Run by environmental charity Heal the Bay and located underneath the pier, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium takes an educational tack; indeed, it's closed during the morning to allow for school field trips. It's a low-key place, a galaxy away from the likes of SeaWorld, but there's fun here for youngsters in the form of touch tanks full of crabs, snails and the like. A good option for parents who can't bear the raucous atmosphere on the pier.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
|Venue name:||Santa Monica Pier Aquarium|
1600 Ocean Front
at Colorado Avenue
|Opening hours:||2-5pm Tue-Fri; 12.30-5pm Sat, Sun.|
|Price:||$5 suggested, $3 minimum.|