As if finding ways to entertain yourself on a budget here in Los Angeles isn’t enough of a pain, for those of us with kids, there’s an even bigger challenge. Visiting a coroner’s office gift shop or Buffy film locations (see previous posts) is fun for me, but my 10 year old son would beg to differ. So when he’s free from the shackles of school for the weekend, it’s my job to keep him amused and having a good time.
There are tons of awesome things to do with children in the greater L.A. area (which I will explore in future blog posts), but today we’ll focus on The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Why? First of all, because it’s fun AND educational! Secondly, you can get a really good deal this month from Goldstar! (See, I told you I would bring Goldstar up again!) In fact, you can get your kids in for half the normal price of admission, and grown-ups can enjoy savings of $11 – not bad at all.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is all about our underwater neighbors – many of whom are living in their natural habitat just outside the aquarium’s doors. When you walk in, you will almost immediately come upon a GIGANTIC aquarium with all types of fish, and often, scuba divers inside! My son enjoyed playing rock, paper, scissors with one of them.
The sheer magnitude of the Aquarium of the Pacific, however, is awe-inspiring. There are over 11,000 animals to see, making up over 500 species which means that you and your kids will be plenty entertained for hours on end. Although I get pretty mesmerized by jellyfish, my favorite exhibit is definitely the Sea Otters. I could watch those little fur balls playing all day long if my kid would let me…he doesn’t, though. Now HE, on the other hand, could literally spend an entire day touching the rays.
Another favorite display is the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. Honestly, it’s a close call for me between the otters and the penguins, but I gotta be true to my mammals, yo! Still, everybody loves to watch penguins diving and waddling and swimming, right?
Amongst the displays, there are plenty of hands-on activities for the little ones to learn and play, times when you can watch the feeding of the animals, or you can even check out the Molina Animal Care Center where you can see how the animals are nurtured.
Now if you can just come up with a way to distract your kids from the gift shop on your way out, you’ll be all set for a cheap day trip!