Sun, sailing and special events at Monterey Bay Aquarium

At the
Monterey Bay Aquarium, special summer activities offer great ways for children,
adults and families to experience the wonders of the ocean. Visitors can go
behind-the-scenes with aquarium experts, take part in a sailing excursion
aboard a 65-foot research vessel, put their kids in SCUBA gear for a
diver’s-eye view of marine life, feed an abalone or a sea urchin, scoop
plankton from the bay using the same tools as scientists, and sleep under their
favorite exhibits with friends or family members.

All that
and more are part of the many exciting “Aquarium Adventures” programs
available throughout the 2010 summer. A full schedule and online tickets for all
Aquarium Adventures is available online at
www.montereybayaquarium.org/adventures.

Back by
popular demand this year, the public can attend a “Family Seashore
Sleepover” on August 28 and November
20. Aquarium fans can sleep under their favorite exhibits and experience the
aquarium after hours.

Special presentations, feeding opportunities, a midnight
snack and continental breakfast are all part of this exclusive evening. “Youth
Group Seashore Sleepovers” are available for youth groups on three other
nights through September.

Behind-the-scenes
tours, offered several times daily throughout the year, give visitors an inside
look at the nation’s No. 1 aquarium. Each 50-minute tour is different, depending
on what’s happening that day.

All tours show what it takes to care for
animals and exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and occasionally include an
opportunity to feed the fish. Regular Behind-the-scenes tours are for ages 6
and up.  Tour times vary daily and cost $12 for the general public, $10 for
members, plus aquarium admission. 

New this summer at 11:30 a.m. daily is a “Family
Tour” designed specifically for families with young children (8 and under).
Each tour combines hands-on experiences mixed with fun animal stories.

“Sailing
Adventures” expeditions return again this year. Visitors can choose between
two distinct Sailing Adventures aboard the eco-friendly Derek M. Baylis, a 65-foot research
sailboat. During “Day Sails” visitors work alongside aquarium
naturalists gathering plankton, observe seafloor animals and learn about the
intricate Monterey
Bay
ecosystem.

Each
participant takes a turn at the helm, steering the boat and learning about
navigation and sailing, while fellow sailors keep an eye out for migrating
whales, rafts of otters and pods of dolphins.

On summer evenings, “Sunset
Sails” participants relax on the elegant ship while sipping wine,
enjoying hors d’oeuvres and watching the bay come to life as evening
approaches. Seals, sea lions, otters, dolphins and whales are common in Monterey Bay. Sunset Sails programs run through
September 5 and cost $45 for aquarium members and $55 for the general public. 

The
popular “Underwater Explorers” surface SCUBA experience for kids 8
to 13 resumes in mid-June and continues through early September. “Morning
Rounds” behind-the-scenes feeding tours happen on select days year round.

Extended
hours return this summer with
more time to enjoy
the aquarium on summer weekends during “Evenings by the Bay.” Each
Saturday and Sunday through September 5, visitors will have two
additional hours – until 8 p.m. – to commune with their favorite
exhibits, including the most popular special exhibition to date, “The
Secret Lives of Seahorses.” The evenings include live music, wine
samplings and a front row seat to favorite exhibits.

 Most Aquarium
Adventures programs run through September; some are offered year-round. Costs
vary per program; aquarium members receive a discount.

Visit www.montereybayaquarium.org/adventures for
program details, previews and tickets (a detailed list of Aquarium Adventures
is included below).

Advance registration is recommended; register by calling
866-963-9645 or stop by the Aquarium Adventures Desk or Member Desk in the main
lobby of the aquarium.

Regular
aquarium admission is
$29.95 adult; $27.95
senior (65+) and student (full-time college, with I.D.); and $17.95 children
3-12 and the disabled. Children under 3 are admitted free of charge. Discounted
tickets for members of the military and their families can be purchased in
advance at many California and Nevada installations.

The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in summer months
and extended hours until 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through September
5.

In
2010 the Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates more than 25 years of inspiring ocean
conservation.

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