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Archive for the ‘Sea Life Aquarium’ Category

Have a little one who is ready to say “bye-bye” to Binky? Get Free Sea Life Aquarium Tickets!

April 14th, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Sea Life Aquarium, Sealife Bargains

The award for most creative theme park discount/ promotion goes to the Sea Life Aquarium next to LEGOLAND California.  On Friday the 15th of April it  is offering up to four free admissions in exchange for a child’s binky.  This promotion is in honor of the Octopus Garden exhibit that was supposed to open tomorrow, but has had its opening postponed..

However, Seal Life  has promised to honor the binky/free admission offer and also give families tickets to return to see the exhibit once it is open!

One thing I really enjoy about this little aquarium is the quirky fun activities and promotions that they offer throughout the year.  If your little one is having trouble saying bye-bye to their binky you might want to head over with the family!

Happy Trails,



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State Park Thursday: Celebrating California’s Underwater Parks at the Sea Life Aquarium and Beyond

January 13th, 2011 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in California State Parks, Sea Life Aquarium, Uncategorized

A little known fact about California’s State Parks is that our state has several state parks that are underwater!  These have been set up to preserve the ecological and cultural heritage of California’s marine areas.  Once California’s Coastline was teaming with sea life and our economy benefited from it.  Whether sardines in Monterey or California lobsters in San Diego, the fisherman reaped the bounty of California’s waters.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to view a You Tube lecture by UC  San Diego Researcher Dr. Milton Saier on “Our Oceans: a History of San Diego Sea Life”.  The entire lecture is twenty minutes, but even in the first few minutes Saier gives a powerful description of the tremendous impact that over fishing has had on the San Diego Bay.

These protected park areas also include historical artifacts like shipwrecks and Native American midden sites.  Divers  are encourage to respectfully  explore these underwater historical wonders.  Look, but don’t touch!

California’s Underwater Parks are protected areas for fragile marine ecosystems.  Visitors can still swim, surf, and dive in these areas, but fishing may be restricted.  If you visit and plan to fish be sure to research  the rules of that particular area.  Families should take care to respect these protected marine  areas by  observing the animals without removing them from tidepools , staying off the dunes, respecting historical sites, and packing their trash.

Building a Lego Sand Castle, Sea Life Aquarium Carlsbad, Ca

This Saturday the Legoland California Sea Life Aquarium is celebrating “Underwater Parks Day” to educate families about California’s underwater parks.  Kids will have a chance to create their very own marine habitat to take home.  Families can attend a mini Conservation Expo and interact with local marine protection organizations including  I Love a Clean San Diego, San Diego Coast Keeper, and the San Diego Oceans Foundation.  Be sure to catch the 11 am dive show and learn about San Diego’s Underwater Parks from a Sealife diver!

Artist Teresea Espaniola who created the amazing mural that you see above in collaboration with the students of Jefferson Elementary School will have her “garbage art” on display.  Ms. Espaniola does amazing collage/paintings to raise awareness about the impact of marine trash.  If you can’t make it to the aquarium be sure to visit her gartbage site and take a look.

Last  night I was reading Sweet Thursday the sequel to Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.  What I love about Steinbeck is that his deep understanding of America and Americans made him a something of a prophet.  So many things that he predicted for our country ring true today.  I leave you with this quote the stresses the need for protected areas off of our California shores and gives us something to think about in terms of other ways that we impact our environment.

The canneries themselves fought the war by getting the limit taken off fish and catching them all.  It was done for patriotic reasons, but that didn’t bring the fish back.  As with the oysters in Alice, “They’d eaten every one”.  It was the same noble impulse that stripped the forests of the West and right now is pumping water out of California’s earth faster than it can rain back in.  When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten.  The pearl-gray canneries of corrugated iron were silent and a pacing watchman was their only life.  The street that once roared with trucks was quiet and empty.

We have a lot to learn from the ecological mistakes of the past.  Let’s teach our children to respect California’s Underwater Parks so these marine treasures can be shared with generations to come!

Happy Trails,


Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursdays.  This week Trekaroo is featuring activities that honor Dr. Martin Luther King throughout the US.  I am hoping to honor Dr. King’s Legacy this month with some posts on how to use travel to teach kids about the roots of racism as well as attending an event at the library.   How will your family honor Dr. King this month?


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Photo Friday: Celebrate World Ocean’s Day at the Sealife Aquarium and Beyond!

June 4th, 2010 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in San Diego Adventures, Sea Life Aquarium, Uncategorized

Jared enjoys the wonders of the Sealife Aquarium

This year it is more important than ever to celebrate World Ocean’s Day.  The devastating oil spill off of the coast of the US could have been prevented. If we give our children an appreciation of our world’s oceans, they will be better policy makers and protectors of this fragile marine ecosystem.

Living in a tourist town I can tell you that a clean healthy ocean creates a thriving local economy .  People come to enjoy clean beaches and to swim in clean water.  This is what is making the effects of the current oil spill particularly devastating for southern economies.

It is easy to overlook that the mission of many local aquariums includes a conservation component.  These are not just glorified theme parks, but organizations that are dedicated to educating the public about respecting marine life and making decisions that have a positive impact on our oceans.  A child who has a chance to learn how to touch    creatures gently under the watchful eye of a docent, will take that knowledge on their family tide pool excursions and hopefully know to leave those critters in their native habitat .  The child who sees the exhibit on global warming will start shutting off lights and encouraging their parents to carpool.  The child who sees a giant mural made out of beach trash will think twice before discarding a gum wrapper in the sand. 

Growing up I spent many days at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and those visits inspire a life long fascination with the marine world.  At seventeen,  I proposed a bill that banned off shore oil drilling at the Youth and Government Model Legislature and Court program.  As a teacher, I took classes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and shared the knowledge I gained with my students.  Many of those students lived very close to the beach but had never been there.  A fieldtrip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium opened up a whole new world for them.  As a parent , I join my kids for beach cleanups. We are always amazed at the trash we find.

In Carlsbad we are lucky to have the Sea Life Aquarium just down the street from us.  I must confess that when it was first constructed I wondered if it was really a worthwhile addition to Legoland.  After all the Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego and Sea World are both  just a half hour away.  After I did some research into the Sea Life organization and paid a second visit to Sea Life on a less crowded day, I started to gain a deeper appreciation for this little kid friendly aquarium.   Sealife sponsors cleanups of local beaches.  They have proudly displayed a mosaic entitled, “Beach Trash, a Whale of a Problem” constructed by local school children.  Visitors are asked to make a clean oceans pledge before leaving the aquarium.  If you have preschoolers,  the smaller size of this aquarium and the specially designed peep holes that put kids in the middle of the tank make this an ideal introduction to the marine world.

Trash, A Whale of a Problem, Sealife Aquarium Carlsbad

This Saturday my family will be honoring World Ocean’s Day with a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium.  They are sponsoring a fun Dr. Seuss themed day with plenty of conservation information snuck into  the Seussian silliness of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. More information about their World Oceans Day Celebration is included on the Sealife Aquarium website.

World Ocean’s Day Celebrations are being held world wide.  If you have some free time this Saturday or next week on June 8, the actual World Ocean’s Day, visit the Ocean Project’s website to find a place to celebrate.

Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in the Delicious Baby Photo Friday Blog Roundup.

Happy Trails,



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Photo Friday: Birthday Adventures

January 15th, 2010 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Free Stuff, Sea Life Aquarium, Sealife Bargains, Travel Discounts


I had big plans for my birthday this year.  I considered a trip to the zoo or a day exploring Torrey Pines State Beach.  I thought about taking a big family hike in some part of San Diego that we had never explored before.  Well, the entire family was recovering from colds and very tired.  We had alot of fun around the house, but weren’t able to get our act together until 4pm.  Even then, I was getting some major grumbling as I pushed three kids, one husband and the dog out the door.

I “settled” for a very short walk along Agua Hedonida Lagoon in Carlsbad and was rewarded with a spectacular sunset walk.  It was the perfect way to end my special day.  As you can see the kids ended up having alot of fun despite their grumbling.


Here’s a final glimpse of the birthday girl (ME).  My husband and I are leaving on a San Francisco getaway tommorrow.  Ken is a really thoughtful guy, and I’m excited to become reacquainted with the city that I used to visit when growing up in San Rafael.  Last time we spent the weekend there, my ten year old was only a few months old, and we came back to San Rafael in the middle of our getaway so I could nurse the baby to sleep ;) .

Since I will be on the road I will be missing the Underwater Parks Day Festival at the Sea Life Aquarium.  For more information about this great family event click here.  Receive two free child admissions to this exciting event on January 16th by clicking here.

Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.    I love Debbie’s Photo Friday Post on Unicorn Crepes .  Will have to try some next time I’m in Seattle.

Happy Trails!



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Photo Friday: Sea Life Aquarium (Carlsbad, Ca)

June 5th, 2009 by bsmith | 12 Comments | Filed in Sea Life Aquarium, Special Events, theme parks, Travel Discounts
Jared Fish Explores a Tank

Jared Fish Explores a Tank

I must confess that I have had a major change of heart about the Sea Life Aquarium.  When I visited a few weeks after opening, I wasn’t really sure if this aquarium was worth the trip.  The Sea Life Aquarium is pretty small, and it was very crowded the day of my first visit.   My three year old kept running ahead and getting lost in the crowd. 

A few weeks ago I returned to the aquarium on a Tuesday.  The crowds were gone. They had done some tweaking with the exhibits, and I began to see that the Sea Life Aquarium is perfect for little kids.  The tanks are designed so the kids can actually come up inside and have close encounters with the fish.  There are plenty of down low peek holes, so no one has to be lifted up to see the tanks. 

Enjoy these pictures from our latest Sea Life Aquarium Adventure:

Jared and Friends Explore the Touch Pool

Jared and Friends Explore the Touch Pool


Fascinating Fish, Sea Life Aquarium

Fascinating Fish, Sea Life Aquarium, Carlsbad, Ca

 Another wonderful thing about the Sea Life Aquarium is its dedication to marine conservation.  They have many special events and celebrations including beach clean ups and the upcoming World Oceans Day Celebration which takes place on Sunday June 7th.  There will be special arts and crafts and a reading of  Surf Angel  by local children’s author Terry Krazewski. You can also check out the aquarium’s  brand new shark exhibit.  Get a discount coupon here .

Lego Sand Castle Building, Sea Life Aquarium, Carlsbad, Ca

Lego Sand Castle Building, Sea Life Aquarium, Carlsbad, Ca

World Oceans Day,  is Monday June 8th.   The Ocean Project encourages ocean lovers to “wear blue” and tell two.  This means, wear blue on Monday and tell people two facts that they may not know about the ocean.  If you live in California, I have one fact you can share.  Many of our state beaches may be closed at the end of the summer due to budget cuts.  I will be talking more about this at Family Adventure Guidebooks throughout the summer, but for now you can get  more information from the California State Parks Foundation website.

Finally, Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Delicous Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Round Up. Be sure to check it out.

Happy Trails,


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