Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a great place to exploring the pier, where you can spend a whole day.

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While your kids are still little and amazed by the world, while your underwater explorer still loves the mystery of the deep dark blue and its inhabitants, while your Earth-lover still wants to preserve our environment and learn about local plant and animal species, take them to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for a fun family day out. I visited recently as a guest of Mommy Poppins for their Best of LA awards event. (I didn’t win, but it was an honor just to be nominated. For real!)

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Want some wolf eel with your coffee?

Yes, there is a bigger aquarium in greater Los Angeles, but this one is so close! And with the California Incline now open again, traffic isn’t as bad it has been the last year and a half. Take the 101 East to Las Virgenes, then turn right and head out to PCH. Take PCH to Ocean Ave, turn right and head down to Pico. Turn right there, and right on Appian Way. Park on the street or in the lot – either way you’ll pay about $12 for the whole day.

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From there you’ll walk along the boardwalk, past the lemonade stand, and to Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which is under the pier. It’s a small space and won’t take you long to walk through and explore, but if you have pre-schoolers they will likely spend plenty of time watching the sharks in the waist-high tank. No touching them!

Luckily, right across the room is a touch tank where curious kids can handle anemones, starfish, and more. There are displays of sea life everywhere—there are 100 species of plants and animals right there in the facility!

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There’s a different focus or special event each day of the week. Children can help feed the sea stars Tuesdays and Fridays and 2:30PM, and watch staff feed the sharks on Sundays at 3:30. Older children can volunteer at the aquarium starting at age 15.

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While you’re at the pier, head up the stairs or ramp to check out Pacific Park with its games and amusement park rides. Stop to watch trapeze artists in training at trapeze school. Enjoy local musicians performing right there on the pier. Grab a meal or a snack at the food court or one of the restaurants at either end.

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And of course, remember to pack your beach stuff. A blanket, an umbrella, some sunscreen, and extra clothes for the kids who will run into the water no matter how many times they whine “But I hate the beach!” (Just my kids?)

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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
1600 Ocean Front Walk (under the pier)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tue-Fri 2pm – 5pm
Sat-Sun 12:30 – 5pm
Admission is free for kids 12 and under
Adults and kids 13 and up $5

Mother’s Day Gift: Portrait of Mom With Her Children – Sittings May 17

Los Angeles photographer and owner of Litetrap Studios, Michael Murphree, has offered Mother’s Day-themed mini sessions as a priceless gift for the moms in your life with all proceeds going to support Help a Mother Out’s efforts in Los Angeles.

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Portrait by Michael Murphree

For a donation of $100 or more, up to 20 mothers and their children will receive a 15-minute portrait session on May 17, two 5 x 7 prints, and a custom Facebook timeline photo.

Michael Murphree has 20 years of experience as a commercial and celebrity photographer, starting his career as apprentice to world-famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. It was when Michael had his own family that he fell in love with photographing his wife and twin babies. This led to the creation of Litetrap Studios, where Michael takes joy in capturing the special moments in other families’ lives with the goal of creating cherished heirlooms that pass on through generations.

litetrap studiosThe mini-sessions are available to up to 20 mothers and their children, and children of any age. Want a priceless memory of you with your own mother? This is a wonderful opportunity to have a true artist create a portrait of you, and help another mother out at the same time.

Studio space is generously provided by Books and Cookies, a bookstore and play space in Santa Monica.

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To reserve your sitting appointment or to arrange for one as a gift to that special mom in your life for Mother’s Day, make your donation here.

Mother’s Day Mini-Sessions with Michael Murphree
May 17, 2015
Books and Cookies
2309 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
To purchase click here

For more information please contact me at kim@helpamotherout.org

Get Some Kitten Therapy with Soul Pancake

Best therapists ever.

SoulPancake’s Kitten Therapy booth is live at Third Street Promenade at Broadway today, 11/11/14, from 12:30 to 5PM. If you’re down on that side of town, how can you skip it? I mean what could be better than rolling around in the grass with kittens?

(1360 3rd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401)

In true SoulPancake fashion, we built the world’s first ever kitten therapy office for chronic stress cases. “Patients” step into a clear glass therapy office where they are guided into a peaceful meditation. Once their eyes are closed and their mind is beginning to clear, the “therapists” (tiny kittens) burst from the wall, providing instant stress relief with belly laughs and awwww’s. The video is full of squee-worthy moments, urban art installation inspiration, and the feel-good vibes that SoulPancake has become known for.


SoulPancake.com
is a website that develops thought-provoking content that encourages people to explore what it means to be human. It was founded by Agoura Hills resident Rainn Wilson (star of The Office) in 2008.

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