FAQs and Rules

What are your Hours of Operation? Are you open on holidays? 

Birch Aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Admission ticket sales end at 4:30 p.m. and the aquarium closes at 5 p.m. 
Birch Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Transportation and Parking

Birch Aquarium is located at 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Public Transportation options to Birch Aquarium:

  • Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Bus Route 30 stops at La Jolla Shores Drive & Discovery Way. Walk 100 feet east to Expedition Way. Walk downhill 0.3 miles to the entrance.
  • North County Transit District (NCTD) Bus Route 101 stops at Expedition Way. Walk down Expedition Way to the aquarium (15 minutes). 
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) Shuttle: The SIO Shuttle runs Monday - Friday and stops at areas between UC San Diego campus and SIO, excluding university holidays.

Parking:

  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps offers 3-hour courtesy parking.
  • Designated handicapped parking stalls are located next to the traffic circle at the front of the aquarium.
  • Additional 3-hour parking is available on Expedition Way from June 1 through September 15. 
  • Due to space restrictions, parking for busses and large vehicles, such as RVs or trailers is not allowed in the parking lot. There is public parking along La Jolla Shores Drive that may accommodate large vehicles. 

Accessibility 

  • Please visit our accessibility page for detailed information. 
  • Birch Aquarium strives to be fully accessible. Wheelchairs are available free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis at the Information Desk located in the Galleria. 
  • Parking is located in the traffic circle at the front of the aquarium.

Pricing, Discounts, and Memberships

Tickets are available for purchase online or from the ticket booth when you arrive. 
General Admission
Adult: $18.50
Child (3-17): $14
Ages 2 and under: Free
Student with ID: $15
Senior (60+): $15.50
UC San Diego Staff: $15
Military Discount: All active, reserve, retired/veteran with valid Military ID receive $2 off each ticket

Enjoy oceans of savings and support the aquarium by becoming an annual member. Members receive free admission, discounts, and invitations to members-only events.

Does Birch Aquarium have any deals, discounts, coupons, or offers available? 

Yes! Please visit our Discounts and Offers page to see current promotions. 

How long should I plan to visit Birch Aquarium? 

Most guests find that two to three hours is the right amount of time to visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps. You can also use our daily schedule to learn more about what is happening on the day of your visit. 

What are the best times to avoid crowds?

The fall and early winter months are the least crowded times to visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps (with the exception of holidays). At other times of the year, we recommend you start your visit at 9 a.m. or after 2 p.m. if you are looking for a quieter experience. 

Is there a place to store my belongings? 

Birch Aquarium at Scripps does not provide storage for personal belongings. 

No Weapons Policy

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is part of the University of California San Diego and adheres to University of California Weapons Policy. Birch Aquarium strictly enforces a no weapons of any kind policy to ensure an enjoyable experience for all guests and to reduce potential risks to the safety of our guests and staff. Weapons include — but are not limited to — firearms (including toys and replicas), chemical or electronic “non-lethal” devices or sprays (such as tasers or pepper sprays), impact weapons, knives or other sharp instruments. Visitors are prohibited from carrying firearms — concealed or not, regardless of whether the owner holds a permit. 

Photography and video usage

Guests are encouraged to take photos and video for personal use. Flash photography is allowed inside the aquarium, except where noted. The use of tripods is not allowed. Commercial photography is allowed only with prior written permission from the Marketing Department.

Smoking policy

For the health and safety of our guests and animals, smoking is not allowed anywhere on Birch Aquarium at Scripps property, including outdoor exhibits, sidewalks, Splash Cafe, and the parking lot. 

Can I bring my pet inside? 

Only trained service animals are permitted inside Birch Aquarium at Scripps. For the health and safety of your pets, we request they not be left in cars in our parking lot. If a pet is found in a car, they may be removed and held by University of California San Diego police. 

Can I bring my stroller inside? 

Strollers are permitted throughout Birch Aquarium at Scripps. We ask that guests be considerate of others, especially when navigating dark galleries to see the exhibits.  

Can I bring food and drinks into the aquarium? 

Food and beverages are permitted inside Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch or purchase coffee, snacks, or a delicious meal from Splash Cafe by The French Gourmet. 

Am I allowed to Re-enter Birch Aquarium?

Guests are welcome to leave and re-enter Birch Aquarium at Scripps within the same day. Upon leaving, guests may receive hand stamp or use their tickets for re-entry. 

Do you offer Community Donations?

You can learn more on our community donation page

Can I interview a scientist or a member of your staff? 

Birch Aquarium offers several events throughout the year where guests can meet and and talk with Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scientists including monthly SEA Days and annual Ocean STEM Careers Night. You can also email Scripps Institution of Oceanography questions at Scripps Oceanography Voyager. Birch Aquarium scientists and staff are unable to participate in one-on-one interviews or answer interview questions via phone or email.