Roundhouse Aquarium

Think you’ve seen it all at the beach? Think again. The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium (you can just call it “The Roundhouse“) at the end of the Manhattan Beach pier will have you seeing the beach as you’ve never seen it before, with live aquatic creatures and informational displays that plumb the depths of ocean life.

Want to touch an echinoderm? These spiny skinned sea animals – a family that includes sea urchins, sea stars, and sand dollars – are in the “please touch” tank for your kids to check out. Want to know how long it takes a disposable diaper to disintegrate in a landfill? Hint: It’ll take longer than any of our lifetimes. Ever heard of the sarcastic fringehead? It’s a crazy-looking fish that you can check out in the upstairs tanks.

If you have little kids who love fish, stop by on Sunday mornings at 11:30 for a special marine-themed storytime. The Roundhouse also hosts “Sleep With the Sharks” sleepovers for older kids; you can also host a birthday party or a special event there. For an educational experience in a cool setting, it’s hard to beat the Roundhouse. That’s why South Bay Sparkle calls it one of the true jewels of the South Bay.

The Roundhouse is open to the public, free of charge, with a suggested donation of $2 per inidividual or $5 per family. Open M-F 3pm to sunset; Sat.-Sun. 10 am-sunset.