After careful planning and discussions with the City of Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific has announced that the entire Aquarium will be fully open at 25 percent capacity to the public on Tuesday, March 16, and to Aquarium members on Monday, March 15, with safety protocols and advance reservations.
“We have survived, and our animals have thrived the last year only because of the support of our donors, help from the City of Long Beach, and dedication of our staff. With our reopening, we can continue to give back to our communities through our educational programs and provide an experience for visitors that embodies spring and recovery. A weight has been lifted. Our mischievous sea otters, beautiful lorikeets, endearing penguins, sleek sharks, and my favorite –Groot, our giant pacific octopus awaits you,” said Dr. Peter Kareiva, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO.
Guests can now journey into the Aquarium’s three main galleries, which have been closed to the public since summer 2020. In the Southern California/Baja Gallery, you can meet giant sea bass, leopard sharks, eels, seals, sea lions, white abalone, and other animals found locally or in Baja. Then, visitors can explore the cold-water habitats of the Northern Pacific Gallery to meet playful sea otters, diving birds, sea jellies, giant spider crabs, and a giant Pacific octopus. Guests can then travel through the Tropical Pacific Gallery to see colorful fish and other species that inhabit those warm tropical waters.
In the Aquarium’s Pacific Visions area, they can also explore an art gallery, orientation gallery, Honda Pacific Visions Theater, and the Schubel Family Culmination Gallery, which features interactive displays, educational game tables, and live animal exhibits. Pacific Visions is the Aquarium’s newest expansion, which opened to the public in May 2019. “The theater will be operated at reduced capacity, and the two-story, 300-seat stadium seating design allows for plenty of room for social distancing,” said Nicole Meek, Aquarium of the Pacific director of visitor operations. Pacific Visions also has features developed last spring that most members of the public have never seen before such as the Paint a Fish interactive multimedia exhibit.
As part of its safety protocols, the Aquarium is limiting the number of visitors, requiring advance timed reservations for everyone, and managing traffic flow to ensure appropriate social distancing. The Aquarium also requires masks for everyone age two and older and temperature checks for everyone. Visitors will find numerous hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facility, Aquarium staff constantly sanitizing all touched surfaces, and clear partitions in key areas where staff interact with guests, such as the main entrance, member services, and retail areas.
The Aquarium has installed social distancing signs throughout the facility, set up for one-way foot traffic in the main galleries, and has staff to monitor and enforce social distancing. Exit with re-entry will not be allowed during this initial phase of reopening. More details are available on the Aquarium’s website at http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/visit/aquarium_safety.
Aquarium of the Pacific Important Info
Public reopening date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (advance reservations required)
Member preview day: Monday, March 15, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.(advance reservations required)
(Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
Address: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
COST: General admission: $36.95 adult (12+), $33.95 senior (65+), $26.95 child, and free to children under age three and Aquarium members
More INFO: (562) 590-3100 or visit aquariumofpacific.org