www.montereybayaquarium.orgMonterey Bay Aquarium

Acorn barnacles to Zebra sharks and everything in between!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was a $55 million gift to the community of Monterey by founders David and Lucile Packard. The project was initiated in 1977 by four marine biologists and designed by the architectural firm of Esherick, Homsey, Dodge, and Davis of San Francisco. It took seven years to plan and build the main wing, and on October 20, 1984 this public non-profit organization proudly opened its doors. The Aquarium relies on admission fees, memberships, contributions, foundation grants, special events, and their gift and bookstores to meet their annual budget. Julie Packard has served as Executive Director of the Aquarium since its opening and in 1998 she was awarded the Audubon Medal for Conservation. The Aquarium employs more than 400 and has 900 volunteers who diligently work to continue the Aquarium’s mission which is to inspire conservation of the oceans. Mission accomplished!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline and offers immense opportunities for discovery and exploration for our baby boomer families. We love the sleepovers. The new Summer Nights Sleepovers allow you to see the new Open Sea exhibit without the crowds! Now that’s a slice of heaven! Live music and wine tastings (non-alcoholic beverages for the kids) begin at 6:00pm until the doors close at 8:00pm when you start exploring the aquarium. Have fun with special evening activities and then settle in for the night in front of your favorite exhibit, enjoy a light bedtime snack and end the evening with a late-night nature movie before lights out. Wake the next morning to a continental breakfast. Another great option is the Family Seashore Sleepover including animal feedings and a peek behind-the-scenes. Children must be 5 years of age. Youth Group Seashore Sleepovers make for fantastic Youth Group events. Jammies and Jellies will have you exploring the Secret Lives of Seahorses and sleeping next to the jellyfish. Now that puts a different spin on “sleeping with the fishes”!

As members, our children did a special sleepover event and cherish the memory of sleeping directly below the sea turtles. “Whenever I turned over, I could open my eyes and see tuna cruising by,” recalls Erik. And Taylor says, “I loved waking up to the bellies of the slow moving turtles that were bigger than me!” Such experiences truly are pricelss.

Exhibits amaze like the Kelp Forest, Giant Pacific Octopus, rafts of clever Sea Otters (our favorites), Splash Zone with penguins, pot-bellied seahorses and more. Take time out from busy schedules and immerse yourselves in this Aquarium. We have and it is magnificent!