Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, but before the hearts and flowers, bring your sweetheart (and the family) to Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium to celebrate love of the Pacific gray whale. The Aquarium’s annual Whale of a Weekend returns Feb. 11 and 12. A host of whale-related activities will be ongoing both days from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
Each winter Pacific gray whales complete one of the longest migrations of any species, traveling 10,000 to 14,000 miles round trip between the Arctic seas and the warm lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. This migration takes the whales past the Santa Monica Pier -sometimes within viewing distance from the Pier’s west end observation deck.
Visitors can feel the heft of a whale rib, check out bristly baleen and try on a layer of (simulated) whale blubber for warmth. Learn more interesting facts about these gentle giants at the Aquarium through story time, film screenings and presentations about their migratory habits. Face painting, a cetacean-centric crafts station, and a wildlife observation station at the western end of the Pier are planned for both days of the celebration. Find the Aquarium at 1600 Ocean Front Walk, beach level beneath the Pier’s Merry Go-Round. For more information, visit https://healthebay.org/event/whale-weekend-day-one/ or call 310.393.6149. Admission is free for children 12 and under; for all others: $5 per person; for groups of 10 or more: $3 per person, regardless of age.