photo credit: Ken Chan
Back-to-school is the time of year when homeschool parents start to think about the upcoming school year and decide which field trips they want to take their children on. As a field trip coordinator, I have planned numerous field trips for homeschoolers throughout Southern California.
One of the locations I like to take my children to learn about oceanography and sea life is The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. In addition to their beautiful exhibits, the Aquarium of the Pacific has numerous educational events and programs for kids. From family events to day camps to homeschool days and aquarium outreach, there is something for everyone to learn about at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
photo credit: Clinton Steeds
International Save The Vaquita Day
Recently, Fran Sawyer, one of our SoCal Field Trips Blog Contributor, visited the Aquarium of the Pacific for International Save The Vaquita Day. Many species are facing the threat of extinction today including the Vaquita – the world’s most endangered marine mammal. Experts estimate there are only 60 left in the world today.
Vaquitas are found in the Northern part of the Gulf of California. Unfortunately, they are disappearing because they’re caught in the fishing nets of Mexican fishermen trying to catch the Tatoaba, a large seabass, whose swim bladders are sought after overseas. To prevent extinction of the Vaquitas the Mexican government has imposed a 2-year ban on all gillnets (the type of fishing net used to catch Tatoabas) in the Vaquita’s habitat range. Experts are also working closely with local fishermen to develop alternative fishing methods, so that the fishermen can maintain their livelihoods without further impacting the marine animal population around them.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is obviously home to many other types of marine mammals. Fran and her family had fun watching the aquarium diver inside the big tank at feeding time and seeing the different jelly fish and seahorses. The Weedy Seadragon and Leafy Seadragon were her family’s favorites.
The aquarium also offers different hands-on activities for families. For example, Fran and her family enjoyed putting their hands in a pouch before touching ice-cold water to learn how otters’s skin protects them from the cold.
Furthermore, there are several touch tanks on the rooftop of the building where they got to touch sting rays, small sharks and regal blue tangs. For an added touch, the penguins were in a playful mood and the kids got to catch them dancing about thanks to the glass window in their habitat.
Aquarium of the Pacific Discount Tickets
Normal admission to the Aquarium of the Pacific is as follows:
- $29.95 for adults (12+)
- $26.95 for seniors (62+)
- $17.95 for children (3-11)
- FREE for children under age 3
If you’re looking for an Aquarium of the Pacific discount, Goldstar.com sells tickets for $7.00 per person for admission after 3 pm (affiliate link).
Field Trips to the Aquarium of the Pacific
Field Trips to the Aquarium of the Pacific are very reasonable. For a traditional school group, the price is $6 per participant during the fall and aummer months with a 10 person minimum. All school programs are led by an Aquarium educator and take place in the Boeing Learning Center, the watershed classroom, or the Ocean Theater. To learn more visit here.
Aquarium of the Pacific Homeschool Days
Unique for homeschoolers, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers special Homeschool Days tailored just for homeschool students and their families throughout the school year. No other classroom-based school trips are booked during this time. On Homeschool Days, the Aquarium’s educators set up engaging learning stations that allow homeschoolers of all ages to experiment, investigate and explore marine habitats and concepts. In December, they also offer a Homeschool Holiday event.
This year, on September 14 and 15, the Aquarium of the Pacific invites all homeschool networks, students, parents and teachers to their first Homeschool Days of the season! Homeschool Days run from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Advance reservations are required and the cost is $6.00 per person. Tickets may be purchased here one month in advance of the event.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.
Happy Field Tripping!