Friday, May 8, 2015

Visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific - Our Family Trip to Long Beach (Part 2)

Read about our visit to San Pedro, Downtown Disney and how to babywear at the pool:

Visiting zoos and aquariums has kind of become my thing when I travel with the kids. This past year we've tagged along on three of my husband's work trips - Long Beach, Whistler & Vancouver BC and Dallas, Texas. The Aquarium of the Pacific was my favorite part of our trip to Long Beach.

We have an aquarium in Seattle, but to be honest it really hasn't been updated since I visited in high school. I didn't know what to expect at all when we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific and in hindsight, it was one of my favorite days ever.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is right in the harbor at Long Beach. One of the first exhibits that we walked into was the deep sea exhibit which featured a recreated "whale fall." When a whale dies in the ocean, it falls to the ocean floor and becomes a source of nutrition for many animals. The Aquarium recreated the habitat that it would have become. When I saw it in October, it had already been on display for several years and it really wasn't as gross as you would expect. The crustaceans that were working on it kept everything very clean, so there were several spots where ribs and other bones were exposed but picked clean. I've always had a fascination with the ocean, especially whales and the deep sea, so I geeked out a little bit and texted pictures to my real-life marine biologist friend, who had participated in several whale decropsies. She geeked out too!

The most impressive view at the Aquarium of the Pacific if their Blue Cavern exhibit. It's modeled after Blue Cavern Point near Long Beach, a popular diving spot.

Several times throughout the day they got a team of divers in the water. They cleaned the glass, fed the fish and were mic'ed so they talked to the crowd about what they were doing, who they were feeding and conversation information.

We also visited the penguins, seals and jellies. Then I got kissed by a ray.
Penny was in a pretty intense shark obsession phase, so it was only perfect timing that the Aquarium has an area where we could touch different types of docile sharks. We worked up our courage and Penny was able to pet one. I could tell that she was not expecting the skin to feel like sandpaper!
When big sister took her regularly scheduled nap in the stroller, I took little Ruby out and she got to get an up close view of the colorful tanks without Penny's toddler agenda pulling us around. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ruby as a little baby.
We easily spent 6 hours at the aquarium that day. I walked through all of the exhibits several times, each time finding a different tank that we missed because of too many people crowding it. The outside area had toddler story time, a splash park and more climbing structures to give the kids something to play with.

At dinner that evening, Penny asked me to draw a few of her favorite animals that she saw. All I had was a napkin, but she was happy to color them in for me too.

Have you been to The Aquarium of the Pacific? What was your favorite part?

See what zoos The Pierogie Mama has written about


  1. Were not that far away from hwre tha ks for the reminder it exists Were going next week

  2. It would be so much fun to visit an aquarium with our kids! we live far though!

    -Hannah Avery or



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