My mom came to visit us this week, so we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific today. She likes to do activities like that when she comes to visit, and she’d originally asked about going to Sea World in San Diego, but I wasn’t too wild about the idea of driving 2 hours down there and 2 hours back home, so I suggested the Aquarium here.
Wow! Let me start out by saying this is a top-notch place to visit. If you’re looking for something that’s family-friendly and even wheelchair-friendly, this is a great place to go. My son is in a wheelchair, and other than having a tough time navigating through crowds every now and then, it was really easy to get around inside and outside. All the walkways are very wide, so that allows people to mill around but others can still get by to see exhibits they’re interested in.
One exhibit my son especially loved was the scuba divers in the shark tank. They had a little demonstration where a couple scuba divers fed the fish while one explained the habitat and what was going on. My son loves attention, and he managed to get the scuba diver to wave at him and say hi. I think that made his day for him!
Some exhibits at the Aquarium allow you to touch and feel the animals. After getting a chance to “pet” the moon jellies, my son made sure we looked up all the exhibits where he’d be able to pet them so we’d go visit all of them, first. He was able to touch moon jellyfish, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, diamond rays, and horseshoe crabs. We also paid $5.00 for food for the diamond rays, and he was able to feed them using a long straw-like device that we skewered the shrimp with before gently waving them in the water to get the rays’ attention.
If you decide to visit the Aquarium, my suggestion is to plan on eating lunch in their Cafe S.C.U.B.A. It’s a cafeteria-style restaurant, and they serve a variety of foods, from pizza and side salads to sandwiches and wraps, to burgers, and my personal favorite – “fish and chips.” Yes, like any restaurant located inside an attraction, the food is a little pricier than it would be if you’d just stop at a fast food restaurant, but this allows you to not worry about rushing your visit because your child has become overwhelmed with hunger pangs. Also, the food is just plain delicious, and it gives you a chance to sit down and rest your feet before exploring more of the aquarium. As you might have guessed, I ordered fish and chips, and I was not one bit disappointed. Yes, the french fries were pre-frozen crinkle cut fries, not fries like you’d get from a real fish and chips restaurant, but the fish was freakin’ AHHHHHHHHHH-mazing! It was large chunks of white fish in a delicious cornmeal batter, and this was served with a generous cup of the most delicious tartar sauce I’ve ever tasted! My mom and my son both got slices of pizza, and they said it tasted great. All in all, I think it’s worth it to just stop for a bite to eat here.