Membership FAQs

Will my membership be extended because of the temporary closure?

Yes! We will be offering extensions to all memberships that were affected by the temporary closure. This extension will be added to current active memberships and memberships that expired between March 2020 to the end of June 2020. Extensions will not apply to new membership purchases made after July 1, 2020.

 Original Expiration Date  New Expiration Date
 March 2020 to June 2020 October 31, 2020
July 2020 to June 2021 Four months will be added to the end of your original expiration date.


Can I “donate” the months that will be extended on my membership back to the aquarium?

Several members have asked if they can "donate" their 4 months back and support Birch Aquarium. If you would like to do so please fill out the form linked below to keep your original expiration date.     

Membership Donation

Will I get a new membership card or guest passes to reflect the extension?

No, we have adjusted your membership card and guest passes in our system. Your membership card, guest passes, and member number will be valid until the end of your extension.

How do I use my member guest passes?

If you would like to use your member guest passes, please RSVP for your guest online when you are reserving tickets for yourself. For entry into the aquarium, you will need to present the RSVP and guest pass.

How do I contact the membership office or purchase/renew aquarium membership?

  1. Fill out and submit an online membership order
  2. Send us an email.
  3. Call Visitor Services at 858-534-5771, open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  4. Come to Visitor Services office through the members gate entrance, any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  5. Mail in your check payable to UC Regents with your renewal form

Can I use my membership right away?

Yes! If you purchase your membership online a pdf with your digital membership card, instructions for coming to the Aquarium and your guest passes are sent to you for you to print. Please print all the information. If you have any questions, contact our Membership Office at 858-534-5771.

If you purchase your membership in person at the Visitor Services office, you will receive your membership cards and guest passes right away, all which can be used the same day.

If you purchase your membership by phone, a pdf with your digital membership card, instructions for coming to the Aquarium and your guest passes are sent to you for you to print. Please print all the information. If you have any questions, contact our Membership Office at 858-534-5771.

If you renew by mail you will receive a pdf with your digital membership card, instructions for coming to the Aquarium and your guest passes are sent to you for you to print. Please print all the information. If you have any questions, contact our Membership Office at 858-534-5771.

Why do I have to show a photo I.D. when I use my membership card to enter the Aquarium?

Your membership has tremendous value. To prevent misuse of membership cards, and to protect the rights of our members should their cards be lost or stolen, we ask to see a photo I.D. from at least one adult cardholder at the time of your visit. 

How many cards are included with my membership?

There will be one card issued for each named adult on your membership. If your membership includes a third adult or caregiver, that person will also receive their own card.

If I forget to bring my membership card or have not received it yet, can I still visit?

Yes! If you forget your membership card, just bring your photo I.D. into Visitor Services and we’ll verify the status of your membership and give you a temporary card to use for the day. We will do the same if you are waiting for your new card in the mail. Never let your card stop you from visiting — we can always look you up, so feel free to stop by on a whim.  

Can I cancel, transfer, or share a membership with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker?

Our memberships are non-transferable and only the adult named on the membership can use the card for entry. In addition, memberships are tax deductible (see Is My Membership Tax Deductible below) and if you should choose to cancel your membership at any time your membership is non-refundable. Memberships are designed for the individuals specified at time of purchase and ARE NOT open-ended admission passes. If you would like the option of bringing a guest when you visit, you may opt for the Host option on Dual and above levels, which gives you ongoing substitution flexibility for the duration of your membership. If you choose to name the second adult, it locks you into that option and therefore gives that second adult equal rights to the membership. Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns regarding this policy.

What benefits can my children use during their visit to the aquarium without me?

If you are sending your covered children to visit without you please notify Visitor Services at 858-534-5771 or have the adult bringing them check in at Visitor Services (verifying questions will be asked) and have the guest bring the membership card that the children are covered under. Children cannot host any guests; if you would like a caregiver to have easy access to your membership, you can add them to your membership for $40. Otherwise, the guest will need to purchase a ticket or bring a guest pass.

My children are visiting the Aquarium with a school field trip. Can my child use my membership for admission for a school field trip?

No, school group admission cannot be combined with membership benefits. 

I am a grandparent and want my grandchildren to have a membership. What is my best option?

If you would like to bring your grandchildren with you to the Aquarium, the Aquarium Associates level membership will be your best option. It covers any two adults and all household children or grandchildren ages 3-17. Another option is to purchase a Family Membership which includes two adults and four children.

How can I add a nanny or other caregiver to my membership? If I have a nanny, which level is best for me?

When purchasing a membership, please select the level that is best for your family.  Once on the purchasing page, please look for the "Need to add a caregiver to your membership?" text and follow the instructions. 

Is parking included in my membership?

The Aquarium offers complimentary 3 hour parking for all visitors including members. As part of the UCSD campus community, there are parking restrictions in and around the aquarium parking lot. Please be mindful of signage and time limits as UCSD parking rules are enforced 24/7. If you have questions or concerns regarding parking, please feel free to call the Membership Office at 858-534-4109 or UCSD Parking at 858-534-4223.

Can I get a refund for my membership?

No. A membership purchase is non-refundable.

Is My Membership Tax Deductible?


Your support helps us meet the challenges of a rapidly changing climate, acidifying oceans, and dwindling populations of endangered species by inspiring sustainable solutions. Birch Aquarium is a part of UC San Diego which is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by the law.                                              

  • Individual Membership $55 -- $55 is tax deductible  
  • Dual Membership $75 -- $75 is tax deductible 
  • Family Membership $94 -- $16 is tax deductible
  • Aquarium Associates Membership $150 -- $72 is tax deductible 
  • Ocean Sponsors Membership $250 -- $172 is tax deductible 
  • Coral Reef Membership $500 -- $356 is tax deductible
  • Friends of Birch $1,000 -- $922 is tax deductible

For more information contact Kim Freed, Membership Manager, at 858-534-0306 or

My question wasn't addressed here. What should I do?

We do our best to make sure all of our members have just what they need to enjoy a wonderful time at the Birch Aquarium. If you have more questions contact the Membership Office at or call 858-534-5771, any day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.