Exploring San Diego


Birch Aquarium reopening this weekend

Preview day for members on Friday
Birch Aquarium reopening.png
Posted at 5:39 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 14:34:48-05

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV)-- The Birch Aquarium in La Jolla is welcoming guests again this weekend. Staff is hoping this is the last reopening of the pandemic.

In the last few months, not a single footstep has gone through the entrance at Birch Aquarium. The only guests it welcomed were through virtual classes and special web programs. But that is all about to change.

"We are so excited to have visitors back, and we hope to see everyone this upcoming weekend," Megan Medley, Director of Education at Birch Aquarium said.

Saturday, the aquarium will reopen for the third time since the pandemic began. Friday will be a special preview day for Birch members. While other theme parks have already partially reopened, it was not so easy for the Birch team.

"We are limited to outdoor spaces, so that is clearly a little tricky for an aquarium," Medley said.

Staff carefully brought many of their indoor displays, like the shark exhibit and tide pools outside under tents. They are also debuting an interactive seahorse exhibit called "Growing Up Seahorses."

"It'll be an opportunity for visitors to see some juvenile and adult lined seahorses and interact with an educator to learn more about how we care for them," Medley said.

Per social distance guidelines, the aquarium is requiring masks and has a 600-guest per day limit. Everyone, including members, must reserve a specific time slot at the aquarium's website before attending. A fewer guest count does have its perks.

"It feels like a behind-the-scenes tour for everyone who is coming through," Medley said.

Aquarium staff recognizes that this is a limited reopening, so for a limited time, they are offering 'Buy one, get one half off' ticket prices with promo code: BIRCHOUTDOORS.

For as long as San Diego County remains in the Purple Tier, the 'Hall of fishes' display will be closed, and the 'Giant Kelp' exhibit will only be live-streamed online and played at the aquarium's outdoor spaces.