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About the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, located in Monterey, is one of the world’s premier public aquariums, known for its focus on marine habitats of the California coast and its dedication to ocean conservation. The aquarium offers a captivating experience with a wide range of exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs designed to inspire and educate visitors about the marine environment.

Historical Overview

  • Foundation: The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in 1984, transforming a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row into a state-of-the-art marine science institution. It was founded by David and Lucile Packard to promote marine education and conservation.

Key Features and Exhibits

  • Kelp Forest: One of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world, the Kelp Forest features towering kelp and a diverse array of marine life, including leopard sharks, sardines, and garibaldi. Visitors can observe the dynamic interactions within this vibrant underwater ecosystem.
  • Open Sea Exhibit: This expansive exhibit showcases the vastness of the open ocean, featuring creatures such as tuna, sharks, sea turtles, and jellyfish. A large viewing window allows visitors to experience the majesty of these ocean giants.
  • Sea Otters: The playful sea otters are a favorite among visitors. This exhibit provides an up-close look at these charismatic animals, highlighting their role in maintaining healthy kelp forests and their conservation status.
  • Splash Zone and Penguins: Designed for families with young children, this interactive exhibit features colorful displays and hands-on activities focused on coral reefs, tide pools, and the penguins that inhabit these ecosystems.
  • Jellies Experience: An enchanting exhibit showcasing a variety of jellyfish species. Visitors can marvel at the delicate beauty and mesmerizing movements of these fascinating creatures.
  • Monterey Bay Habitats: This exhibit highlights the diverse habitats found in Monterey Bay, including sandy shores, rocky reefs, and deep-sea environments. It features species such as octopuses, rays, and colorful reef fish.
  • Tentacles: This exhibit focuses on cephalopods, including octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish. It explores their unique adaptations and intelligence, offering a fascinating glimpse into their underwater world.

Visiting Tips for Families

  • Plan Ahead: Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website for current exhibits, special events, and educational programs to make the most of your visit. Check operating times to ensure the aquarium is open during your planned visit.
  • Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking through the aquarium’s exhibits. Bring layers, as indoor temperatures can vary.
  • Bring Essentials: Pack water, snacks, and any necessary items for young children. The aquarium also offers dining options with a variety of food choices.
  • Engage with Staff: Utilize the knowledgeable staff and volunteers who can provide insights and answer questions about the exhibits and marine life.
  • Participate in Activities: Encourage children to participate in the interactive exhibits and family programs to enhance their learning experience and enjoyment of the aquarium.


By visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, families can immerse themselves in the wonders of the marine world and learn about the importance of ocean conservation. The aquarium provides a dynamic and educational environment that inspires curiosity, creativity, and a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems. Whether exploring the majestic Kelp Forest, watching playful sea otters, or participating in hands-on activities, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers an enriching experience for visitors of all ages.


Family Membership Package: Two designated adults

Your children or grandchildren (ages 5–21)

Access to Aquarium Live, a series of exclusive virtual events just for members

No transferable guest cards*

Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, trip organization and engaging activities.


Individual Membership Package: For one person ONLY

Access to Aquarium Live, a series of exclusive virtual events just for members

No transferable guest cards*

Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, trip organization and engaging activities.


Educator Package: Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, trip organization, direct experiential opportunities to help better connect the experience with your students and complimentary chaperone ticket. Does not include student ticket. 


Student Package: Includes engaging pre and post visit educational activities, trip organization and student entry.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

PriceFrom $59.00
  • Please use the information on this page (package type, venue name, price, etc.) to submit an order request with your school. Once your order is approved, your school will forward the request to us. We will then reach out to you with instructions on how to finalize your trip details and access accompanying resources. Once finalized, you will receive your e-tickets and any additional materials directly to your inbox within 1-3 business days. If you don't see our email(s), please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.


    To ensure a smooth process, it is generally recommended to submit your order with your school AT LEAST 10 business days prior to your trip date, unless you are booking a venue that requires more advanced planning. *Please be mindful of your school's processing times and plan accordingly.

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