Membership FAQs

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 in person at the Visitor Services office, a temporary membership card will be immediately provided. If you would like to skip the paperwork, you can order a membership online and we can provide a temporary card on your first visit. Please use the members gate entrance and come into the Visitor Services office. Permanent cards will be mailed 2-4 weeks from the date of purchase. 

How do I redeem my gift certificate?

Please bring your gift certificate or gift membership with you when you come to Birch Aquarium. After giving us your information, we’ll be able to give you your temporary membership cards and guest passes so you can enjoy your new membership. If you purchase a gift membership online you will receive an email with a series of numbers and dashes. Provide your recipient with this number and have them bring it to our Visitor Services office to redeem for a membership.

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?

No. Only the adult named on the membership can use the membership and memberships are non-transferrable. A membership purchase is a tax-deductible donation and is non-refundable. Memberships are designed for the individuals specified at time of purchase and ARE NOT open-ended admission passes. Similar to a gym membership- aquarium memberships are non-transferrable. 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). 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.

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. If you would like your grandchildren to be able to visit with their parents, you should consider buying their parents a gift membership.

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, and at 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 a tax-deductible donation and is non-refundable.

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 858-534-5771, any day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email us at