Monterey Bay Aquarium is excited to announce that they will reopen May 2021. Visiting the Aquarium means following new guidelines to help keep you, the staff and volunteers safe. It’s also an opportunity to fall in love with the Aquarium - for the first time if you’ve never been, or all over again if you’re a member or returning visitor. 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium team has missed welcoming visitors to the Aquarium and has been looking forward to this day for too long! Everyone - including members - who visits the Aquarium needs to reserve tickets for a specific date and entry time. Reservations will help spread people out over the course of the day and prevent crowding. Members enjoy early access - the first entry time of the day is reserved just for them.

Reopening dates and reservation opening times are as follows:

  • Member Days: May 1-14 (Reservations available starting April 26th at 9 a.m. PT)
  • Open for All Guests: May 15 (Tickets available starting May 5th at 9 a.m. PT)

Monterey Bay Aquarium

You’ll want to read up on some of the changes Monterey Bay Aquarium has put into place for your safety, like their new face covering requirement, so you know what to expect.

Food and beverage options from the Café will be available, and the Aquarium has reconfigured the dining area to maintain physical distancing.

Discover Hidden Gems

This is a great time to find beauty and wonder in exhibits you may not have noticed before. Slow down to appreciate the smaller creatures, like the anemones and corals, sea stars and snails, prawns, crabs and nudibranchs that provide such rich texture to our exhibits. 

Look closely at the small windows throughout the Aquarium.

  • In the Kelp Forest, a patient eye will find that the kelp blades are alive with camouflaged fish like the giant kelpfish.
  • In Monterey Bay Habitats, pay close attention to the sandy seafloor to see if you can spot the elusive angel shark. This flat-bodied predator spends its day buried in the sand, perfectly camouflaged by its gray, brown and black coloring.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Angel Shark

  • In the Aviary, look below the surface of the lapping waves for the shiner surfperch. Notice his coloring...A male shiner surfperch changes color with the seasons. In summer, he covers his shiny silver and yellow stripes with a darker suit of courtship colors.
  • In Splash Zone, take a few minutes to watch the leaping blennies as they rock-hop between splashes in their display facing the penguin colony.

Monterey Aquarium Penguins

  • In the Open Sea, it’s always good to check on one of the most comical swimmers, the pelagic red crab, as it darts backwards through the water. 
  • In Tentacles, check for squid eggs or baby cuttlefish hatchlings in the small display case opposite the video wall. 

Take In The Big Picture

Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otters

Of course, there is so much to see and explore, like the playful sea otter exhibit, but sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and be swept away with the majesty of the ocean.

The Aquarium looks forward to welcoming back visitors in May, but for now, enjoy watching the school of swirling sardines in the Open Sea.