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San Diego Post Race Family Time

Posted Jun 15 2011 11:41pm
Last week we were out of town for 7 days and while I would like to say it was a family vacation the truth is me and my husband both had events in the same week so we planned a trip around it 3 1/2 days in San Diego and 3 1/2 Days in Ontario for the husbands basketball tournament and whenever we travel as a family for an event for my husband and/or I, I have found it is imperative to plan stuff for the kids it keeps them happy which in turns helps them to behave better and I helps me from feeling guilty about dragging them around to our events.

So with this trip like all others we were on a budget so the criteria for the family activities were simple; affordable and fun so I did my homework beforehand and planned two outings for the kids.

So the first one was easy we spent the afternoon after my 1/2 marathon on the beach, you can't really go wrong with sand, water and this location even had a playground.

and since Monday was the last full free day before moving on to the next event I wanted to make sure we had something I knew the kids would get a kick out of so I was excited to learn that there was an Aquarium about 15 mins. from my moms in La Jolla that met both criteria affordable ($12 for Adults and $8.50 for kids 3-17 which for our family is about the same as a meal at a sit down restaurant or a movie once you add in popcorn) and it was something I new the kids would enjoy. I reached out to the wonderful folks there before leaving on the trip and they kind enough to let my family and come visit no charge for the day but even if they hadn't we still would have went. So Monday morning stiff and sore as all get out we took the girls to The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego . The Birch Aquarium' s Mission is
* to provide ocean science education
* to interpret Scripps research
* to promote ocean conservation

We provide ocean science education through creative exhibits, programs, and activities designed to help people use critical thinking, and to make science relevant to their daily lives.

We interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the science used to study Earth, and inspiring public support of scientific endeavors.

We promote conservation through education and research, believing that with increased understanding of the ocean, people will respect and protect the marine environment

From the moment we stepped inside the top 3 phrases I heard in order of frequency were1. oooh mommy
2. mommy look
3. what's that one ?
I must have heard them each at least 100 times or more, which is good sign.

Some of my most favorite things about the aquarium were
~The "There's Something About Seahorses" exhibit mainly because seahorses are so darn cute..

..and kin to the seahorse the seadragon is just about the most interesting thing I have ever seen
~This picture doesn't do it justice but just the sheer size of the wolf eel in the picture close up made it one of my favorites, it was so big
...and the happy face on the sting ray how could it not be a favorite
~The interactive aspect in the " Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge " exhibit was a great chance for the kids to get a little hands on.

..and lastly the view from the tide pool area was quite impressive.

Overall I would give The Birch Aquarium two thumbs up my husband and I both agree that the Aquarium was not only fun and interesting to see it was also very educational with kid friendly exhibits and included a lot of hands on experiences made for a worthwhile family visit and I have to mention the staff was pretty awesome taking the time to share information (we learned quite a bit about wolf eels ) and answer all the questions the kids and I had. I am hoping to go back once the have their Boundless Energy Exhibit up this July.

So if you are ever in the San Diego area and are looking for a great family destination I strongly suggest checking out The Birch Aquarium at Scripps

For more information about The Birch Aquarium you can find them online at
or can also find them on facebook here.. . or twitter here...

Lastly I had to include some input from the girls so just today I asked them what was there favorite thing at the Aquarium and I find it interesting that I had pictures to go with all of their answers (mothers intuition I guess or it could be that i took a trillion pictures) so their answers are as follows
The oldest said "The jellyfish"

Daughter #2 Liked the tide pools and stuck her hand in there to touch everything they would allow her to on the flip side they couldn't have paid my husband to stick his hand in there to touch anything which I found amusing.
For daughter #3 it was the octopus, of course it was only she could find love for something that huge & icky looking.

daughter #4 my baby when I asked her said " I liked dory" and immediately i knew what she was talking about the majority of our visit for her was about locating all the characters from Finding Nemo.

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