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25 Years of Connecting to Nature at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Join us as the Aquarium celebrates its 25th Anniversary with new exhibits, events, and programs highlighting the remarkable natural world right outside our door.

Aquarium of the Pacific 25th anniversary octopus logo

April 30, 2023

Since opening our doors in 1998, the Aquarium of the Pacific has connected millions of people from around the world to the beauty and wonder of our ocean planet. The Aquarium of the Pacific is turning 25 on June 20, 2023, which is made possible by the support of donors, members, volunteers, and guests. The celebration begins on May 26, 2023.

New Southern California Gallery

Guests can discover some of Southern California’s natural marine treasures right outside our door. From the kelp forests at Casino Point on Catalina to underwater offshore reefs and the seagrass meadows in the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, the new Southern California Gallery will bring visitors up close to a variety of local marine habitats.

Octopus Scavenger Hunt

Find the octopus! Guests can participate in a summer scavenger hunt for the Aquarium’s 25th anniversary icon, Sterling the octopus. The first person to spot the master of disguise in an exhibit every day will receive a limited-edition commemorative pin.

Conservation Film

The discover the Aquarium’s many conservation efforts over the past 25 years in a muti-media film projected on multiple screens in our Great Hall. The film will show daily.

First Wednesdays

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s First Wednesdays events bring scientists, authors, and other experts into Honda Pacific Visions Theater. The upcoming topics will relate to the Aquarium’s theme of connecting to nature.

New Aquarium Podcast

The Aquarium will be launching a series of podcasts to connect our community to the Aquarium and our ocean planet.

Photo Exhibit: Connecting to Nature

The community was invited to submit photos showing how they connect to nature in Southern California. The top ten will be featured in special 25th anniversary photo exhibit called Connecting to Nature from May 26 to December 31, 2023.

25th Anniversary Blue Whale Gala

The Aquarium will host a 25th Anniversary-themed Blue Whale Gala on July 22, 2023. This is the Aquarium’s major annual fundraising event.

25th Anniversary Fundraiser

In celebration of the 25th anniversary, your Aquarium is raising funds to support vital animal care, education, and conservation programs. Go to to see how you can make a difference today!


The Pacific Collections gift shop will have various items for purchase that have the Aquarium of the Pacific’s 25th anniversary octopus logo. Some of these items include pins, keychains, shirts, and magnets.