Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Behind-the-Scenes: Seahorse Tours

Venture behind the scenes for a one-hour private tour and explore the fascinating world of seahorses. Get a glimpse of seahorse babies, learn about Birch Aquarium's renowned breeding program, and understand what it takes to care for these unusual fish on this immersive behind-the-scenes tour!

Currently offering reservations through Saturday, May 14th.

Reservations Coming Soon

Everything you need to know for Behind-the-Scenes: Seahorse Tours

When is the tour offered?

Behind the Scenes: Seahorses tour is currently offered daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  The guided tour lasts one hour, and includes 30 minutes behind the scenes in areas not open to the public.

What is the capacity of the tour?

Our private Behind the Scenes: Seahorses tours can accommodate up to 6 guests, all from the same group.  When you purchase a tour, you are purchasing all 6 spaces. 

What does the tour cost? Does it include general admission?

Tickets for Behind the Scenes: Seahorses tour:

  • Members $225
  • Non members $250
  • Please note, the tour price does not include admission for non-members.

Both members and non-members must reserve an entry time for admission in advance. Up to 6 guests may attend each tour. 

How do I purchase tickets?

You can check availability and purchase tickets for Behind the Scenes: Seahorses online, by phone at 858-534-FISH (3474) or onsite in the Visitor Services Office. Tickets must be purchased at least 1 hour prior to the tour’s start time.  

Do I have to wear a face covering?

Yes. During the behind-the-scenes tour all staff and guests (2 years and older) are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth — both indoors and out regardless of vaccination status.

Is there an age restriction?

Participants must be at least 8 years old, and children 8-17 must be accompanied by a paying participating parent or guardian.

Where and when do I meet to check in?

Ticket holders should meet in the Smargon Courtyard 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time to check in. Look for the large floor sign indicating the tour meeting place.  Please bring your signed waiver with you. The tour will begin promptly; please be on time for your experience.

What should I wear?

Closed-toed shoes are required, rubber sole shoes such as sneakers are recommended. For your safety, heels, sandals or flip-flops are not permitted on this tour. Please wear comfortable clothing and something you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. 

What if I have a medical or mental health condition, or disability that prevents me from wearing a face covering?

Please contact Visitor Services before making your reservations at aquariuminfo@ucsd.edu or 858-534-FISH (3474) if you require a modification to the face covering order.

Will I be allowed to take pictures?

Only during the first half of the tour; once the tour goes behind-the-scenes, photography and video recording is not allowed. No exceptions. 

May I bring large bags or backpacks on the tour?

Large bags and backpacks are not permitted on the tour.  They may be left in the Visitor Services Office during the tour.

Can my family/friends watch me participate?

Those in your party who are not participating in the experience are not permitted to follow along in behind-the-scenes areas. Please arrange a time and place to meet with your party after your experience.

Can I reschedule or receive a refund for my behind-the-scenes tour experience?

Refunds are not available, however if canceled 24 hours before the start of the tour and space permits, it may be possible to reschedule to a future date. Please note: non-members would need to purchase general admission for their new tour date.  

Is this tour ADA accessible?

Most (but not all) behind-the-scenes areas are ADA accessible. In some areas a wheelchair can access but will not be able to turn around and will need to back out to exit the space. Some tours may include small ladders and/or stairs with a few steps which are not ADA accessible.  Be prepared for dim lighting and potentially wet floors.

Are Service Animals permitted on the behind-the-scenes tour?

Yes, but Birch Aquarium reserves the right to exclude service animals from these areas if they pose a direct threat to our animal population. Please note: access to behind-the-scenes areas requires stepping on foot bath pads which contain sanitizing chemicals that pose a hazard if ingested and should be rinsed off if skin contact occurs.


For other accommodation requests please contact Visitor Services at aquariuminfo@ucsd.edu or 858.534.FISH (3474)