The Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, CA, offers young children a close-up look into the world of marine life. The center consists of three small exhibit halls and an open audio-visual space. When I stopped by last weekend, the center was not crowded. Parking was easy and free.
The center is located right along the Santa Cruz coastline. I couldn’t much enjoy the ocean view because it was extremely windy outside. Inside, the center offered marine-themed puzzles for kids, educational stations, many aquariums, and an interactive station where kids and adults alike can touch hermit crabs, sea anemones and starfish. You will not find the aquariums full of Nemos and Dorys here though.
Plan an hour or so for your visit. That’s about the attention span for little kids anyways. The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is about an hour away from Silicon Valley. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors (64+) and $4 for children (4-16). For older children, you can visit the larger and much more expensive Monterey Bay Aquarium.