Birch Aquarium At Scripps is Small Yet Enjoyable

Ticket Window at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

The Birch Aquarium Is A Great Way To Spend A Few Hours With Your Family

From the breathtaking views to the great and educational activities and exhibits, The Birch Aquarium is a sure place for kids and families to have a great time learning about the ocean habitat and sea creatures. On our recent visit to San Diego, our family visited different places like the USS Midway Museum, Inflatable World, and stopped at a few places to eat in San Diego. But on our last day in the city, we had about 1/2 a day to do something fun before having to head back to Los Angeles. We stumbled upon The Birch Aquarium and it turned out to be a great fit for our short time allotted for the morning.

Wave Energy Table at the Birch Aquarium

One of the girls favorite areas was the Wave Energy table out on the Exhibit Court. The goal was to add “walls” to direct the water to flow through the the one waterway that had a turbine. This would then spin the turbine and show how wave energy can be use to make electricity. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

CO2 Display

There are educational displays intermingled with some of the exhibits. This display shows the amount of CO2 emitted since the industrial revolution. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

The aquarium is small in comparison to Sea World or the Aquarium of the Pacific, but still offers enough for the family to enjoy a portion of their day there. The aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. Although you can see the aquarium in just a few hours, our daughter and her friend really enjoyed the many exhibits, the view and the educational and interactive play structures at the aquarium. The following is a list of some of the exhibits and tanks we enjoyed exploring at the Birch Aquarium.

Birch Aquarium Exhibits

  • Tide-Pool Plaza
  • Hall of Fishes
  • Education Courtyard
  • Scripps Explorers Gallery
  • Smargon Court
  • There’s Something About Seahorses Tank
  • Baja California Tank
  • Tropical Seas Tank

Birch Aquarium’s Preuss Tide-Pool Plaza

Our family explored the Preuss Tide-Pool Plaza which featured three living tide-pool displays where visitors can touch and learn about tide-pool animals. The exhibits have windows that provide an up-close view of hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and other unique animals local to San Diego’s tide pools. My favorite part was that the Tide Pool Plaza overlooks La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean, and provides quite the scenic overlook.

Birch Aquarium Preuss Tide-Pool Plaza

The Birch Aquarium’s outdoor Preuss Tide-Pool Plaza which has three living tide-pool displays where visitors can learn about and touch the tide-pool animals. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Birch Aquarium Preuss Tide-Pool

The sizable living tide pools made it easy for the kids to get a spot on any side they wanted and even on a crowded day there were still openings available. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Birch Aquarium View of La Jolla

This is the view of the beautiful oceanfront of La Jolla, California as seen from the Birch Aquarium tide pool area. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Hall Of Fishes

One of the most popular exhibits appeared to be the Hall of Fishes. The corridor provides up-close viewing for kids and families of fish from the tropics to fish from San Diego’s own bay. Within the exhibit, they also exhibit a nursery of marine animals born in the Birch Aquarium along with a 70,000 gallon Kelp Forest Tank where hundreds of species of marine life are sheltered.

Tropical Fish and Coral Tank

A tank filled with beautiful tropical fish and coral. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Leafy Seadragon

This Leafy seadragon was one of many wonderful diplay tanks at the “There’s Something About Seahorses” exhibit. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Birch Aquarium Kelp Forest Tank

This is the large kelp forest tank that is filled with 70,000 gallons of water and a beautiful variety of marine animals. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Wolf Eel

This grumpy looking guy from the Hall of Fish is the Wolf eel. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

The aquarium is worth the visit as they do provide a great educational experience for kids. However, we would suggest planning your trip to the Aquarium with a visit to another attraction like the Natural History Museum or Reuben H Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

Why We Recommend It For Families

  • Diverse Sea Life Exhibits
  • Great Exhibits
  • Interactive & Educational
  • Tide Pools and Docents
  • Free Parking
  • Kelp Forest Tank
  • Family-Friendly
  • Spectacular Views
  • Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff
  • Picnic Area For Lunch

Birch Aquarium Video

Birch Aquarium Links & Information

We were provided a media pass for the purpose of covering this place on our blog. Regardless, we would only recommend places, activities or services that we would use/visit personally and that we believe will be good for our readers.

About Laura Filipowicz

I am a mom, professional travel writer and founder of the ConnectHER Conference for Brands, Influencers, and Moms. My passions include working within the mom community, creating brand events, and creating mini-brand ambassadors within the community. My expertise lies in social media, editorial reviews and specialized product, program and customer service auditing. I enjoy traveling and exploring family friendly places to stay, eat and play!

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