats

It is an hourglass-shaped exhibit about 90 feet in height and highlights five habitats with fantastic creatures like white sturgeon, rockfish, bat ray, acorn barnacle, pacific spiny dogfish, big skate, and broad nose seven-gill shark.

Life on the Bay

It is an aquarium that is perched right on Monterey Bay’s edge. The animals found in this exhibit include sooty sheerwater, orca, humpback whale, common bottlenose dolphin, pacific white-sided dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, harbor seal, and Monterey Aquarium, the blue whale.

Kelp Forest

It is known to be the tallest exhibit in the aquarium and is about 28 feet in height. Here you can check out rockfish, giant kelpfish, giant green anemone, and swell sharks.

Tentacles

In this open water exhibit, you get to explore all the sea animals with tentacles like squids, Monterey Bay Aquarium octopuses, nautilus, and cuttlefish. They are known to be masters in the art of adapting to any kind of situation underwater. Apart from these animals, you also get to see the fragile pink sea urchin.

Giant Pacific Octopus

As the name indicates, you will see the giant pacific octopus in this exhibit, which is known to be one of the most intelligent sea animals. It has mastered the art of disguise and also possesses the ability to solve a maze.

The tour guides do an excellent job of helping you identify the different fish species inhabiting Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. However, you can also refer to the fish guide for this purpose.

Careers

Monterey Bay Aquarium offers plenty of educational and job opportunities.

Jobs

For any job openings and other relevant updates in the aquarium or Monterey Bay Research Institute, click here.

Internships

This aquarium also offers plenty of internship programs. These internship programs keep changing every year. Watch this space to be updated with the latest internship program offerings.

Important Information

Address

Are you thinking about where is Monterey Bay Aquarium? Here’s the address for you!

886 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940

Operating Hours

Thinking about what time does Monterey Bay Aquarium open? The Monterey Bay Aquarium hours are from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM PDT on all days of the week.

Directions

The directions to the Monterey Bay Aquarium are pretty easy to understand. This aquarium is situated in Monterey at Cannery Row’s west end.

It is just a few minutes away from Pebble and Carmel beach, the most popular beaches near Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Can better understand The Monterey Bay Aquarium directions through the Monterey Bay Aquarium map.

Contact Info

If you have any queries concerning the aquarium, you can use the details given below to get in touch with their team.

Aquarium phone number: 831.648.4800 for sales and reservations, 831.648.4880 for membership and donations.

You can call these numbers on any weekday (except holidays) from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM PDT.

You can check out Monterey Bay Aquarium Yelp for the reviews left by satisfied visitors to the aquarium. You can even leave your feedback on this page.

Hotels Nearby

Exploring all the exhibits in Monterey Bay Aquarium may take more than one day, so it is a good idea to book your stay in any of the motels near Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A few hotels have partnered with the aquarium, and they give certain admission benefits to the visitors who are planning an exploration trip to the aquarium. It is why it is a good idea to book a stay in one of these hotels.

Hampton Inn Monterey

It is a quaint hotel located near Del Monte beach. You can easily reach this hotel since it is just five minutes drive away from the Monterey Bay Peninsula Airport. Apart from being a partner to the aquarium, you can enjoy visiting other nearby attractions like Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, etc., while enjoying your stay here.

Distance from the aquarium: 2 miles

Best Western Plus Victorian Inn

If you want to experience a seaside vacation during your visit to the aquarium, this is one of the perfect Monterey Bay Aquarium hotels. You can enjoy stimulating activities like biking along the shorelines, going wine tasting, try kayaking, enjoy whale-watching, etc. The rooms here are well-equipped with private balconies, patios, and window seats.

Distance from the aquarium: 0.5 miles

Casa Munras Hotel and Spa

It is one of the most preferred hotels near Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, featuring picturesque grounds and impeccable architecture. It is located in Monterey Bay’s heart, and all the essential amenities can be easily accessed when you stay here.

Distance from the aquarium: 2 miles

Restaurants Nearby

Endless explorations throughout the day in Monterey Aquarium can sure be a tiresome ordeal. Well, you need not worry!

This aquarium features a cafe, a coffee bar, and a restaurant within its premises where you can have a quick bite, a delicious meal, or even sip on your favorite kind of coffee. Here are the dining options available at this aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Cafe

This cafe features casual food options like burgers, pizzas, desserts, and salads on its menu. All these dishes are made fresh through locally sourced ingredients from Central Valley and Monterey Bay.

Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 04:30 PM

Monterey Bay Coffee Bar

Take a break from strolling through the various exhibits in the cafe and have a refreshing sip of freshly brewed coffee at this place. You can pick from an assortment of organic coffee, beverages, desserts, and pastries.

Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Monterey Bay Restaurant

This restaurant is perfect if you wish to dine amidst serene ocean views peacefully. It is an ideal place to unwind with a glass of wine and a plate of seasonal dishes.

Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM

Attractions Nearby

Monterey encompasses several places near the aquarium that visitors to the aquarium can explore. This place has something for every type of traveler.

The vast landscapes, exciting activities, and proximity to the aquarium make these places a must-visit for every visitor.

  1. Old Fisherman’s Wharf
  2. Cannery Row
  3. Pacific Grove
  4. Golden State Theatre
  5. 17-Mile Drive
  6. Historic Downtown Monterey
  7. Monterey Museum of Art

Wrapping Up

Is Monterey Bay Aquarium worth it? Absolutely! With an incredible range of aquatic species and enthralling viewing spots, an aquarium can quickly deem one of the USA’s best aquariums.

It encompasses ten wonderful exhibits, each of which excellently showcases the aquatic animals in their natural habitat. You can even explore several activities offered by this aquarium for a great experience—this is an excellent aquarium for educating the young generation about several concerning aquatic animals’ issues.

This place also houses the Monterey Bay Aquarium store, where you can shop for gifts and souvenirs. If you are looking for a unique experience, you must plan a Monterey Aquarium visit with your friends and family.