Book a Self-Guided Visit

Registration for September 2017-June 2018 Now Available!

Thank you for your interest in our school programs at Birch Aquarium. Please know that we have changed our reservation process. To request your Self-Guided Visit, please call 858-534-7336 or email birchaquariumprograms@ucsd.edu.


Self-Guided Visits for School Groups

Explore Birch Aquarium at your own pace without structured programming. Self-Guided Visits are offered daily, year-round, during regular aquarium hours. Available to Pre-K and K-Grade 12 school classes and College Student classes. Pre-registration is required.

Seasonal Pricing

September – February: Ages 3–Grade 12 & College classes: $8/student
March – August: Ages 3–Grade 12 & College classes: $9/student

Note: 10-student minimum to receive this pricing.

How To Register

Advance registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
We recommend that you register as soon as possible to ensure a visit on the date of your choice. Questions? Call 858-534-7336, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily.

Chaperone Policy and Ratios

All adults with your group—teachers, staff, and parents—are counted within the chaperone category. Chaperones are required for the purpose of supervising students. Chaperones within the recommended ratios will be given free admission. Extra Chaperones are $15.50 each, and this admission can be purchased in the Visitor Services Office. 

Pre-K (Ages 3-5): One chaperone per two students (1:2)
Grades K-12: One chaperone per five students (1:5)
Note: All aides and nurses are given free admission during field trips.

Self Guided Flip Cards for K-5

Enhance your aquarium experience with Self-Guided Explorations Flip Cards. Encourage peer-to-peer conversations  while discovering fun facts about marine life. Questions and answers are included on each card set. Please visit the information booth in the Galleria  to check out a set of cards for you group. Self-Guided Explorations cards are free of charge, but they do require an ID to check out. Availability is limited.
You can also download and print the cards before your visit.

Self Guided Visit Grades K-2 Flip Cards
Self Guided Visit Grades 3-5 Flip Cards 

Self Guided for Middle and High School: A Journey along the California Current

Available for download, these worksheets highlight the dynamic range of habitats along the California Current. Follow the current through our Hall of Fishes, as you explore animals from the North Pacific Coast down along into Baja California, Mexico.

Self Guided for Middle School

Self Guided for High School


Interested in booking a class with Birch Aquarium?

We offer Next Generation Science Standard aligned classes at Birch Aquarium, at the beach, or our educators can come to your school. Aquarium admission included with onsite Discovery Labs!

Download School Programs Brochure