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“VERY SMALL BUT A NICE BREAK FROM THE BEACH SCENE” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310 393 6149
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Ranked #14 of 37 Attractions in Santa Monica
Type: Science Museums, Zoos & Aquariums
Attraction details
Los Angeles, CA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“VERY SMALL BUT A NICE BREAK FROM THE BEACH SCENE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium may be small but it is packed with delightful examples of local marine life. It's small but informative and a nice break from the crowded Santa Monica Pier above. It's too small to warrant a special visit on its own but if you are at the Santa Monica Pier, it is well worth the visit. The exhibits are basically in one large room. The highlights are the small sharks, the two huge eels and my favorite, the live seahorse display. I could spend an hour just watching the small seahorses moving about. There is also an exhibit of starfish where you are able to gently touch them and feel their texture.
There is an area for kids to draw and learn so it is perfect for families or just for adults who appreciate the beauty of nature.
The adult admission is only $3 but they ask for a $5 donation. It's operated by Santa Monica's HEAL THE BAY organization so I felt I was helping a great organization with my donation while also getting to spend a few minutes looking at the great displays.
Again, this is a very small but delightful aquarium. If you are in a hurry, you can see everything in 15 minutes or so do as I did. Take a look after all the displays and then return to the ones that really catch your attention and stand back and enjoy. I visited on a busy Sunday at the Pier and the aquarium was not crowded so I enjoyed a peaceful visit. It is worth a visit if you are at the Santa Monica Pier.

Visited October 2012
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English first
Toronto, Ontario
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Inexpensive aquarium with some great displays. Smelled though (like fish, haha) Great location for something different on the pier!

Visited September 2012
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Seekonk, MA
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
56 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Santa Monica Pier Aquarium”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

It's cute .. it's small. It's educational. Ok ... if your kids like to touch things (not pick them up at this aquarium) ... just touch sea cucumbers, crabs, etc ... then go. It's cheap .. it's for a donation. It's a 20 min. aquarium. My kids liked it (10 & 12) and there were some smaller kids who seemed like they were loving it.

Visited August 2012
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UK
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Really small but informative and great for kids”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

On the last day of our trip, my friends and I visited the aquarium as we were excited to see what it had to offer. Admission fee is just $3 (although the recommended price/donation they state that they prefer is $5) and the moment you get in, what you see is pretty much the whole of the aquarium!

All the fish and underwater species they house are from the local area, with helpful volunteers and information articles on hand to explain what they all are. The room is relatively large, housing all the tanks, and there is a separate room screening videos on wildlife such as dolphins and seals etc.

The main plus points for this aquarium is the small room with fish samples in jars (as you would find in a science lab) that kids can look at in closer detail, as well as the 'view and feel' tanks, which are open tanks that you can touch and feel species such as starfish and crabs.

A great educational venue in a good location and with cheap admission price.

Visited August 2012
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San Diego, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Got kids? Then its a must!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012 via mobile

Cute little hands on aquarium for the kids. Learn about all the sea creatures in the local waters.
The staff is so friendly and helpful. They have little cards they give each child to do a scavenger hunt and my daughter had a blast. Hard to get her to leave so there is plenty to keep the kiddos busy. Even my 11 year old had fun.

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