Birch Aquarium unveils Blue Beach, launches Happy Hour series

Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Photo: Jordann Tomasek

By SDCN Editor

La Jolla, CA–Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography unveiled Blue Beach, a place for people to connect with the ocean and each other. 

Blue Beach features a 4,500-square-foot floor mural depicting the bathymetry (or map of the depth) of the underwater canyons off La Jolla Shores, plus pedal-powered music from Rock the Bike and comfy seating, all surrounded by stunning ocean views. 

“I hope that our community leaves Blue Beach feeling relaxed by the ocean but also pleasantly surprised by what they’ve learned, from the wonders of La Jolla’s deep underwater canyons to the uniqueness of our annual leopard shark aggregations,” said the Director of Exhibits, Megan Dickerson. “We’ve now created a space where our community can learn and play together within view of the ocean that we are so inspired to protect.”

From July 10 to August 30, Blue Beach will be home to a series of family-friendly happy hours featuring a special menu of craft beer and wine paired with bite-sized foods and tasty treats. The happy hours take place Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings from 5 to 6:30 p.m. (last call at 6:20) and also include music, outdoor games, and pop-up interactions with Scripps scientists. 

Happy hours are included in the cost of admission, with food and beverage for sale by The French Gourmet. 

Guests can also connect with the ocean through opportunities to engage with scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on select evenings. The new space also allows for additional hands-on activities to explore ocean science in a deeper, more meaningful way. 

Blue Beach is located on the south plaza near Shark Shores and the aquarium’s famed Shark Head photo op. 

Birch Aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. Tickets are $24.95 for adults and 19.95 for kids. Annual memberships are also available. Advanced reservations are required, and the aquarium occasionally closes early for special events. Visit to check the daily schedule and to purchase tickets.

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