MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM: Explore the wonders of our ocean planet in nearly 200 galleries and exhibits at the nation’s No. 1 family aquarium. The Outer Bay galleries feature a million-gallon display that’s home to schools of tuna, Mahi-mahi, sharks, barracuda, pelagic rays and more; plus the largest jellyfish exhibits anywhere. Other permanent exhibits include playful sea otters;a towering three-story kelp forest; an interactive deep sea exhibit; touch pools and other hands-on displays; and Ocean’s Edge: Coastal Habitats of Monterey Bay, featuring a walk-through wave crash, aviary, touch pools and giant octopus galleries, and hands-on exhibits that incorporate conservation themes in engaging and exciting ways. Visit www.montereybayaquarium.org for more information.
“HOT PINK FLAMINGOS: STORIES OF HOPE IN A CHANGING SEA” SPECIAL EXHIBITION OPEN: New animals capture visitors’ hearts and minds in “Hot Pink Flamingos.” Seven galleries weave together stories about the many ways climate change is affecting ocean animals and tales of hope involving people and communities that are turning the tide on climate change. Visitors come face-to-face with tropical wading birds, green sea turtles, hypnotic jellies, playful Magellanic penguins, vibrant coral reef community and several thought provoking interactive displays.
OUTER BAY GALLERIES TEMPORARILY CLOSED: An extensive remodel of the Outer Bay galleries will begin on August 30, 2010 and encompass four phases. All galleries – including new galleries about plastics pollution and an expanded family play area – will reopen in July 2011.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION: The aquarium’s most popular special exhibition to date, “The Secret Lives of Seahorses” continues to get rave reviews and will remain open into 2012. The exhibition showcases more than 15 species of seahorses and their kin—one of the largest and most diverse exhibits of seahorses and their family in the nation. As visitors explore the elusive world of seahorses in four multimedia galleries, they learn about the surprising ways that these fascinating fishes grow up, choose mates and give birth. The exhibition highlights the fragile habitats that seahorses call home, and conservation stations provide visitors with tools to help protect these mythical animals and the precious coastal environments where they live.
BLUE OCEANS FILM FESTIVAL DEBUTS IN MONTEREY: August 24 – 29 BLUE Ocean Film Festival makes its West Coast debut, with the aquarium as a lead sponsor. Featuring more than 50 award-winning ocean films, exhibits of acclaimed underwater photography and visual arts, special events and appearances by renowned filmmakers, photographers, ocean conservation advocates, policy makers and celebrities. Aquarium members receive discounts on ticket packages. Tickets and more information available at www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org.
“EVENINGS BY THE BAY” EXTENDED WEEKEND HOURS: Each Saturday and Sunday from Independence Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (July 3 – September 5) the aquarium will remain open until 8 p.m., giving visitors an off-season experience during peak summer season with two additional hours to commune with their favorite creatures. In addition to world-acclaimed exhibits and regular programs the aquarium offers during the day, evening visitors will enjoy live music, special programs and events.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6: “World Ocean Day Celebration” on June 5-6 celebrates the ocean ecosystem in conjunction with the international observance of the world’s oceans with a full line-up of activities and performances. Visit www.montereybayaquarium.org for more information.
AUDITORIUM PROGRAMS: Daily programs include “You Otter Know,” an interactive program that teaches visitors about sea otters in a lively, game-show-style format; “Jellies,” in which visitors learn how these brainless, heartless animals are perfectly adapted to survive and thrive in their ocean homes; “Mysteries of the Deep,” a 15-minute program with live video of deep-sea explorations. Beginning in July visitors can attend an exciting new live program which explores how marine animals are inspiring inventors to help solve one of the world’s biggest problems. Ongoing; beginning at 11 a.m. daily. Included with aquarium admission.
“AQUARIUM ADVENTURES” – Summer programs include “Underwater Explorers,” “Day Sail” and “Sunset Sail” excursions – resume a month early again this year, beginning May 8, “Morning Rounds,” and member-only camp-ins, youth group camp-ins and the newest program - “Family Seashore Sleepovers.” Family sleepovers allow the public to sleep near their favorite exhibits and experience the aquarium after hours on five Saturdays in 2010: June 5, July 17, July 24, August 28 and November 20. Special presentations, feeding opportunities, a midnight snack and continental breakfast included in the exclusive evening. Space is limited; purchase tickets early online. “Behind-the Scenes Tours,” continue in 2010; these dynamic 50-minute tours take visitors wherever the day’s action is most exciting; offered several times daily; $12 per person for the general public (plus aquarium admission), $10 per person for aquarium members. Select Aquarium Adventures tickets can be purchased online, including “behind-the-scenes tours,” and “Day Sail” and “Sunset Sail” excursions on Monterey Bay. For information and registration, visit www.mbayaq.org/vi/vi_aquarium/vi_aq_adventures.asp or call toll-free (866) 963-9646.
SUMMER DECK PROGRAMS – Family friendly theatrical performances featuring a dynamic cast of talent will educate and entertain visitors. “Enough Stuff” is a short, clever and comedic new musical which highlights charismatic new animals that visitors can see in “Hot Pink Flamingos.” “Watt a Waste,” a crowd favorite back by popular demand, is a lively musical performance focusing on energy conservation. Additional live theatrical presentations will be featured at various exhibits throughout the day. Presented daily June 19 through August 22 on the Great Tide Pool Deck. Included with aquarium admission.
ADMISSION: All exhibits and programs except “Aquarium Adventures” and behind-the-scenes tours included with aquarium admission (2010 prices): $29.95 adult; $27.95 senior (over 65) and student (full-time college, with I.D.); $17.95 children and the disabled; under 3 free. Located at 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. Summer and holiday hours 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., summer extended hours 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from July 3 through September 5. Information: (831) 648-4888. Advance tickets: online at the aquarium’s website, www.montereybayaquarium.org; avoid ticket lines on busy summer days and there’s no additional charge to print the tickets at home or pick them up at the aquarium’s will-call box office, and only a small fee if the tickets are mailed; or by phone 866-963-9645. Discounted tickets for members of the military and their families can be purchased in advance at many California and Nevada installations.