I loved this aquarium as a child. However, seeing it again as an adult has made me look at it a little differently. We took my daughter there primarily to see the seal lions, which she enjoyed, but it saddened me to see how little room they have to swim around. There seems to be nothing done to give them any sense of a natural habitat. I understand this is a small aquarium and can't compete with the likes of Monterey Bay, but it seems a little cruel to keep these animals in such small enclosures. These are reahabilitated mammals and probably would not survive in the wild, but it seems they should be housed in an aquarium better suited to care for them and give them the space they deserve.
With that said, the prices are very reasonable ($2.00 for those over 12; $1.00 for kids 5-11; free for kids under 4.) You can feed the sea lions for 50 cents a bag. Once the sea lions see the bag, they will start barking to get you to throw the fish. It certainly is entertaining, and I imagine most children will enjoy it. There is a separate dark room that houses a number of aquariums. It is very old and outdated. However, kids may enjoy looking at various marine life up close. Considering how inexpensive the entry fees are, it may be worth it for children wanting to take a look. However, don't expect anything along the lines of Monterey Bay. You'll be very disappointed if you do.
Though I wasn't particularly happy with the sea lions living conditions, I found it to be a great opportunity to open up a discussion with my child about the differences in a sea lion's natural habitat versus what was seen in the aquarium. I would only consider returning if they someday were able to expand and give the sea lions a more adequate enclosure. But that seems unlikely.
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