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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
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An eel at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
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Photograph: Tara Crow
Swell Sharks at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Santa Monica

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.

Venue name: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Address: 1600 Ocean Front
at Colorado Avenue
Los Angeles

Venue phone: 310-393-6149
Website: http://www.healthebay.org/smpa
Opening hours: 2-5pm Tue-Fri; 12.30-5pm Sat, Sun.
Price: $5 suggested, $3 minimum.
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