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Animals and Aquariums
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Star Eco Station is an exotic pet rescue center that offers hourly tours. Open weekends only, Fridays 1-5 pm and Sat / Sun 10am – 4pm. Additional weekdays summer hours during July and August are 1-5pm. Adults $8.00 / Children $7.00. Tours last one hour. Last tour starts one hour before closing.
Cabrillo Beach (near Long Beach)
The Cabrillo Marine Aquariumlocated near the Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles is a leader in marine science education. Frank Gehry designed the aquarium which displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. Open Tuesday – Friday Noon – 5pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm. Suggested donation $5.00 per adult and $1.00 per child.
Sea Life Aquarium is designed to be a child’s first interactive guide to the life of the sea, combining active, hands-on learning with fascinating educational talks, and opportunities to have up close and personal encounters with a variety of sea creatures. A visit to SEA LIFE is an experience like no other! Approximately 2 hours South of Los Angeles, and close to LegoLand. Buy Tickets! Also available for birthday parties!
The William S Hart Ranch and Museum is surrounded by a large park, perfect for picnics and barbeques. The park is home to a herd of American Bison (buffalo) and fun nature trails. There is also a barnyard area with live animals! Plan Your Visit.
The LA Zoo is located at the North end of Griffith Park (right near Travel Town). Regular hours are 10am to 5pm. The Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25. Please note that the Zoo starts putting animals in for the night at 4pm. There is also a kids play area, The Neil Papiano Play Park (located in the upper Zoo along the perimeter road) which incorporates animal-themed climbing sculptures, large play structures, a toddler area, water misters, grassy landscaping, and a large picnic area. It was designed to be accessible to all children visiting the Zoo, including those with medical and physical challenges.Ticket sales cease one hour prior to closing time. Adults $14.00 / children $11.00. Also available for birthday parties.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the largest aquariums in the United States. Its more than 500 species fill 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits and take visitors on a journey throughout the Pacific Ocean’s three regions: Southern California/Baja, the Tropical Pacific, and the Northern Pacific.The Aquarium is anchor to the The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, the largest waterfront development in California history. Visitors to the Aquarium can take advantage of the surrounding Long Beach area. Located only minutes from trendy Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach, the Long Beach Convention Center, the Queen Mary, Belmont Shore (Long Beach’s charming beach community), and hotels, tourists will find the Aquarium convenient to anywhere in Long Beach they wish to visit. For more information on Long Beach please visit the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. Open 9am – 6pm every day of the year! Check pricing schedule online for details.
We can’t rave enough about the Santa Barbara zoo. It’s worth the drive! It’s a small, easily manageable park and it’s lovely. And there’s a train ride! An average Zoo visit lasts 2.5 hours; but many guests spend a half day meandering the grounds, taking in the Pacific Ocean views, and enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner after visiting the animals. If you’re short on time, the Zoo Map highlights the “Must-See” exhibits. Also, be sure to check out the Visitor Kiosk just inside the front entrance for keeper talks and other events. Adults 13-59: $12/Children 2-12/Seniors 60+: $10/Children under 2: Free. Parking: $5 (free with SB Zoo Membership) Also available for birthday parties.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (benefitting Heal the Bay). This fantastic gem located just under the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier is a quick stop for kids to view fish, sharks, stingrays and jellyfish, pet sea stars and sea cucumbers, hear stories, do crafts and learn about saving our oceans from contaminants. Open Tues – Fri 2pm – 6pm and weekends 12;30 pm – 6pm. $5.00 suggested donation ($2.00 minimum for adults. Kids under 12 are free. Also available for birthday parties.
The Wildlife Rescue Center rescues wildlife and provides outreach and education in wildlife biology. Nestled in an old olive grove in Sylmar, CA the center features more than 70 species of rescued and zoo born wild animals. Open 7 days a week except major holidays this is a fun place to wander with your kids and observe nature at its best!
Underwood Family Farms Moorpark Farms Center is open 9am – 3p. Weekdays $3.00 pp / Weekends $5.00 pp. Take the kids here to see farm animals at work and at play! Kids under 4′ can enjoy pony rides. On the weekends they host an Animal Show with featured farm residents such as Lucy the pot-bellied pig, Zippie the mini horse, ”Bingo” the dog (AKA Charlie), Rachel a Suffolk sheep, as well as Bubbles the pygmy goat and baby pygmy goats Turbo and Butch. While you are there be sure to pick your own fruits and vegetables too! Also available for birthday parties.
Various Farmers Markets Around LA:
Giddyup Ranch Petting zoo and pony rides for the little ones. Find them at Sherman Oaks on Tuesdays, El Segundo and Claremont Farmers Markets on Wednesdays, Glendale on Saturdays, Longbeach, Antelope Valley and Brentwood Country Marts on Sundays, and the Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch and the Toluca Lake Flower Shop 7 days a week. Full list and details CLICK HERE. Also available for private events.