What to Know
- Long Beach
- Thursdays and Fridays at 8:15 a.m.
- $150 per person; $135 aquarium member
Wading into a small pool, all to splash around, play some games, and complete some laps?
If you love to swim, chances are as strong as water is wet that this has been a common but uncommonly pleasurable experience for you.
Wading into a small pool, all to feed a shark that happens to be gliding in the vicinity of your lower legs?
This, we'll wager, is a moment that few of us have known in our lives.
But if you adore all things shark, and the amazing cownose rays, too, you may have longed for a memorable and photographable way to take your fishy fandom even further.
And now you can, at the new Shark and Ray Encounter at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
The experience is billed as an "... exclusive experience feeding the animals in the Shark Lagoon touch pools," one that's led by an animal husbandry staff member as well as an educator from the aquarium.
So you know you'll learn oodles of riveting facts about the not-fearsome, ever-fascinating creatures, in addition to enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
And that gill-rocking critter you'll be providing a morning meal to will be a bamboo shark, lest you immediately pictured something bigger, and, well, toothier.
It's not quite swimming with the sharks, but it is giving a few sweet bamboo sharks something nice to gnash upon.
And if cownose rays are some of your favorite denizens of the not-so-deep, prepare to "step into the touch pools" for some closer interaction. You'll also be able to "hand feed" the majestic gliders.
There is an age requirement to keep in mind, if you have a kid who can name every shark under the sun. The experience is open to visitors ages 7 and older, and everyone age 16 and younger must attend with a parent.
What to wear and expect, and other important must-knows, including a height requirement due to the water's depth, may be found here.
If treating a bamboo shark to tasty morsels, or holding still as wide-of-wing rays sail near your shins, isn't quite for you, but you do adore other ocean-based earthlings, check it out: The aquarium is also home to the Seal and Sea Lion Encounter, too.
More whiskers, more barking, and more antics may be found at this experience, which is all about participants giving a later-in-the-day snack to the large and lovable shore-occupying superstars.
The Aquarium of the Pacific's outdoor areas are open to visitors with advance tickets, while the indoor spaces are temporarily closed. Face coverings are required, and other safety protocols are in place: get updated now.