Plan Your Visit

Get Up Close and Personal with Marine Life of the Santa Monica BAy

Visitor Information

Schedule Notes

  • Please Note: The Aquarium will be CLOSED on Thursday, November 26 for Thanksgiving
  • The Aquarium will be OPEN on Friday, November 27 for holiday hours: 12:30 - 5 p.m. 
  • Free Admission Day the first Wednesday of every month - sponsored by Wells Fargo 

Whether you’re from halfway around the world or from just down the street, we welcome you to hands-on exploration at our Aquarium. Visit and be inspired to understand more about our amazing Santa Monica Bay marine environment, and learn how you can help to conserve it.

Visit during our public hours and you can:

  • Get a hug from a spiky sea urchin
  • Watch a shark feeding
  • Examine microscopic sea life in our lab
  • Learn about the animals of the Santa Monica Bay on a marine-themed scavenger hunt
  • Make a sea star crown, an octopus puppet or a pirate's hat at the arts and crafts station
  • Stop by any Saturday for a whale of a tale - 2:00 p.m. is story time in the Green Room

Feeding times:

  • Each Tuesday and Friday, staff members invite visitors to help feed the sea stars in our touch tanks. Weekly feedings begin at 2:30 p.m.
  • Don't miss the shark's favorite time of day - feeding time! Learn about these often-misunderstood creatures while watching them eat a meal on Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

Citizen Science Programs:

  • Sand Crab Surveys: Discover what lives below your toes at the beach and become a citizen scientist at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium!
    • The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium recently partnered with the Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS) program to conduct surveys of sand crabs (Emerita analoga) near the Santa Monica Pier.
    • You can participate in the program by heading to the beach each Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to collect and gather data about sand crabs. 
    • Space is limited, so please pre-register for this program with the number of people in your group. The Sand Crab program is included with your Aquarium admission.
    • Service & Linked Learning: This citizen science program can also be used as a service, volunteer and linked learning opportunity for students in middle and high school. 
      For more information, or to pre-register, please email Catherine Hoffman 
      ( .
  • Bird Tours:
    • Join an Aquarium naturalist as we explore local bird species around the Santa Monica Pier. 
    • Meets every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The Bird Tour program is included with your Aquarium admission
    • For more information please email Micky Kesterson (
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