Book a Self-Guided Visit

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.

Our Registration period will begin August 27, 2018.


Ages 3–Grade 12: $9/student
Note: 10-student minimum to receive this pricing.

Chaperone Policy and Ratios

All teachers, staff, and parents with your group are categorized as chaperones. Chaperones are required for the purpose of supervising students. Chaperones within the recommended ratios will be given free admission. Extra Chaperones are $16 each, and this admission can be purchased in the Visitor Services Office. 

Ages 3-5 (Pre-K): 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.

How To Register

Reservations can be made online, by phone at 858-534-7336, or by email.
Reservations are required four weeks in advance and are 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.

Our Registration period for the 2018-2019 school year is coming soon!

Book Now

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 your 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 2018-19 School Programs Brochure