Birch Aquarium Reopening Outdoors-Only

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego today announced that it will be opening outdoors-only beginning Saturday, February 27, with a special members-only day on Friday, February 26.

The aquarium’s outdoor spaces have been enhanced with new animals and activities, and are open to guests with discounted ticket prices.

Indoor areas including the Hall of Fishes, will be closed until restrictions are lifted.

“We are delighted to reopen Birch Aquarium with family friendly outdoor-only experiences,” said Executive Director Harry Helling. “Guests can safely enjoy new animal encounters, exhibits, and art installations added to our outdoor spaces, all with sweeping views of Scripps Oceanography and the beautiful Pacific.”

All of the aquarium’s outdoor areas have been activated to offer a variety of outdoor activities for guests to explore and enjoy.  A map highlighting all of the open areas is available online.

Activities include:

Entrance Courtyard

Giant Blue Octopus by Jessica Ling Findley: Grab an octopus selfie with our giant inflatable octopus and be sure to use #BirchAquarium on your social profiles.

Observe + Wonder: Guests will see specimens and art inspired by invertebrates from local artist, Siena McKim. Put your observation skills to the test as you use your scientist’s eye to connect with and explore the wonders of the ocean.

Preuss Tide Pool Plaza

Marine Protected Area Touch Experience: Guests touch local animals, including small sharks and rays, sea hares and snails, while learning about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

South Tide Pool Touch Experience: We’ll bring tide pooling to you by providing a chance to touch La Jolla locals, like anemones, urchins, and sea cucumbers.

Artist/Scientists in Residence: See our resident artist/scientists at work! Join Siena McKim and Brian Gibson on Tide Pool Plaza as they bring art to life. The artists’ schedules will be posted to Birch Aquarium’s website when available.

The Shelia Marie Davis Galleria

Kelp Cam on the Big Screen: As you head from the Entry Courtyard to Tide Pool Plaza, check out what’s going on in our Giant Kelp Forest Exhibit up on the big screen.

Nigella Hillgarth Education Plaza

Oddities Outdoors: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, it’s a … Giant Tube Worm? Discover some amazing specimens through comic book-inspired panels that highlight the astonishing adaptations (aka superpowers) of ocean species.

Whale Fall Exploration: Learn what happens after a whale falls to the ocean floor by exploring whale bones and invertebrate specimens alongside our Wyland mural.

Robert Smargon Exhibit Court

NEW! Growing Up Seahorse: New to the outdoors-only lineup is an experience that gives guests a look into the diverse world of seahorses. Check out juvenile and adult seahorses, learn about Birch Aquarium’s renowned breeding program, and understand what it takes to care for these unusual fish.

Coral Reef Animal Touch Experience: Dip your hands into the warm waters of a tropical reef and touch animals like cleaner shrimp, hermit crabs, sea stars and even young epaulette sharks.

Winter Migrators Tracking: Have you ever wondered who passes through our waters during the winter season? Guests will learn about wintertime ocean species that migrate along the San Diego coastline and be able to log what they see!

Shark Poetry by Dovi Kacev: Adjacent to our live sharks, learn about sharks through beautiful illustrations and poetry from Dovi Kacev.

Local Sharks: Explore the diversity of the local shark and ray species right off the La Jolla coast by checking out shark jaws, teeth and other specimens.

Shark Shores: Come face-to-face with La Jolla’s legendary Leopard Sharks and other species of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) at Shark Shores. The large outdoor exhibit allows you to experience the sandy bottomed habitat of La Jolla Shores without getting wet!

Life Starts Small: Nursery Animals: Observe young animals from nearby cool temperate waters, like clumps of mussels, swell shark egg cases and juvenile sharks, sand crabs, juvenile zebra perch and garibaldi, gorgonians, limpets, jellies, decorator crabs, seagrasses, and nudibranchs.

Reservations required!

Advanced reservations for a specific time and date are required to visit Birch Aquarium, even for members. The aquarium will be open from 9AM to 5PM daily and all outdoor activities are included in the discounted admission price, which is $16.50 for adults, $12 for children. Reservations are available online only Please click here!.

Annual Memberships are also available here!

For a limited time, Birch Aquarium has a special Buy One, Get One Half-Price offer on all tickets. Guests may use the code BIRCHOUTDOORS at checkout to receive the offer.

More information, including safety protocols and other important details for guests planning their next visit, can be found on the Know Before You Visit page.

The aquarium Gift Shop and Splash Cafe by the French Gourmet will also be open with enhanced safety measures. For more information visit here.

See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!

The Latest
Come join the fun at the LA Beach Picnic! Hosted by Eventchamp, this event is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf with friends and family.
Join us for an unforgettable trek through the stunning Village Mountain. Breathtaking views, fresh air, and a fun group await! Hosted by Eventchamp.
Escape to the breathtaking Bavarian Alps for your next event. With stunning mountain views and cozy lodges, this venue will leave guests in awe.
Discover the stunning beauty of Megeve, the ultimate event destination. Surrounded by majestic mountains, this charming town offers a unique setting.
Discover the top 20 countries around the world that are perfect for hosting events and conferences. From the USA to Germany, Australia to Singapore, these countries offer excellent venues, facilities, and infrastructure to make your event a success.
Managing your event budget can be challenging, but it's essential to ensure that your event is successful. This blog post provides valuable tips and insights on creating a budget for your business event.
Upcoming Events
August 1, 2023
12:30 pm
Come join the fun at the LA Beach Picnic! Hosted by Eventchamp, this event is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf with friends and family.
March 14, 2023
7:30 pm
Join us for an unforgettable trek through the stunning Village Mountain. Breathtaking views, fresh air, and a fun group await! Hosted by Eventchamp.
March 17, 2023
12:00 pm
The Friendship Dinner is a heartwarming event hosted by Eventchamp, designed to bring people together for an unforgettable evening of food, fun, and laughter.
January 17, 2023
12:00 pm
Join us for the ultimate winter party at Megeve. With live music, delicious food, and plenty of drinks, this is the perfect way to kick off the season.
November 17, 2023
12:00 pm
Join us for a scenic hike up to the Griffith Park summit. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city while getting in a great workout. Don't miss out on this adventurous outdoor experience!
August 1, 2023
12:30 pm
Ride the waves at our Surf Carnival! Join us for a day of sun, sand, and surf competitions. Show off your skills or just soak up the beachy vibes. Don't miss the fun!