Photos by: Jordann Tomasek, Birch Aquarium

5 Reasons to Stay Late at Birch Aquarium This Spring


Starting in March, Birch Aquarium is open until 7 p.m., and there’s so much to do at the aquarium when the sun goes down! Here are five fun ideas for spending a little time after dark exploring the aquatic world. 

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean as seen from a patio at Birch Aquarium.
Catch the sunset from Blue Beach

There’s nothing quite like sunsets in southern California, and Birch Aquarium’s perch atop the hill at Scripps Institution of Oceanography comes with a stellar view, perfect for catching the last golden rays of the day. From Blue Beach, which features a 4,500-square-foot floor mural depicting the bathymetry (or map of the depth) of the underwater canyons off La Jolla Shores, you can gaze all the way down to Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier below. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a snap with the epic scenery!

Guests view 4 Little Blue Penguins perched on a rock inside their habitat
Get up close to the world’s smallest penguin

Warm weather isn’t just for spring breakers! Our colony of Little Blue Penguins are native to the coastal dunes and rocky shores of Southern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, so they’re right at home in our warmer San Diego climate. They are adept swimmers and are often seen diving into their pool, where you can get a penguin’s eye view of their underwater skills. Head to Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins to get up close and personal with these small but charismatic little birds. 

two guests look up into the blue and white cyanotype printed kelp forest in Hold Fast
Dive into Hold Fast, an immersive art experience

Have you ever wanted to see what it’s like to float through a Giant Kelp forest? Or explore our local oceans without getting wet? Birch Aquarium’s newest installation Hold Fast is an interactive art experience that beckons you deep into an artistic rendering of our local kelp forests to explore climate impact on kelp through the lens of local artists and scientists. Hold Fast asks you to consider your own talents and what brings you joy in order to inspire climate action.

weedy seadragons float against a dark background
Celebrate a year of Weedy Seadragons 

This spring marks the anniversary of a remarkable birth at Birch Aquarium– our weedy seadragon brood turns one! They’ve grown a phenomenal amount in the last year and are now well on their way to being full grown. You can find our adult weedy seadragons in our Seadragons & Seahorses exhibit, which features one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world. Check out these amazing animals and their seahorse relatives from all over the world, right here in one place!

Oceans at Night
Get your glow on at Oceans at Night

When the sun goes down, the oceans light up! Did you know that most of the activity in the ocean takes place after dark? One Thursday night a month, Oceans at Night brings this excitement to Birch Aquarium! From live music and DJs to cocktails and rotating interactive activations, our 21+ event allows adults to both let loose and learn a little something. Find out which creatures glow and which just go with the flow, all while experiencing the aquarium in a whole new light!