Outdoor Experiences

Even though Birch Aquarium is now fully open, all of our outdoor spaces have been activated to encourage social distancing and provide guests even more to explore. 

Outdoor activities include: 

Front Entrance

  • Giant Blue Octopus by Jessica Ling Findley: Grab an octopus selfie with our giant inflatable octopus and be sure to use #BirchAquarium on your social profiles. 

Entrance Courtyard

  • Observe + Wonder: Guests will see specimens and art inspired by invertebrates from local artist, Siena McKim. Put your observation skills to the test as you use your scientist eye to connect with and explore the wonders of the ocean.

Preuss Tide Pool Plaza

  • Marine Protected Area Touch Experience: Guests touch local animals, including small sharks and rays, sea hares and snails, while learning about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 
  • South Tide Pool Touch Experience: We’ll bring tide pooling to you by providing a chance to touch La Jolla locals, like anemones, urchins, and sea cucumbers.

The Shelia Marie Davis Galleria 

  • Kelp Cam on the Big Screen: As you head from the Entry Courtyard to Tide Pool Plaza, check out what’s going on in our Giant Kelp Forest Exhibit up on the big screen.

Nigella Hillgarth Education Plaza 

  • Whale Fall Exploration: Learn what happens after a whale falls to the ocean floor by exploring whale bones and invertebrate specimens alongside our Wyland mural.

Robert Smargon Exhibit Court 

  • Shark Poetry by Dovi Kacev: Adjacent to our live sharks, learn about sharks through beautiful illustrations and poetry from Dovi Kacev.
  • Shark Shores: Come face-to-face with La Jolla’s legendary Leopard Sharks and other species of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) at Shark Shores. The large outdoor exhibit allows you to experience the sandy bottomed habitat of La Jolla Shores without getting wet!
  • Life Starts Small: Nursery Animals: Observe young animals from nearby cool temperate waters, like clumps of mussels, swell shark egg cases and juvenile sharks, sand crabs, juvenile zebra perch and garibaldi, gorgonians, limpets, jellies, decorator crabs, seagrasses, and nudibranchs.